Friday, 22 January 2010

These would be guilty pleasures, if I could even be bothered feeling guilty

A normal, healthy human adult has an average of two colds a year.

(Quickly checks back through blog for number of mentions of the word 'lemsip'.)

Crikey. Time to become a normal, healthy human adult, I should think. I wonder how you do that?

I read blogs, and I have learned that when bloggers have colds, they are little hives of industry. They sew things. They bake things. They read involved books about parenting techniques. They jump up and down and take pictures of themselves. (You all know who you are.)

This makes me feel sad, because what I do is sit on the sofa watching television and eating chocolate. Yesterday I watched around 8 recorded episodes of Frasier, and what's more, I don't feel bad about it. I don't even feel bad about occasionally fast-forwarding through scenes which did not feature Frasier's brother Nils, because David Hyde Pierce is so funny he only has to move his head slightly in order to make me giggle.

(Another thing I'm really enjoying at present is the BBC's repeats of series one of the radio comedy Bleak Expectations, a Dickens spoof which has Anthony Head in it. I love Anthony Head. I loved him as Giles in Buffy, and can do no better than to repeat the serial man-fancier Meg Wood's assertion that to gaze on his handsomeness is akin to reading a novel by Faulkner. I'm not so fussed for him in Merlin, where his job is mainly to look intolerant and cross, but in Bleak Expectations as the suave, undead, evil benefactor Gently Benevolent.... even though his nose drops off from time to time. I still would.)

I have been struggling with reading lately, having spent the last couple of weeks trying not to look at my bedside table in order to avoid the two books sitting on it. Well written, well reviewed, literary and eloquent, I just couldn't be bothered with them at all. (I still think I haven't recovered from the trauma of last year's Orange Prize shortlist.)

And, to whinge pitifully, if I'm tired, my eyes get tired. The other day I decided not to buy a copy of Madame Bovary in a charity shop because the print was too small.

I love the writer Paul Magrs' blog, whose books I've mentioned before, because of his sheer pleasure in reading - as my book group clusters worthily around Pulitzer prize-winners and Great Classic Works, he's getting excited about battered 1970s paperbacks or something with a picture of Elsie Tanner on the front. And so it was on his recommendation that I requested from the library a book from the Coffee House Mystery series (what's not to like about a website with the navigation menu "Espressos: Lattes: Muffins: Murder"?)

And when it came, it brought with it all kinds of treats. Murder; glamour; shopping; handsome cops with nice backsides; absolutely tons of coffee geekery (squee!), and the best, best thing for a tired woman with a streaming cold?

It was the large print edition.


  1. My optician asked me the other day whether I'd like her to prescribe some glasses for reading and sewing as well as a pair for driving. My jaw hit the floor so hard I nearly fell off the chair. Now, if I could find large prints needles as well as large orint books I'd be sorted!

  2. MadDad remarked over christmas when I wasnt feeling tip top that I am the wosrt person in the world when I have a cold. I can not do bunged us noses, is stops me breathin, I breath in through my nose and out through my mouth, therefore, I wake in a panic every 4 mins!!

    I pee'd myself over the small print, but I am at the stage in my life, where I would rather read for pleasure than to expand my mind!!

    PS I sent you am e-mail, I was having Flicr issues I am TheMadHouse4

  3. I can't see the point of reading for anything but pleasure - unless it's a recipe for something good to eat with chocolate in it. My arms are only just long enough in good light these days and I'm not wearing glasses to read something 'good for me'!
    Get well soon!

  4. I grew up with my mother's voice telling me that once I begin a book I must finish it.


    It was only a few years ago that I stopped and asked myself why???? there are so many good books out there, entertaining and delightful and waiting to be discovered, why labouring after one I don't like?

    It was an epiphany and haven't looked back ever sice.

  5. feel better soon, and meanwhile your style of recovery sounds perfect to me xx

  6. 'Time to become a normal, healthy human adult...'?

    Too late.

    Give it up.

  7. I've met a couple of normal, healthy, human adults in my time and very dull they were too.

    Stick with the chocolate, always but ALWAYS read for pleasure and I hope you feel better soon.

    Lynne x.

  8. At the risk of sounding as though my underthings are made of hessian and I skip around trees, I take echinacea tincture at the first sign of a sore-ish throat. It seems to have fended off a few poxes, but without a control me with no potion I can't be sure. Tincture - forsooth, I didst hail from the Tudor period.

    Elsie Tanner. What a woman. I seem to remember she had a cat fight with Bet Lynch once. Corrie was never the same without them.

