Monday, 16 February 2015


 - that time when you know you are growing old with the wrong woman -

Now we've got Valentines Day out of the way for another year..

In November I got my flu jab and felt indestructible. I gave blood in December, after that I felt bullet proof.

Well it's about six weeks later and at work I suddenly felt very chilly - then very very chilly. I went home early back to my flat shivering, climbed in the hottest bath I could run and then sat there topping it up with warm water until I felt warm. It took two hours.

Never felt anything like it and for a while thought I had pneumonia, luckily, I hadn't but when the rest of those symptoms and later complications arrived the symptoms did perfectly fit something else -  Adenovirus. It is now nearly a week later, I've just had my first consecutive sick days in about 15 years. Not properly slept in 72 hours and have found, as a non-optional extra, that I have gone onto develop conjunctivitis, which is at least the subject of my favourite Halloowen South Park episode ('Pink Eye').
This is the worst flu I've ever had and I'm lucky to have it now, because if I'd been ten years older I'd be in hospital now or worse.

Luckily I know I can get over it on my own.  I know what I need, and exactly what I don't need.

I think generally if I could fully share my subjective experience with British women with the rest of the  UK male population we would be living in a childless dystopian scifi thriller in a generation.

Specifically my own personal subjective experience of  relationships in the past tells me that the loving care you might hope to get from your British partner when you are ill is likely to be a lot more like "GET OFF YOUR ARSE IT IS ONLY MAN-FLU".

I'm not going to go into the history of the term, or the comedy industry that's grown up around it. Some regard it as a silly joke :

Wouldn't it be great if there was evidence that man flu was an actual thing rather than a fiction born of hypochondria, slackerdom and sexist exploitation?

In my experience it certainly is a real thing, not an aliment in itself but a handy excuse for your supposed nearest and dearest used to have a laugh at your expense when you are genuinely ill. The witless contempt I received from two different long term partners, on two different occasions, both overusing the word Man-Flu, had an even more lasting effect that my actual illness. What made it doubly annoying is that these  two were prize attention seekers who I'd been happy to wait on hand and foot when they'd been ill themselves.

Even if there was a term equivalent to Man-Flu used to describe malingering women, that could be employed without starting an avalanche of sexist controversy - would you use it on your partner? When they were ill? Consider this next time some pampered darling accuses you of play-acting for sympathy.

I don't like being miserable being ill and alone, but as always with being alone - it could be worse.

A 2010 survey by the Office for National Statistics reported on by the BBC World Service suggests that women call in sick twice as often as men do

In my case the watery eyes are conjunctivitis

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