Laid low by that thing called "a cold" which is actually a slap in the face, a kick in the gut, some well-placed punches to nose and throat and a bit of eye-poking. Whatever measures you take to get rid of this agressive viral squatter, once it has occupied your premises it will happily guzzle all the Lem-Sips, hot toddies, cough syrups, echinacea and whatever else you consume in self-defense but it will not leave until it's bored and decides to hunt for another innocent victim. What the tiny thug likes best is wrecking well-laid plans, so my train ticket is in the wastebasket along with my anticipation of a fun day of drawing with a group of other artists who met up (without me) for a Portrait Party in Oxford on Saturday.
Doesn't it look just like it feels ? This is an image of the Cold Virus from here .
Since most of my energy is blown into tissues every few seconds, work on the Trans-Siberian images has been interrupted and even reading feels like too much effort. Music doesn't penetrate the fog and the computer is too demanding, so sleep and/or televison are the remaining options. Normally, I rarely turn on the tv except for the evening news and maybe an occasional film, but in the last few days I've overdosed on tv at all hours of day and night and this, I'm sure, is how total brain removal is achieved.
Your own mental content is pushed out and replaced by an unceasing stream of innumerable other people's mental content while you sit there hypnotised by the flickering screen. Some interesting, intelligent, informative, amusing things flicker by along with various degrees of idiocy, banality, violence and perversity but the flow of images and sounds doesn't differentiate between them anymore than an ocean differentiates between sailboats and sewage.
I can't prove it, but I'd be willing to swear that the more time is spent in front of a tv screen, however worthy the fare, the more creative energy and originality is drained out of one's consciousness. I suppose the same thing could be said for sitting at a computer screen all day, or staring at any of the other digital gadgets feeding our brains visual and auditory information 24/7. Have you noticed the glazed, zombie-ish expression on the faces of teenagers, as well as pensioners, or any age group in between, who spend a great deal of their time staring at screens, be they small hand-held or wall-sized ones?
Anyway, it's only taken me all day to write this little blogpost so all is not lost. I will get on with getting on with the autobio, yes, and with Trans-Sib, of course. Give me another day or two to exterminate the woolly, creepy, sneaky, mushy, malfaisant, Machiavellian "common cold" and all will be well.