These last few weeks have been spent under a cloud, or rather several clouds, each of which have rather prevented me from writing in turn (although I did get another 5% of my secret project done.) After returning from the north and then Cardiff, I felt the usual spasms start to ferment in my lower spine, and within a week I was… let’s say “walking funny.”
No sooner did my back muscles start to relent, than I dislocated my shoulder. A week ago today was particularly frosty, and so I was picking my way home on my bike, until an emergency vehicle began to loom far behind me. Like a good fellow road user I pulled over into a handy layby to let them past and changed right down to my lower gear.
As I set off again, my chain slipped, causing me to fall forward and stop myself with my palms on my handlebars, landing hard. Something then happened in my left shoulder – a rapid procession of dislocation/relocation – and how I managed to get off my bike with only one useful arm and a cleat still engaged, I have yet to really work out. For a few days afterwards I was slinged up, and my rotator cuff still hurts occasionally, warmly.
Back and shoulder on the mend, yesterday I came down with a terrible cold. I felt it building all day: I was having difficulty answering straightforward questions, and my throat was occasionally sore. The crux came after an evening meeting with local sustainability people (nice in themselves, but scarcely what I was up for) and I decided – probably already feverish – to put a few posters up on the outside of the building where an event is going to happen this weekend.
The weather last night was wild, to put it simply, and so I arrived home wet, cold, and shivering far beyond the reaches of any central heating, thermals or blankets. Today I have been mostly insensible for, having had a feverish night of no sleep, and suffering from a temperature and stuffy head. Only in the past few hours has the fog lifted, yet I still feel exhausted.
One of my goals for autumn was “Keep fit.” I appreciate, in retrospect, that such a goal was neither clever nor – in the project-management sense – SMART. My efforts are now directed towards K. letting it be notched up as a failure: after all, had I done more back exercises; had I actually agreed with my boss to do resistance-band exercises with him when my shoulder first went in bed a month or so ago; and had I, well… vitamin C? Echinacea? Something, anyway: I can’t help feel that, while colds are hardly avoidable, they rarely hit me quite so hard.
Let’s be honest, I’ve hardly spent the past few weeks – let alone months – as an advertisement for healthy living, unless the narrative of said campaign is “survival against all odds.” And they’re never going to get that one past the focus groups.