My cold has come around again for another outing. It has never really gone away since the start of the year. I met somebody at last Wednesday's talk who said in some puzzlement that he had a cold that seemed to keep coming back: the previous week he'd felt fine, and now he didn't. I knew how he felt. By Friday night I had an ominous dry cough and a slight sore throat, and by yesterday I was aching from head to toe. It's a small consolation that it's not just me that's suffering. Something is doing the rounds that is never desperately bad, but is extremely unwilling to let go once it's got you.
It is all very annoying. The garden is piled with cut branches that ought to go to the bonfire heap and be converted into useful shreddings and firewood. The hedges and borders are stuffed with uncut branches whose buds are bursting into life by the day, and urgently need cutting. There are three separate piles of Strulch bags scattered around the garden, whose contents ought to go on to the borders so that they can start doing their useful work and I can stop looking at the bags. There are seeds to be sown, pots of bulbs to be planted out, and the only thing I've done in the vegetable patch this year is to prune the vine. The hen house needs cleaning out.
Instead of doing any of these things I am sitting in front of the electric fire. I walked as far as the bottom of the garden this morning to check the rabbit trap, which contained no rabbits, and did not like the way my chest tightened even further in the cold air, while my arms ache as if I'd taken up amateur boxing, not done a moderate amount of light pruning the day before yesterday. It is very dull, but I would so much like to get better quickly and I'm not sure that dragging my reluctant body out into the garden is the way to do it. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Should you tell people when you feel ill? I tend to let it known in a general way when I am not well. I don't expect them to listen to endless recitations of symptoms, but if I am going to be disorganised, bad tempered or cancel things at the last minute I'd rather they knew there was a problem. It might save them taking my behaviour too personally. As it is I am supposed to be going to my new garden club on Tuesday, where I hope to see my friend who had to cancel our snowdrop visit because she had a cold. On Wednesday I am supposed to be seeing another friend who is taking me to a tea party, and on Friday I am supposed to be seeing a third friend for our rescheduled lunch from last week when I double booked myself. I very much hope to be fit to get to everything that's in the diary, but if any of us don't make it then at least let's admit it's because we have colds, or our middle aged lady hormones are making us disorganised, and not start making unconvincing excuses. There's no shame in a cold, but who wants to be flaky?