Columnist Di Wade writes about her month of coughing fits, Harry Potter and La La Land.
It’s a lonely old business coughing. It’s not that people don’t care exactly (I think). It’s just that their appreciation of your plight tends to be inextricably linked to their own inability to hear themselves think, which oddly, tends to occupy them rather more than your likely exhaustion and rearranged innards.
Having coughed myself sore and silly the whole second half of February, (heatwaves, daffodils and the utter incomprehensibility of La La Land barely registering), I was more than ready for something new.
March 1: Coughed the first night of the European Indoor Athletics Championships into inaudibility. Worse, I and a like-minded friend were off on a coach to Harry Potter World the next day. At this rate, I’d be cursed to oblivion before we’d reached Preston.
March 2: Miraculously, arrived in one piece. And it was escapist, donning Gryffindor robes, trying on sorting hats, standing beside Harry’s broom and strolling down Diagon Alley and through the spider-haunted Forbidden Forest.
March 3: Interesting though London is, (even in the rain), it’s invariably a relief to start seeing signs for the north on the way back, especially when the air-conditioning’s kick-started your cough again – and it’s taken you two hours to get past Watford:
Finally re-crossed my own threshold at 9:45.
March 4: Remarked to my taxi-driver that, having done the Euro Lottery last week, I’d been dreaming of a bright red Ferrari and Italian chauffeur. Yes, he said, and I’d got a local guy driving a Ford Focus. He seemed not the least bit sorry – and this after his delight at my redoubled Monday morning bleariness. But his next stop was a course akin to teaching your grandmother to suck eggs, so that’d sort him. I spent the rest of the day coughing, before falling asleep during the heats of the athletics I’d painstakingly recorded.
March 5: Ditto, but I did manage to stay awake for my pancakes.
March 6: Insisted, through a royal coughing fit, (not inappropriately given William and Kate’s presence in town), that I was getting better. My colleagues just said ‘yeah right’ and asked what flowers I wanted at my funeral. Should’ve bought a Voldemort wand, and hexed them.
March 7: Ended World Book Day with a curry which should have been a supreme and might have been a bolognese, a tale of three sauces unremarkable to me but apparently an entertainment classic to everyone else. Still I aim to amuse.
March 8: Attested to coughing exhaustion by awaking minutes before my taxi was due. The shock! And someone clearly needed to invent that car I could drive myself.
March 13: Went to Abigail’s party and didn’t cough all over her. Result – and Jodie Prenger excellent in a performance befitting an unfailingly stunning Grand.
March 17: Ended a weekend of comic relieved by friends, (who needs Lenny Henry or a red nose?), by lighting all my lamps, settling down to reread Harry Potter – and hoping for a decidedly more magical, and, more crucially cough-free April.