Late Musings On A Jaunuary Sunday

I am late to the blog today, as we went out early to deliver gifts to my step-children and grandchildren. Because we were both ill with Covid over Christmas, this served as a substitute ‘Christmas Day’ for all of us. While we were over there, a thunderstorm started, and we drove home in torrential rain. As soon as we got home, I had to take Ollie out for a much later than usual walk. We both got soaked!


The recovery from Covid continues. We are both testing negative, and Julie returned to work last week. As I mentioned earlier this week, the fatigue continues, and I am soon exhausted by trying to do anything physical. I appreciate this may take a long time, but at least I am able to sleep all night now.


Weather-wise, we have unusually warm weather for the time of year, punctuated by heavy showers, and occasional gale-force winds. It doesn’t feel much like January at all, to be honest.


I will do my best to catch up with everyone’s blogs next week.


I hope you all had a peaceful Sunday, whatever you are doing, and wherever you live.


A Covid Recap

I am now starting to think I may have seen the last of the bad bout of Covid-19 I endured recently. There are quite a few positives to report.

*I am able to sleep all night, as long as I make sure to stay propped up on extra pillows.
*The sore throat has gone, and I am able to enjoy eating and drinking once again.
*The cough is only really a bother at night, and 90% less distressing than it was a few days ago.
*There is no longer any need to take tablets or medication for congestion and other symptoms.

But I have some legacy of the virus that feels as if it is going to take some weeks or months to go away.

*I have almost no energy.
*Walking Ollie for 90 minutes leaves me completely exhausted, even after resting briefly on seats or benches during the walk.
*Trying to do anything remotely physical (I tried clearing away some fallen leaves and gave up) feels impossible.
*Despite sleeping all night, I wake up tired, and look forward to going to bed early.
*Even something as simple as having a bath and getting ready to take Ollie out leaves me drained.

Given that I had all the vaccinations and boosters, I can only imagine how much worse it might have been had I chosen not to have them.

It has been a lesson learned. Covid has not gone away, and we still have to take all available precautions against catching it. Even with the vaccinations and antibodies, it still almost sent me into hospital with breathing difficulties.

Just because I seem to have recovered so far, that doesn’t mean I can’t catch it again.

So my advice to everyone is to be very careful, and if you have symptoms like a cough and sore throat, get tested for Covid-19.

Missed It

I should have known better than to suggest I might stay up until 00:01 to see in the New Year. After a long day punctuated by coughing fits, the best I could do last night was to reluctantly munch a pizza at 18:30, then sit coughing until I just had to go to bed and lie down at 23:00.

So I slept through the moment, waking at 02:15 for yet another coughing fit. My first of 2023!
(Should I celebrate that moment perhaps?)

Fortunately, I was then able to go back to sleep until an hour ago.

The sun is shining in Beetley this morning, but not forecast to remain for the day. The birds are singing in the hedge outside.

At least it has stopped raining.

Musings On The Eighth Day

On the 21st of December, I tested positive for Covid-19 and wrote off Christmas 2022 as a non-event. The next few days became a blur of constant coughing, hardly getting any sleep, and not being able to lie down and rest.


Between us, we tried our best to scrape up some Christmas spirit. Julie was able to watch her grandchildren opening presents on the 25th, but only via video-link on her phone. Ollie received his gifts with his usual infectious excitement, and that at least gave us both some smiles. There was no traditional dinner though. We settled for two days of eating a selection of Tapas items that involved little preparation, and no cooking.


For the first few days, Julie had to take Ollie for his walks, as I wasn’t capable. Deciding to get some fresh air, I started taking him out again, sliding around in the mud caused by the relentless rain that has accompanied this year’s festive season. Although I carefully avoided any other walkers, I didn’t have to try too hard, as there have been few people out in the dull weather.


Today is supposedly ‘back to normal’ in England, at least until the New Year holiday. Many people are back at work, and shops are open regular hours. Not that you would know that, here in Beetley. You could hear a pin drop in the street outside. No traffic has moved up or down the road, and nobody has walked past the house. I am the noisiest thing in Beetley this morning, as my persistent coughing punctures the silence.


I suppose I should say I have improved. On evidence, I have. As long as my head and shoulders are propped up, I have managed some sleep over the last few nights. A luxurious seven-and-a-half hours last night alone. I have finished my 7-day course of antibiotics, and I have stopped taking the cold and flu combination tablets. So, am I better? I certainly don’t feel much better. The muscles in my chest and lower abdomen are completely shot from constant coughing. Whatever remains of the C-19 virus in my body has left me with just about enough strength to get in and out of the bath, and that’s it. If I feel a coughing fit coming on, I have to brace myself for the pain that will follow. At least I am used to that by now.


It would be good to end on a positive note, so here it is.
I am not as bad as I was, nowhere near that bad.
I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday, whatever you are doing.


A Blogging Thank You

I am still not feeling well enough to comment on posts and reply to comments on mine. I will have to start from scratch once I feel able to sit at the PC and write something coherent.

Meanwhile, I would like to thank everyone who commented on my recent posts, and apologise for not taking time to reply to you all individually.

If you are still celebrating the season, I hope you have a wonderful time.

My Niven-Covid And Me

Today marks the fifth day of feeling very unwell, and the second day since I tested positive for Covid. It feels like much longer than that of course, as I can no longer remember how I felt when I was still ‘okay’. From the skewed perspective of illness and lack of sleep, it seems I have always felt like this, not just for less than one week.

