So it's that time of year - you know the one. Your immune system begins to close down: first the tenderness in the throat, a vague throb on the palate that calcifies and dehydrates food; the the subtle pressure on the nose - enough to let you know the mucus is on the move; finally the skull begins to shrink as though the victim of an ancient death rite.
The adevent of sniffles and coughs, the development of varying forms of colds and viruses, all these add a drabness to a time of year that I love in the moments of clarity I am given to enjoy it. Too often, however, I am forced to witness these delights through the unspoken veil of self pity; the fabric of which is itchy and opaque, both provoking and frustrating in equal measure. As a result I find myself tetchy and easily given to annoyance at the smallest detail. My bloody mindedness is still in full effect, which makes me refuse to give in to the stereotype of 'manflu' however; reasoning that everyone suffers at this time of year and there's nothing anyone can do, my conclusion is that it's best to shut up and get on.
Unfortunately this attempt at stoicism (and I must emphasise that there is a massive part of me that does just want to curl up with a blanket, honey, lemon, ginger and a bucket of single malt) tends to reduce my empathy for the plight of others - from those around me who are also suffering (Aren't we all, so please just shut up!), to the world's wider problems (Yes there's a civil war, and growing poverty - but I've got a cold dammit!). My tolerance spirals down the plughole spurred by the tide of inefficiency and carrying the detritus of stupidity.
Aware of these changes to my personality I find myself even more dismayed by my inability to prevent them, my concentration worn away by my attempts not to let illness defeat me. At some point in the vortex of this vicious circle I find myself in in the clarity of its eye, and think 'Sod it!', deciding that the only solution is to give in to the internal conflict that has led to the massacre of my antibodies in a valiant defence of my immune system, before I emulate a similiar atrocity on those around me.
Curling up, with a duvet wrapped around me it occurs that my physical problem is not the problem - nope, that's all in my head.