There’s nothing quite like the ‘flu to kickstart a detox. I don’t know about you, but that was how 2018 began for me. There I was, on the flight home from Sydney, dreading the thought of giving up everything delicious in life when along came a virus which ensured nothing passed my lips for days. Everyone here in London has had flu, flu and more flu; Aussie flu, Japanese flu, H1N1 flu, Ol’ Swine flu and the list of maladies goes on. Mine evolved with what imagined were tiny men pulling on my orbital nerves, a strange buzzing sensation in my face and relentless nausea. When I finally scraped myself off the bathroom floor and the comfort of both its tiles and its damp bathmat, I floated off into the ether for days like a bewildered creature trapped in a Damian Hurst sculpture. I quite literally couldn’t get out of bed. Broth became my friend and when my eyes stopped vibrating I binge read ‘Eleanor Oliphant’ and took yet more Paracetamol.The Workaholic had flown into London for a few days and was able to take up the reigns of the recalcitrant young people riding roughshod round homework jail  screaming for mercy and relief from the multitude of assessments they  like to spring on kids in the first few days of the year.

“I, like, literally just got back to school, and I have this much homework.” Daughter displays dexterous eye rolling abilities and a list of fifteen tasks to be completed, seemingly overnight . “I’m going to FAIL”.

Young son comes in looking shaken and mystified in the wake of A Verbal Reasoning Exam. Both boys boots are caked in mud. They need freshly squeezed orange juice.

When I finally got off my deathbed I caught the Tube to the theatre under London Bridge and all the talk in the lobby was which flu was the most current. On the way there Jubilee Line was full of suffering masses sneezing wetly and coughing extravagantly- spreading the love.( On a brighter note,  I spied the cast of Horrible Histories in the foyer, not coughing at all.)

Just as I recovered from Face Buzzing Flu another family member went down with the Full Aussie, then another with Yamagata, then another and on it went, an endless revolving sick bay. Hence the cabin fever. Instagram posts of Bondi Beach don’t help what ails you and theres only so much lemon honey tea a man can take.

January has been long, grey, grey and more grey. Cold and wet with chunky mists, blustery winds all coming in from the Arctic without the twinkle or the sparkle of December gusts. And as Hobnobs and Chablis are off the menu one can feel a little Blue Monday more frequently than just that one lone day in the month will allow.But today is the 31st (the 311th?) and February beckons. With it the promise of more daylight and less microbes fouling up the joint. Some blossoms will appear on the tree outside the Freud Museum. I look forward to an end to the Detox Tyranny, witnessing Dunkirk being rewarded more accolades for excellence in film making, enjoying my friends’ incredible work soon be released and continuing to slog on  my manuscript which I am still weeding but am ever hopeful the buds will soon sprout anew.