I suppose I should have suspected it might all go pear-shaped when the “friend” in Switzerland announced she wouldn’t be home despite our arrangements to visit and stay with her. As you may recall, things became still more stressful when our friend in Spain with whom we were due to stay failed – until the last moment – to produce the required letter of invitation D need to get his visa.
I had, however, thought after all that, we were home free. Ah me, the best laid plans of mice and Vanillas – especially when Mercury is in retrograde through Taurus. Oh yes, that really puts sod’s law to work.
We arrived in London at 6am after an 11 hour flight. We couldn’t, we discovered, check into our hotel until lunchtime and so wandered the streets of Mayfair and W1 and communed with the ducks on the Serpentine in Hyde Park.
Wandering the streets of Mayfair and W1
Finally we returned to the hotel to discover they’d bungled our reservation and we’d been put in the wrong room – a matter which couldn’t be rectified until the following day as the hotel was fully booked. A few sharp words later and having got hopelessly lost navigating the multiple staircases in the hotel we collapsed in a soggy sort of heap.
The following day, having left the toxic soup that is the London Underground I felt a niggle in the back of my throat… By the next morning I was as sick as the proverbial dog, or should I say pig… Aching, feverish, sore throat, cough, snotty nose. Yep, I had it flu, and most likely, we think, swine flu.
I spent two days dosed to the gills on Day Nurse so I could meet up with my wonderful children’s writer friends (many of whom you'll find in my sidebar) and fellow blogger, Fire Byrd. I don’t remember too much of it but I do know that they were all the most special and friendly people and courtesy of several colas and coffees, I had a wonderful time.
Then I spent two days lying in bed sweating and shivering and feeling like all hell. Then I spent a day overdoing it – determined to meet my bloggy pals, Sue Guiney, Debi Alper and Lettuce.
And then I knew I really should go home as I could feel my system heading for a state of total collapse.
But of course, the rational – i.e. irrational – mind likes to think it knows better than the body’s wisdom so fate felt the need to intervene. The day before we were due to fly to Spain, I received a call to say our friend there had had a heart attack and was intensive care. He wasn’t in any danger, I was told, and he had said we could stay in his new apartment but we wouldn’t be able to see him.
It didn’t take rocket science to realise that going to Spain was off the cards, and when we calculated the cost of staying on in London for an extra five days and my old gut woes started to grumble, there seemed only one sensible thing left to do. Heed the signs and Go Home!
It must have been “meant to be” because we got a flight out the following night and by the time I saw my doctor, she took one look at me and said, “Bed, for a week, or you’ll have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome!”
So there you have it and such is the way of life. You go with the flow, ride the punches, learn a few important lessons on the way – like… we will never, ever arrange to stay with friends ever again!
And now it’s back to the manuscript, plotting and further research!