Posted in Personal life

Flu Fury

(My column for the January issue of the Hawkesbury Parish News)

Baby Laura asleep in winter fur hat
My daughter Laura demonstrating at an early age that sleep is the best medicine

When, like a less powerful cousin of the Grim Reaper, flu stalked the village before Christmas, I was one of its victims. The first half of December passed me by in a blur.

It’s only when you’re on the mend from a nasty bug that you realise how poorly you’ve been, and what bad decisions you’ve made while unwell, e.g. being fobbed off with an unnecessary prescription for penicillin by the GP’s triage system.

The older I get, the more suspicious I become of conventional medicines. I prefer my own remedies: tea, chocolate, and sleep, in unlimited quantities. None of these come with patient information leaflets full of scary warnings in small print, and each makes you feel better in its own way.

I also think I’m the best judge of my own recovery. When I find myself spoiling for a fight with the doctor’s receptionist over the phone, rather than meekly accepting whatever she tells me, I know I’m on the mend.

Another good measure is my tolerance of daytime television. Finding it scintillating entertainment means I need more bedrest and convalescent time. When I find myself shouting at its stupidity, I consider myself cured.

If you’ve been stricken with flu this winter, I hope you have a speedy recovery, and I wish a happy and health New Year to the Parish News team and all its readers.


English author of warm, witty cosy mystery novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Gemma Lamb/St Bride's School series. Novels published by Boldwood Books, all other books by Hawkesbury Press. Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agents. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Course tutor for Jericho Writers. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors. Lives and writes in her Victorian cottage in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

9 thoughts on “Flu Fury

  1. I know what you mean about daytime TV – when I’m ill I rely on it for distraction from horrible symptoms. It seems a lot more interesting than it does when I’m OK, and definitely more interesting than the symptoms I’m trying to escape from.
    alisonjackauthor, you’re lucky never to have been ill enough to watch Jeremy Kyle – I have, and it wasn’t pretty!

  2. Not only have I had the flu, I am also mid treatment for breast cancer, and although the tumour was removed without a problem, the regime of drugs is making my head spin. My body doesn’t tolerate drugs of any kind, never has, and the list of side effects would make a strong person cringe!
    Hope you’re feeling much better now…

    1. Oh, poor you – flu is a walk in the part compared to what you’re going through. I’ve just read a really lovely little book by an author friend who has just come out the other side of breast cancer treatment. The photo on the front was taken on her first walk in the country about 10 days after her mastectomy – amazing! I’ve reviewed it on my bookblog here too:

  3. The last time I had flu I watched my entire collection of Harry Potter films – all eight of them. It certainly beat staring vacuously at endless repeats of Come Dine With Me or Top Gear (I don’t think I’ve ever been ill enough to watch Jeremy Kyle), but I know I’m on the mend when I switch off the telly and switch on my Kindle.

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