coughing – first published 30 October 2013

One of my Dali prints just about sums it up
One of my Dali prints just about sums it up

There hadn’t been much walking going on due to feeling rubbish and not having enough sleep because of hacking my guts up most of the night. This was most definitely not an excuse. The coughing was an embarrassment especially on the bus to work. I could sense the other passengers trying to edge away from the horribly contagious and horrendously loud woman trying to sink down in her seat. The more I tried not to cough the worse it was, huge loud barks exploded out of me and I was all red faced and runny eyed.

30 October 2013

There wasn’t any time to investigate the practice inbox exercises because I had a notebook full of dictation to type up and lots of urgent emails to fire off. This kept me busy most of the morning in between mad coughing fits and trips to the kitchen to get more hot honey and lemon. There was so much of it I didn’t even have any coffee! It seems to me I have probably consumed more calories in honey than in food today and yesterday come to that. The calorie count on the side of the honey jar says fifty calories a teaspoon, lemon juice is negligible but at approximately four hundred mugs a day (ok, I may be exaggerating slightly there) that amounts to a lot of calories! What with that and the lack of walking…

Alice suggested some cough mixture called Pholocodine which is supposed to suppress coughing. I’m thinking she was getting fed up sitting opposite Typhoid Mary. Really, I was getting fed up with hearing myself coughing so the rest of the office was probably ready to lynch me. Tomorrow they’ll probably all turn up with Michael Jackson style face masks to protect them from my germs. If I didn’t have so much to do I’d have stayed home.

More in hope than expectation I walked up to Boots at lunch time and bought some of the cough mixture. Alice had said they might question me because the stuff contains codine so they might think I was an addict. They didn’t ask but the atrocious barking probably convinced them I really did have a cough. Walking back past the demolition site I could see progress even above the big blue barriers. A second big orange digger, hidden from our office window, is round the back of the building working away. The old shopping mall is now all ragged concrete edges with thick steel wires sticking out like weird eyelashes.

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The storm has stripped many of the colourful leaves of the trees which is a shame. When I turned the corner by the office the box hedge appeared to be wearing quite a few of them, along with a fair few green ones that didn’t even get a chance to take on autumn colours. It seems as if the gales have robbed us of our autumn.

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When I read the label on the cough mixture bottle it told me it may cause drowsiness and not to drive or operate machinery if I took it. Probably not going to help my concentration then! In the end, for the sake of the sanity of my colleagues, who were beginning to give me dirty looks whenever I coughed, and my own head, which felt as if it was going to explode if I didn’t stop coughing, I risked one spoonful, the children’s dose.

Why does cough medicine have to taste so vile? Seriously, couldn’t someone invent some that tastes like chocolate or something nice? It did seem to help a bit though and I didn’t notice feeling any more tired than I already did, what with the not sleeping properly. The rest of the afternoon was spent working on a long list of my duties along with a spreadsheet of entertainment costs for 2013 for Arabella for her meeting tomorrow. This is the final redundancy meeting, mine is just before hers.

Despite her many misgivings, I’m pretty sure she will accept their offer to relocate to the new office. For her it isn’t much different in terms of travelling time than coming to Southampton. The trouble is she won’t have a proper assistant if she does and I think she wants to make them understand just how much work I do and how much she relies on me. To be honest, until I started the list, even I didn’t know how much I did. Now if only she could persuade them to let me stay on working from home! I’m pretty sure she would if she could.

The sky outside the office window was breathtakingly beautiful tonight. I’m so aware that my chances to look out at this amazing view are running out that I can’t stop taking pictures. The thought of not watching the sun going down over the city from the fourteenth floor is almost worse than the thought of not having my job any more. Maybe if I talk nicely to Dave in reception he’ll let me sneak in sometimes just to have a look.

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Even from ground level the swirling grey clouds tinged with pink had me looking skywards rather than where I was walking. Goodness knows how I didn’t walk into a lamppost or fall down a pot hole. Against the remaining golden leaves on the trees outside St Mary’s church it was so achingly prefect I had to stop and take a picture.

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Marie

Writer, walker, coffee drinker, chocolate eater, lover of nature, history and the little things that make me smile

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