Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Coughing is the spice of life!


I am thoroughly bored by my bout of bronchitis – it now is glorified by having a name of a known illness and by my having not one, but two puffers to do something to it.  My coughing is still at competition level, especially in the mornings and evenings and I am thoroughly put out.

I do not do illness very well.  I am more than prepared to have a day in bed from time to time to acknowledge that the human frame is prone to illness, but my tolerance does not really extend further than that.  And when the symptoms extend themselves to ten days then my patience is just about exhausted.

Today was one of those days when anything more than listless reading was impossible and after a light-ish lunch I took to my bed for an extended snooze.  I think that this was really quite a sensible idea and I felt both guilty and refreshed at the end of it.  I have convinced myself that this little jaunt to the land of Nod was necessary payment to get over the hump and work my way towards full health.

By way of acceptable displacement activity I have reorganized the spice jars.

When you see that sentence in a paragraph by itself the full fatuous emptiness of my activity is glaringly obvious.  However, I maintain (stoutly) that such activity is of proven worth.

My spice rack is a three-rack affair which is not in any way freestanding and therefore rests (the wrong way round) against a piece of kitchen wall next to the gas stove.  The spice jars have been a constant cause of irritation ever since I found some perfect ones in a local shop, decided to change everything with the immediate result of the shop instantly ceasing to stock them - and they have never stocked them since.  I did try a different jar with a metal clasp closure on them which were tiny and inefficient.  The time to change was obviously forcing itself upon me.

The trigger for the change was the opening of yet another Chinese Supermarket in our little town.  This was more of a hypermarket with furniture, umbrellas, electronics, plastic, artificial flowers and everything else that you could possibly think of.  You have to understand that in crisis struck Spain the Chinese are making their move to take over the entire commercial life of the country.  Today, Chinese shops are a byword for the places you go to find the thing that you can’t find anywhere else.  You may not get quality, but you do get “it”.

Amazingly I had no small stickers to go on the jars (which I previously bought from a distinctly “Chinese” everything-for-1€ section in Carrefour) and so was forced to go and shop.  The selection was not great but I did get the stickers and found a metallic something-or-other which I hoped could work as a spice rack.

It didn’t.  But Toni used a highly honed intelligence and made it work by adding a delightfully Heath-Robinson dongle to give it stability.  I have now made executive decisions about which spices have pride of place and which are condemned to life in a plastic box.  The area is now neat and cleared.

This is yet another example of a relatively small change making a huge difference in look and activity.  It is like changing the furniture, or just changing the furniture around which can give a whole new approach to living!

At the same shop as that which provided the jars I have also got my new notebooks for the new course.  The idea of making do with a small quarto book was simply not sufficient to allow the exercises that the OU demands and so I have had to get a couple of A4 plain paper books to give opportunity to keep up with what needs to be done and to have some central area for reference when the OU asks you to refer to the notebooks to justify you productions.  I am sure that it will all make sense in time.

There are now seven days to go to the examination and the past couple of days have not helped my plans for revision.  Today I have done very little (well, none) but I have done some writing for the next course.  I have completed my daily haiku; I have done some Freewriting and I have also used the clustering technique to get ideas flowing.  I am sure that this will soon become a habit, but it does seem a little artificial at the moment.  Still, artifice is what it is all about.

Tomorrow, phlegm permitting, I will crack on the end of the second book and start the third.  There is still plenty of time for me to give more than adequate attention to all the areas which I will have to explain in the exam and be able to do some work on the new course.  Saturday is the official start of A215 Creative Writing and Sunday will see us in the delayed meal in Irene’s.

We have to visit her soon as our collection of plastic bottle tops has now outgrown our plastic bottle top container!  The collection of these things is part of an effort to get help to a young child who is suffering from meningitis.  I have to say that I have been horrified by the number of plastic bottles of whatever that we use during a couple of weeks.  Collecting the tops does however give us a sense of usefulness and there is never anything wrong with hugging that warm feeling of smugness that we are “doing the right thing”!

And the right thing for tomorrow is getting stuck in to the work that needs to be done thoroughly before the 10th!
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