For almost a week now I have been suffering from a particularly unpleasant bout of man flu. It’s only this morning that I have felt a sense of normality returning and I could be found skipping round the condo attending to chores, accompanied by Plan B and Florence and the Machine (not simultaneously); although I must admit I am now feeling like I could do with a little lie down.

My wife is most solicitous on these occasions, and her immediate reaction is that we must go to hospital. My protestations that it is merely a sore throat, announcing the onset of man flu, is not enough to silence her. A firm statement that I am not going to go to Bangkok Pattaya Hospital to waste two hours of my life amongst sick people to be given assorted bags of pills I don’t need and a bill for 2,000 baht, usually does the trick.

She then moves into folk medicine mode, the weirdest of which is the Vick in a sock trick. The first night was disturbed by a most unpleasant cough. The second night I was just settling down to sleep and I felt my wife slapping Vick Vapour Rub all over the soles of my feet; and then encasing my feet in socks. W? and indeed, TF?

What are you doing?
This will stop you coughing?
You’ll see.

And I did, I had a cough free night. Pure coincidence of course and the following night I refused the soggy sock treatment, I wasn’t falling for this superstitious nonsense. As a result, I ended up sleeping in the spare room because my coughing was so bad. Since then I have requested the treatment; rubbish of course but makes her happy (and stops me coughing).

Whenever I get sick, mother-in-law is quickly on the phone ensuring that her daughter is giving me adequate attention. Between the two of them they came up with the cure-all for flu; Brand’s Chicken Essence. I don’t know if you have ever had this, but if you have you will never forget it. It tastes utterly vile, and you are burping up vileness for hours. Unluckily for me, she who must be obeyed had been given some as a New Year’s gift by a customer, and there were three bottles left in the fridge.

At the height of my misery she thrust one into my hand.

Take this, it will make you feel better.
Not immediately it won’t.

Sod’s law dictated that I was indeed feeling a little better the following day, although I was sure it was just the natural course of things. Still, there were only two bottles left; so in for a Vick-soaked sock, in for a couple of swallows of goodness knows what; at least it makes my wife happy.

A couple of days later and I am feeling much recovered and the bottles of Brand’s are finished; double joy.

Then my wife returns home from work and announces she has a present for me. Good, I like presents. Usually:

Small technical note: the above was taken handheld at 1/8th second, E-M5 stabilisation is rather good.