  9. heck! on't feel guilty woman. When I am sick my main activity is laying in bed, making a high-pitched wail that the entire terrace can hear.

    Plus, large print always makes me feel a oh I just read 100 pages in 25 minutes kind of way

  10. You're reading all the wrong blogs. When I'm sick, I whine piteously, look at singing Muppets on YouTube and tell everyone around me that even when they had their colds, they did not feel as bad as I do. I spend paragraphs rhapsodizing about how sick I am, because my colds aren't just worse than everyone else's; they're also more interesting.

  11. The whole point of having a cold is that you don't have to get dressed and you can lie on the sofa watching tv, drinking tea and eating restorative chocolates and reading entertaining books. I love being sick! (Well, that kind of sick -- nothing serious.)

  12. I picked up my first pair of reading glasses yesterday. I'm not even bloody well 40 yet! Can you imagine what is going to have given up working by the time I'm 70?

    Ah yes, large print is a very good thing.

  13. Great blog ypu linked to!

    I've put it on my feed reader. Thanks.

  14. 1. So how many times DID you mention lemsip?

    2. I am even more tree-skippy than Silverpebble because I make my OWN echinacea tincture. Yep, practically Mother Nature Herself.

    3. Guilty as charged on the lofty parenting reading. But hey, it was a memoir - is that any better? Does it matter that when I am NOT sickly I fritter away many late-night hours horsing around at blogs??

  15. 4. My reading glasses are neon turquoise, but I can never remember where I put them.

  16. I think you'll find that it's actually me that loves Anthony Head !

    and when I have a cold I do nothing like sweing or knitting. This would be because I can't do either.

  17. OMG OMG OMG!!!! You are the only other person I know who is into Bleak Expectations! The entire Loth clan love it, we have all three series recorded and listen to it in the car during the morning school run. Nothing sets you up for the morning like a bit of Gently Benevolent. We even toyed with naming the two new cats Sternbeater and Whackwallop but couldn't bear the thought of calling for them if they ever got lost.......

  18. I sit on the couch watching Scrubs DVDs and feel not a jot of guilt.

  19. You mentioned it, I read it: On What Grounds. I REALLY liked it, so thanks.

    My library had all but the newest in stock so I checked them all out at once. I've got 3 weeks to read 7 books. Shit.

  20. I love you I really do :o)
    You write what I need to write,should write!! lol!!
    when I get a cold,I rage, I rage & I mutter & I curse & I cackle & All Things Bad,

    things knitty & crafty are Far From My Life right now,but hey,its my life & its good from where I stand,(whimpers no matter how much when I read other blogs & wish I could do handstands & make things In A Day) but then I figure maybe those people dont have 4 year old twins, a manor house to housekeep,a cleaning s/e business,an 71 year old dad to keep from Grumblitis,22 sheep,3 geese & alot of hens to look after.& thats inbetween drinking as much wine as I need to.Need to.

    hahah think I just wrote a blog post on your comments. You rock & I love your blog :o)
    gtm x x x

  21. You forgot Antony Head's starring role in those 1980s Nescafe Gold Blend Adverts. I loved him. (I was also young and at an all girls school, what can I say?)

    Coffee, Lemsip, Large print books. You are speaking my language. Spoken through a bunged up nose and hacking cough.

    Here from Potty Diaries Blogger of the Week.. congrats, well deserved.

  22. I went to a wedding a couple years ago and Antony Head was there. I spent ages staring at him, unable to believe my eyes! I have seen him dancing to Come On Eileen.

    Unfortunately I was too shy to talk to him or ask to have my photo taken, but did make my husband dance around near him so I could take a photo with him in the background. Sad I know!

  23. Hey... just doscovered you via British Mummy's Blogger of the Week... I am now following you, because I LIKE THE WAY YOU THINK (er, write).

    And I have to say, when i get a cold, I take the excuse for some time in BED. or at least on the couch. Watching reruns of... OK, Greys Anatomy. Is that bad?

  24. Antony Head......drool

    If you are with cold, all normal expectations are dropped and sofa -dom and sloth- dom are positively required...

    Also chocolate. And alcohol.

    Am with GTM on the alcohol requirement!

  25. Here from Potty Mummy. I interviewed Antony Head once - just me and him in a dressing room in a West End Theatre. When I played back the dictaphone it was almost unusable - just me sttutering and stammering whilst he munched on sushi.

    I could watch Frasier all day too. It's on Paramount Comedy channel all the time. Although Daphne gets on my nerves.

    You sound like my kind of gal.


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