Announcement: there will be no backblips, this screed is the sole representative of the five-day gap in the blip continuum.
If I hadn't taken a photo today, I would have gone a whole week without posting – unthinkable! It also records the first time I've left the house since Thursday morning. Since then I've been tossing and turning with a fever that at one point reached 39.8C. Limp as a wet dishcloth; literally wet, as I kept waking up with clammy bedclothes sticking to me and delirious dreams whirling round my head. All programmed events gone: choir meeting, first rehearsal of the season, blipping, working on the photo book I need to finish by the end of the month …
Still, the good news is that this is my doctor's surgery, where I finally made it this afternoon. He swiftly diagnosed a severe urinary infection and sent me off with a prescription for some giant orange pills, plus plenty of paracetamol to dull the pain. So hopefully it will soon be seen off. “Don't do any sport,” advised the pharmacist, apparently seriously, as she handed over the pills. I laughed and said it was very unlikely, before hauling my trembling, enfeebled body out of the shop and into the car. I hadn't even felt capable of driving myself, S had to take me.
It's not even like I could self-diagnose via Google – the other reason I haven't posted is that our Internet connection has been broken since Wednesday. That means no internet, no phone, and mobile phone only if you're prepared to shudder on a public bench (I'm not).
On Thursday morning I went to the cafe in Fabrezan to report it to Orange. This went as you might expect. You can't report a fault by phone – you have to do it online, even if the fault is that you can't get online. I went online and to my pleasure it told me there was a fault on the line. “Click here to view details”. I did, and was sent to a page that said “Everything is tickety-boo. Nothing to see here.” I tried phoning and the bot on the other end of the line sent me a text with a link to the web page I'd just been looking at. So I left with little idea of whether Orange was even aware of the problem, let alone making any effort to solve it. No, was my surmise. We miss our expensive professional contract where you could speak to a human and usually get things sorted within a couple of days. They'd even ring up later to check everything was OK. Admittedly this was because the service was so bad that they had to keep apologising. The good news today was that they now claim it will be fixed by tomorrow evening.
So, cut off from the world … one of those trendy digital detoxes. No Twitter, no Facebook, no Blip, no newspapers, no email. Not necessarily a bad thing these days. An advantage of being so ill was that I didn't care too much. In the hours when I'm vaguely awake, I'm reading Anna Burns' Booker-winning Milkman. I know people go on about how difficult it is, but honestly it's hardly Lincoln in the Bardo difficult. Did people complain as much about that, or did they just praise it to the skies as a work of (male) genius? (disclaimer: I liked Lincoln in the Bardo very much). Unfortunately until today I've only managed 3-4 pages at a time because my brain is too addled to follow it. I read a good chunk in the doctor's waiting room though – the creepy bit with the cat's head :-/.
So bye for now from the cafe with the wifi ...