Sugar the pill


God bless medication! Life has been muffled for 10 days-ish, both metaphorically because I was aching and tired and stuffed-up and didn’t want to engage with life, and literally, thanks to Tuesday night when I decided to try a spot of nasal irrigation to clear the tubes and poured so much brine up my nose I went deaf. The opposite of the desired effect, in short. Ok not quite deaf, perhaps, but certainly with swingeing earache and a stab in the neck and piercing tinnitus every time I tried to blow my nose. Then I went to Boots, swallowed down some sinus medication and I’ve been feeling button-bright ever since. It was as I bounded south through parks and city last night, trilling away, that the contrast between feeling dreadful (last 10 days) and feeling fabulous (about three hours) really hit home.

The other thing that has been soaking up what little energy was left over from getting to work and back to bed again, is an idea of buying property. For years – really, years – I’ve been assuming that although in 1994/5/6/7/8/9, and, say, 2000-2013, I found conversations about property acquisition desperately dull, I was sure that dawn the day (let’s call it ‘last Friday’) that I myself felt an urge to shoulder a crippling debt burden, I would suddenly find topics as diverse as stamp duty and outdoor space and access rights utterly enthralling. Got that one wrong. It’s just as boring as it ever was, except now people expect you to care. In the golden-hued past I could plummet off everyone’s radar by shrugging and saying, in as snubbing a tone as possible: ‘I rent’. A bucket of cold water, that phrase is, cooling the ardour of the property bore. Unless they bridle slightly, perhaps even change colour, and say ‘Rent is dead money’, to which I’m far too polite to retort, ‘Not as dead as interest payments’.

See, I just assumed that it was one of those things that when you got old enough to do it, it would become a topic of all-conquering fascination, but sorry, kids: like sex and work and buying your own shoes, it doesn’t. My mother used to say that although one might not find other people’s children invariably compelling, ‘it’s different when they’re your own’. I always suspected, deep down, that she might be wrong about that – especially given that I was one of the children in question. Now I know: there are no guarantees. Buying property is mostly boring – and I daresay rearing offspring has its duff days as well.


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