One of the things about sharing a house with Julie is the unending stream of animals brought through the doors. This week she brought over a tiny duckling which looked like it wasn't going to survive. She nursed it along for a week but it didn't make it. If there's one thing my experiences with my sister's poultry have taught me, it's how frail and fragile life is.
This of course is the reason that I can't use any of the reading lamps in my house: they've all been pressed into service in makeshift incubators for ailing chickens and ducks. It would be interesting to check my electricity bill for before and after they arrived....
Slowly I get better and better each day. The only sign of my flu now is the intermittent barking cough that sounds worse than it feels.
My sister, however, is being much slower to shake it off and retains many of the symptoms that plagued her all last month. This is regrettable because this weekend is her 40th anniversary school reunion and she'd rather not be coughing all over her old friends.
When I say I'm almost well again that might be a slight exaggeration. I do find that I no longer have the stamina or the concentration that I normally expect. Yesterday the photocopier went wrong yet again at the office and I all but threw up my hands and surrendered utterly. (Fortunately the repairman made a rush visit and got us going again – thanks to Dane and all at Prosys Office Equipment.) I wouldn't have folded up so quickly under normal circumstances; it seems I still have a little way to go.
For example, I was knocked for six by an unfortunate coincidence last weekend. Saturday was Grand Final Day, which unsettles me not because I'm a football fan but because that was the day my mother died. On Sunday I tuned in to watch Songs of Praise as usual and found that they were doing a special programme on bereavement. Out of 52 weekends in the year they had to choose this one. The first man they interviewed described his loss in terms that were so similar to my own that I almost burst into tears. My emotional reserves seem to be at an all-time low.
Likewise my memory is not good, though it's a lot better than Julie's is (I've lost count of the times she's mislaid her mobile phone this month). Last night I took the video cassette out of the VCR after watching the latest episode of Mythbusters. Tonight I went to use the same tape to record something after that show. Do you think I could find it? I trailed around the house for half an hour like a lamb that had lost sight of its mother. Never did find it.
Slowly getting used to Daylight Saving. It always takes a week or so to get used to it. I do have some difficulty working out when to listen to the streaming-audio programmes on Internet radio – I know that My Word on KIPO is an hour later, but I seem to have trouble keeping track of when to tune in to WRVO's evening of Old Time Radio.
Remember the haiku I sent in to the local radio station contest? Well, I didn't win, but they phoned up the other day to say they were sending me a consolation prize. I duly received a colourful 2007 calendar from Delicious magazine (value $16-95) which should look good on my wall next year. Not a bad result for a poem that took me five minutes to write.