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5:30pm on Monday, 16th February, 2009:

A Sense of Doom


Last week, one of the prospective students I interviewed seemed to have a bit of a sniffle. Realising that I could easily catch a cold from him, I tried to keep my distance; however, when he left he held out his hand, so I had to shake it.

It was wet.

It wasn't merely moist, it was wet, like the hand of someone in a state of advanced fever might have. I didn't have a chance to wash it before the next prospective student appeared seconds later, and as a consequence was overcome by a sense of impending doom.

Sure enough, the doom impended. On Friday, I could feel something starting at the back of my nose; on Saturday, it got worse; on Sunday, it developed into a full-blown special.

I've mentioned before how bad my colds are. This one came with aching knees and teeth (no, I don't know why) plus a dose of the shivers, which is very unusual for me; I also felt tired the whole time, and indeed did spend several hours of Sunday asleep in various chairs. When I went to bed I slept fitfully, but seem to have got over the worst of it. Today, it was just a case of carrying a pocketful of tissues with me at all time and blowing my nose a lot during the lectures (much to the alarm of the students).

I suppose, looking on the bright side of things, I should be pleased I got it now rather than the day after tomorrow when I'm driving to Newport to give a talk. I'll probably have a nasty cough, but I'll be in a fit state to drive non-stop for four hours and to speak for an hour and a half.

On the less bright side of things, I'd rather not have had the cold at all, of course...

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Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).