Monthly Archives: December 2008

Can anyone hear dripping?

I hate that feeling you get when you know a cold, or its trendier cousin manflu, is about to whack you around the sinuses. That tickle or tingle, that second sense. You know you’re about to endure a week of coughing and headaches, a week of endless fountains of snot, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

I could have opened a snot shop this week, let me tell you. I’m no stranger to a runny nose as you know. In fact I may be the original post-nasal drip. But this week has been exceptional in the history of la cosa nostril. I have endured torrents of it. I sometimes wondered whether I might drown in it. I can categorically state that I have never been so pleased at the sight of a fresh twin pack of man-sized as I was on Sunday when the floods came.

This particular illness – more than a cold, less than proper flu, thankfully not the winter vomiting virus – is the worst I’ve had for at least ten years. I even had two days off work, which generally only occurs when I have one of my few remaining body parts removed or when I get made redundant. What’s most annoying on this occasion is that it’s my third – and by far the worst – bout of some kind of cold-like nasty in no more than a month.

It might even be the same illness, beaten back twice by my internal superbugs only to catch me the third time when a little sluggish after a late night. But I prefer to blame the filthy gays breathing at me, because it gives me the illusion of popularity. And yes, I have considered blaming the beard. (Resists urge to add: but she’s moving to Brighton.)

It’s clearing up now, anyhow. I was back at work today, in an office that sounded like episode one of Survivors only with better acting than Freema Agyeman. At least I now have plausible deniability when half the staff’s family Christmases are ruined (“Let it snot, let it snot, let it snot”). In any case I’ll probably be on cold #4 by the time I go back to work in January. I shall use my few precious moments of snotlessness to mount a dawn raid on Boots in preparation. When that tickle comes, by god I shall be ready for the onslaught. I’ll bottle it and sell it as spot cream.


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The Hairy Drinkers

In a sure sign of impending mid-life crises, both Chef and I have recently sprouted facial growths. In my case the trigger was a broken razor and no time to buy a new one, followed by laziness. I’m now trimming it every few days.

This is all just preamble to avoid a sudden shock when you view the photos from last night’s annual Exsquiddy Christmas Party. The photo here shows the resolutely clean-shaven Saverio, stalwart of La Margherita these many years and our cool and efficient waiter again last night.

Before and after La Marg we drank at The Punter. In fact Mikey and I started the day’s drinking at The Pickerel, having rashly assumed that we were all meeting up at the same place as usual. I’m blaming that additional pint, and that alone, for this morning’s hangover. I have to, really, I don’t remember much else of the night.

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Sitting in Costa Coffee my mind wanders, as it does, onto irregular verbs.

I’m no linguist so the precise terminology escapes me, but irregular verbs seem to generally follow one of three patterns: A/A/A (bet/bet/bet, for example), A/B/B (build/built/built) or A/B/C (smite/smote/smitten).

There are a few A/B/A, such as come/came/come. But can you think of any A/A/B?

I can think of one, and it’s a new one that doesn’t make any lists yet. Officially I’m sure it’s not considered irregular, but if you listen to people speaking they use it irregularly all the time.

I contend that text/text/texted is this new irregular verb. The number of times you hear a sentence like “I text Darren last night and he said…” is proof to me that people are using it irregularly in the simple past form. I’ve never heard it used that way as a participle, it’s “I’d texted him” not “I’d text him”.

Am I right?

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