Last week, I succumbed to a microscopic super-bug.  Not only did it incapacitate me for a week, but it also made me feel emotionally fragile.

I was so close finishing a 92,000 edit when I woke up one morning feeling like someone had been massaging my tonsils with sandpaper during the night.

During the following night, I developed a cough (something I never get) and was rummaging around in the bathroom cupboard at 2.00 a.m. trying to find cough medicine.  I was lucky, I found some, but it didn’t work, probably because it went past its sell-by date in 2016. The following morning, every inch of my aching body had surrendered to a micro-beast 🤒, which kept me flat on my back for seven days.


During my supine week, the fug in my head made it difficult to process most things, let alone finish the edit.  I did still retain the brainpower to operate the TV remote, but everything I watched made me cry.

I wept about Megan and Harry, leaving dear old blighty for Canada, in between binge-watching The Crown, when I started crying every time Hanz Zimmer’s powerful theme tune started playing.  My depression wasn’t entirely focussed around the factual and fictional goings-on within our Royal Family,  because I finished my first box of man-sized tissues watching Notting Hill, for the umpteenth time. Puppy dog Hugh Grant and his floppy fringe always did it for me in 1999, and still does 20 years on.

I tried sleeping off the bastard bug but, sleep eluded me as I sweated out the virus, while agonising about when I was going to get around to finish editing my 92,000 words.

I am glad to report that, as soon as swatted the minibeast, I finished my edit remarkably quickly.  So to anybody currently suffering from the ‘flu, or another miserable virus, I am living proof that there is life beyond the bastard bug.  I hope you get well soon.

20th June 2020

After I wrote this, I felt incredibly guilty as COVID-19 was beginning to take hold and people were losing their lives.  In hindsight, such a wonderful thing, I now hope my January 2020 encounter with such a Bastard Bug might have been COVID-19.