Monday, 17 November 2008

Cough, splutter

Yuck. Here comes my first cold of the winter. I woke up on Saturday on a week-end away in Brighton, feeling absolutely fine. But by 10.30 had a streaming cold and a sore, sore throat. So, off we went to those nice people at Watts & Co for some medication, leaving some time later with a small hamper full of pharmaceutical goodies.

Apart from feeling hopelessly sorry for myself (ah, a case of man 'flu, I hear you say...), I was pondering where I'd picked it up. I've been out for meals twice this week, and made a visit to the new Westfield Shopping Centre, so could have picked it up there, but I suspect it was more likely to be the packed tube and overground trains I caught on Thursday and Friday.

The sardine-like conditions we're expected to endure, travelling in the capital, really are the perfect place for exchanging germs: warm, stuffy carriages, with lots of close contact. When someone sneezes (without covering their mouth, naturally), you can almost hear the cries of glee from the little bugs as they are propelled on their way to infect a new victim.

Something I don't understand about my fellow travellers in these conditions is why no-one thinks of opening a window, to let some fresh air in and blow a few of the bugs out. So often the windows are all steamed up inside, and it's suffocatingly stuffy, yet every window remains resolutely and firmly shut. I often feel I'm a one-man window opening service: I force my way onto the carriage, and then hear myself say, 'could someone open a window, please?'. Invariably, someone obliges, but I don't know why it didn't occur to them to do it before.

Another of life's unfathomable mysteries, I suppose...

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