I've been in bed for three days with what seemed, at first, quite an innocent little virus. Just a minor head cold, a slight sore throat. Not much more than in inconvenience, so I thought. But the next day I felt myself gradually sapped of energy, and then of appetite. My nose would run suddenly, entirely without warning, like someone had just turned on a tap. All I could do was lie in bed with a box of tissues, playing Spider solitaire and loitering around amazon.co.uk, feeling increasingly sorry for myself.
Mind you, I also got a fair bit of reading done. "Just in Case" by Meg Rosoff (Verdict: started well, then floundered through lack of satisfying plot) and "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield (Verdict: storytelling at it's best. Absorbing, escapist, and exquisitely written). I listened to the latter on my ipod, courtesy of audible.co.uk. If you've never tried audiobooks, I can't recommend them highly enough. There are few stories that aren't enhanced by being read aloud, and there's nothing like being able to immerse yourself in a novel while doing something 'useful' at the same - in my case, walking the dog, ironing, or simply lying in bed feeling like shit.
Back to Setterfield. I read her bio on the net. She's a veteran of two Arvon courses, which cocks a snook at anyone who thinks that creative writing tuition is a waste of time. But I can't help thinking about her tutors, and how they must have felt when they heard that one of their students had managed to snare over £1,000,000 in her first book deal.... ouch!