It’s all London’s fault…
NOTE: I owe an apology to Ichabod Temperance, the author of the book I was supposed to review this week. But actually, I blame London. I’d gone down from Scotland because the UMAG* was visiting. If only she had agreed to stay in town with me, but unfortunately the UMAG seems to feel that as an infant, she should hang out with her parents, who were staying in the suburbs. (*Universe’s Most Adorable Grandbaby)
THAT meant we were all outside of London when the rail strike hit.
THAT meant we had to take a hire car into the city to make my train departure time from Kings Cross.
THAT meant every other car in London had to drive at speeds clocking considerably below those of advancing glaciers and/or (with surprising frequency) into each other, snarling traffic.
THAT meant that I had to run to catch the train at the very last second. (Me. Running. Could not end well…)
THAT meant that when I got to my seat at the very end of the platform for a train long enough to be halfway to Scotland by the time it left the station, it was already occupied by a screaming toddler.
THAT meant that when his mother offered to hold the thrashing child whose screams were approaching decibels more appropriate to nuclear alert sirens—did I mention that this was supposedly the quiet car?—I didn’t have enough breath left to do anything but gasp, “No worries. I’ll find other seat.”
And THAT, dear readers, meant that the only other available seat on the sold-out train was next to a gentleman who had a nonverbal message for me.
“I will be taking you to the bed. I will make you moan, and shake, and sweat, and groan. You will be reduced to a pathetic shell, a wreck. You will plead with me to stop but I have no mercy.” —his man-flu germs.
Yes, my new seatmate spent the next five hours making sincere and concerted attempts to cough up a few spare internal organs, whilst snorting enormous quantities of mucus back up into his nasal cavities.
We exchanged very few actual words, but the the tea trolley guy was sympathetic when my seatmate said his wife was going to their daughter’s recital instead of coming to meet his train, so he would have to take the bus. [More pointed coughing that put Mimi dying from La Bohème consumption to shame.]
By the next afternoon, I was running a fever and my throat hurt. By morning, everything else hurt and alarming gastrointestinal events had joined the party. But I’m a professional. I wasn’t going to let a little thing like imminent death stop me from writing that blog post. Well, that didn’t stop me. But those three whisky hot toddies sure did.
So yeah. All London’s fault.
Please. Come back tomorrow for my review of Ichabod Temperance’s steampunk epic series. I promise I won’t breathe on you. But I’ll make you a hot toddy.
MOTHER’S HOT TODDY RECIPE
2 Tablespoons whisky. (You should probably put some into the cup too…)
Juice of one lemon**
Honey (generous dollop)
Boiling water to fill cup
**There are people who put in orange slices studded with whole cloves and stir with a cinnamon stick. There are also people who order mixed drinks with little umbrellas. You know who you are.