As I was cooking the supper last night I began to feel as though I might be getting a cold. Shivery, achy, with a touch of sore throat and a scintilla of a snivel. I went to bed early with the electric blanket cranked up to three and wearing pyjamas instead of just a camisole. They are from the Museum Selection catalogue in a cheerful vintage design of pink and green chintz, only when I first got them the Systems Administrator said that they made me look as though I was dressed as a sofa.
This morning when I woke up I remembered that the previous night I'd thought I might be getting a cold, and tried to work out how that was going. Things didn't feel too bad while lying under the duvet with the electric blanket, but felt less good once I'd got as far as the bathroom. My heart sank, filled with dread lest it should turn into a rerun of last year's cold, and the year before, and hang around intermittently until May. Probably it will not be as bad as that.
It's unfortunate that at the moment I'm reading Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain set in an alpine TB clinic where stays are measured in months and years, not weeks. Only in translation, since I don't know more than half a dozen words of German. I read Buddenbrooks a few years back in a spirit of enquiry while more than half expecting it to be very heavy going indeed. A boyfriend at Oxford who had to read it as part of his Modern Languages grumbled that Thomas Mann kept going on about what shaped nose everybody had and it is true, he does, but Buddenbrooks turned out to be a thoroughly good read nonetheless. And so is The Magic Mountain which has a sprightly tone, not what I might have expected from a novel of nearly a thousand pages by a German winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. I once tried to read Voss a long time ago when I was Interrailing, another long book by a Nobel laureate, and it was so crashingly dull that I left it unfinished in a waste bin on a German railway platform. I digress. I have just got to the part of The Magic Mountain where the hero who thought he was simply visiting his cousin in the clinic has himself been diagnosed with TB, which is not the sort of plot arc to make the reader feel that their incipient cold will be over in a jiffy.
So I have done nothing today except sit close to the Aga and look for Christmas shopping ideas on the internet in a desultory way, accompanied by Mr Fluffy who spent the day lying on the kitchen table. Tomorrow I am supposed to be going to a carol service followed by a tea party, and on Sunday I am supposed to be going to another tea party, and after that a gentle trail of modest amusements stretches away to Christmas. It would be a real bind to end up missing them, or else shivering and snivelling my way through while generously sharing my germs with my friends and acquaintances.