Sunday, 3 August 2008

Catch Up


For the last 3 days I've been struggling with a vicious tummy bug - the likes of which I've not experienced since, oh, last fecking month. Actually, to be fair, it was just before I went to Wimbledon with Koi, so over a month ago, but it was just as unpleasant then as it is now. Sadly, I'd promised to massage Phid's Mum and Dad every day while they were up, but had to bail on them for not only that but a HC invitation including walks, dinner and a bed for the night. I felt crappy (in all senses of the word). I hate bailing on people. Hopefully, when I see them today I might prevail upon them to come to HC on Monday instead, to make up for it.

Aside from feeling weak and run down, I'm on the mend - albeit with the help of astonishingly strong pills and extreme temperence (I've lost 4 pounds - some good may come of this!) and last night was able to go with Fisher to The Artist's house for supper. It was a dinner party, which meant convening with strangers - but they were all very pleasant. In fact, one of the strangers wasn't a stranger at all, but an old friend of Sister's whom I've known a very long time and is great fun. It was a very lovely night, with the only shame being I couldn't do any of the dishes justice. But at least it gave Fisher the opportunity to drink, which she did with gusto - but, luckily, not to the extremes she has shown in the past. Quite moderate, in fact. Not a speck of red vomit in sight. Tonight sees us entertain Sister, sans children (!!), and we've invited The Artist as well, as he was keen to see her. Unfortunately, the Seafood Restaurant in St Andrews couldn't take 4 people instead of 3 (idiots) so we've had to book the one in St Monan's instead, which means an extra drive for Sister and changing plans for Artist's train, but GOD this is dull, so I shall move onto more interesting things.

Fisher and I went to check on the new house t'other week, and left HC in miserable fog and drizzle. Not 10 minutes later we were driving out into beautiful sunshine and considerable heat. I glared angrily at Fisher, suddenly realising that living on the East Coast of Scotland had deprived me of much needed vitamin D for the last 8 years. And it's all her fault. Had she not been so goddamned addicted to Fife, we could have moved somewhere far more exotic years ago. Like Clackmannanshire. Which, by the way, is more than you imagine. (See press releases for confirmation).


Ok, this is now several days later. I planned on taking a small break, but couldn't get back to the old blog before going out for supper with Sister, Fisher and Artist. We went to St Andrews after all, and had pleasant grub - but, unfortunately, it proved too much for my recovering tummy and I was plunged back into hideousness which laid me out for a further day. I've been sensible today, though, and feel much better. With any luck tomorrow will see me right as rain.

So, where was I?

Oh yer. Fisher and I took a jaunt up to the new house, to check it was still standing and to feed our inherited bantams. I was concerned they might all have died, or been scattered to the 4 winds, especially after whistling for them for some minutes and seeing hide nor hair. Or, rather, hide nor feather. However, after we'd looked round the house, checked all was sound, and returned to the garden 15 minutes later, there they were under the tree looking for bounty. We duly provided, and they clucked and pecked in that comfortable way chickens have.

After looking at the house, Fisher and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and decided to seek out the nearest loch - Loch Tullybelton. It didn't look too far away on the map, but it was a fair drive to an appropriate parking place, where we left the car, unloaded the pooches, and set off to ramble. It was an easy walk, probably a little over 2 miles there and back, and the sun beat down all the way. The pooches bounded at the ends of their leads, with Bridie very keen on a mutton supper, and we enjoyed the beautiful scenery, utterly enchanted at the thought of this being our new back garden.

At the loch, I was determined to have an outdoor swim, having missed out at Loch Awe due to ... well, abject cowardice and a loathing of cold water, to be fair. Getting to the lochside proved slightly harder than it originally looked, as a lot of it was marshy at the edges and surrounded by deceptive reeds. We found a miniature beach, though, and I stripped down to undies and shirt. The bottom was muddy, and it was a little murky, so I gave up on the idea of a swim and waded out knee-deep instead. Bridie followed gamely on the lead, swimming and snorting like a sleek black otter. To get maximum refreshment, I crouched down and sank up to my waist, before deciding the bottom really was quite grim between my toes and it was time to go back to the shore. I felt much cooler, and it was a beautiful, soul-soothing spot.

On dry land, Fisher handed me the golden dog and began to wade in for her own spot of paddling, when I felt something ticklish on my ankle. I looked down and, to my horror, saw what I first took to be a slug writhing on my skin.

"A leech!" I cried, with loathing. "There's a leech on me!"

Luckily it came off with a quick brush as it hadn't got its teeth into me, so I was spared a Laura Ingalls Wilder scene of pulling the bastard off, watching it get longer and longer before detatching, leaving a trickle of blood in its place. It squirmed and thrashed in the sand for a while before perishing, and Fisher, upon spying some 20 leeches on various rocks by the shore, decided she could do without a paddle.


Even so, it was a lovely walk, and the paddling was desperately needed owing to how hot it was, so the leech can go to Hell.

Like I said, the rest of the week has been sadly marred by this evil tummy bug. I wasn't able to entertain Phid's parents, or even finish more than 2 massages. Phid and Wheeler were supposed to come for massages tomorrow, but they've kindly put it off to give me an extra day to recover. Phid will now get done on Thursday, but Wheeler won't be around so I have to do him next week some time. This puts me rather behind schedule, even with the extra 2 from Phid's Mum - so I may have to go into Edinburgh later in the week and start some new people. God, what a pain in the arse this massage course is turning out to be. I can't exactly ask people to come to me, but I don't think it's designed for people whose clients are over an hour's journey away. Pain. In. The. Arse.

Bah. I'm just feeling tetchy, tired and really fed up with not being well. I've also just made the mistake of watching Dr Alice on TV talking about the stomach and intestines, and am now convinced that my tummy bug is actually bowel cancer and I have weeks to live.

I'm going to bed.