This was originally published in the Bath Chronicle on December 23
For the first time in soem five years my regular weekly column didn't appear in the Bath Chronicle on Thursday, December 16.
Considering I have managed to do my column while I was on holiday (and even once when I was a couple of hundred yards away from Auschwitz) it was going to take something pretty spectacular to stop me waxing lyrical for the entertainment of, err, both of you.
Well I had that spectacular thing and it was ... MAN FLU!
The term 'man flu' has been invented by, I suspect, women to explain how men exaggerate when they have a minor cold. But, boy oh boy, was this not a cold...
It had begun a few days before when I had the traditional 'coldy' elements of a bit of a cough, a runny nose and a headache. All annoying but all copeable, too.
During last Tuesday, however, I started to notice that these elements were going but they were being replaced by a thumping headache, aches and pains and a sense that my usual 'get up and go' had got up and gone.
The best cure, I thought, was to head home early and go straight to bed but, as nearly 1,000 of you will know, last Tuesday night was TheBath Chronicle carol service where I was due to do one of the readings.
Prior to that the mayor had kindly invited myself and others to his parlour and I remember pointing out to one of his guests (hi Muddy!) that I thought I had 'man flu' and she said 'if you had flu you'd know about it and you wouldn't be able to get out of bed'. Twelve hours later I knew exactly what she meant.
Somehow, I did manage to get through Tuesday's lovely service but to be honest I started to feel a bit doolally, which is never a good feeling to have when you have to read one of the important lessons. But I survived somehow, raced home to bed and then ...
The next three or four days were pretty horrendous. When you have a stressful job the thought of being able to do nothing can seem quite appealing but when nothing really does mean nothing (i.e. you haven't the energy to even pick up a paper or switch the TV) the reality is more appalling than appealing.
I don't think I am a particularly patient patient either and I also always feel terrible if I'm not able to get into work but for those few days I suffered, as I know many of you have (and perhaps some are now as you are reading this), with the kind of lurgy which seems a million miles away from those almost pleasant minor colds which are normally sorted out by a Lemsip or a Tune.
So, it was with some relief that I headed back to work lastn Monday feeling a million times better than a few days before. I say some relief, however, because someone up there with a sense of humour had decided that my reward for finally getting out of bed should be to find my car unable to move because of the snow. And to make in even 'funnier' I then faced week which even people in Iceland would describe as 'a bit dodgy weather-wise'
So that's man flu. It's not funny. And it's not for women. They just invented it.