Covid seems to affect people in different ways, and at different levels of severity. So I have come to think of it as ‘My’ Covid. It has a personality, a sense of purpose, and seems to speak to me with an accent similar to that of the late David Niven. So I call it Niven-Covid.

There are definite rules.

I must not be allowed to sleep.
I must not be allowed to recline comfortably.
I must not be allowed to enjoy a meal.
I must not be allowed to relish a refreshing drink.
I must not be allowed to concentrate on anything, such as enjoying a film or reading a book.

I must feel as if I have molten lava tricking down my throat at all times.
I must pull all the muscles in my chest and stomach with incessant coughing day and night.
I must feel too hot under the bedclothes, and too cold outside of them.
Everything I try to drink or eat has to taste like a rusty tin can.

Niven-Covid is firm about those rules, and woe betide you ignore them. Try lying down in bed like a normal person, and seconds later you will be in a paroxysm of coughing that is violent enough to make you get out of bed and lean against the wall. So you sit in the bed, legs crossed, covers drawn around you to stay warm. That way, you can still breathe.

Trouble is, you eventually get so tired that you slide down into the bed. Then you can almost see that Niven-smile as you feel like you are under a lake of warm water that is invading your lungs as you fling bedcovers off in a panic.

Cough-Splutter-Choke. Repeat.

How much internal fluid can one elderly human man produce? I can’t give you a measurement, but I can tell you it is a lot. Much more than you might expect. Enough to refill my lungs every 120 seconds or so. Enough to make my eyes stream for sixteen hours non-stop. Enough to fill my mouth with water twenty times an hour until I want to run screaming out of the house into the constant rain that has been falling outside for days on end.

Lack of sleep can make you act strangely after a while. You start to imagine that you are actually recovered. There hasn’t been a Cough-Splutter-Choke moment for at least six minutes. Maybe I’m better? Now I can actually stretch out and lie down. Even as my legs move under the duvet, and I contemplate the luxury of real rest, I hear the voice of the actor whispering in my ear.

“Come now, Pete. Lying down? Really? I’m still here you know. Ignore me at your peril”.

Cough-Splutter-Choke. Repeat.

A Very Different Christmas

Our plans for Christmas 2022 were very simple. Nothing remotely grand, just a Christmas Morning visit to Julie’s children to see everyone open their presents, then back to Beetley to get ready for the traditional meal in a restaurant at 3:30pm. Just the two of us, booked well in advance.

Then Julie became unwell, and tested positive for Covid-19. She was hoping that would be over and done with by the 25th, and the plans could stay the same. But she is still testing positive, five days later.

Yesterday, my cough and sore throat got worse, and I wasn’t able to do much, as I felt so ill. By 8:30pm, I was coughing do badly, I decided to go to bed. But that helped nothing, as I felt as if I was drowning in the amount of nasty stuff coming up from my lungs. I tried sitting up in bed. That didn’t help. Lying flat was not an option, as that made me feel like I was fighting for breath.

As a consequence, I haven’t been asleep at all, and I have currently been awake for 26 hours. I have tried to sleep this morning, but every attempt has left me in a fit of coughing. I will try again later after taking Ollie out, and warning other dog-walkers to avoid me completely.

One hour ago, I did a Covid test, and have tested positive for the first time since the pandemic. This means I am unable to go to see my doctor and get antibiotics for what I am sure is a chest infection. However, Julie was able to secure me a telephone appointment later today, and if the GP agrees to prescribe drugs, we can get someone else to collect them for us, and put them through the letter-box.

The next step for Julie was to cancel the meal. We had paid a deposit of £10 each which we wil lose, but that’s not so bad. Better that than to sit in a crowded restaurant on the 25th, coughing and spluttering and not being able to enjoy Christmas Dinner. Then she rang one of her daughters, to cancel the morning visit to see the present opening. With two small children in the house, we cannot risk infecting them with something nasty.

Christmas has evaporated before our eyes, like morning mist driven away by sunshine. Julie is naturally upset to miss out on her family time, and we are both sorry to have had to cancel the restaurant.

I am not sure what is going to be happening with my blog during the next week. There is a chance I might recover quickly of course, but if that doesn’t happen I will be absent from my blog, and those blogs I follow.

Thanks to everyone who has left the kind comments on recent posts. I apologise for just ‘Liking’ them, and not replying properly, but please be aware that they have been read, and are much appreciated.

Best wishes to all my blogging friends, Pete.

Now I Have Caught It. Or Have I?

**UPDATE. I tested negative, Julie is still positive.**

I developed an annoying tickly cough on Saturday evening. I still had it yesterday when I got up. After messing around trying to get some warmth into the house, I took Ollie out for his walk. It was bitterly cold, mainly because of a freezing wind. By the time I got back with Ollie, the cough had got much worse.

We had already decided to have an Indian meal delivered at 6:30pm, and as we sat down to eat that, I could feel that my eyes were very hot, and my shoulders were aching. By 9pm, Julie suggested I do a Covid-19 test. It was negative.

But thirty minutes later, I felt so ill, I went to bed. Then I slept for twelve hours solid, until 9:40 this morning.

Another test is going to be done soon, and it will be interesting to see if it is still negative.

Update to follow…

Musings On The Last Sunday Before Christmas.

As anyone who has read my blog this week will know, my musings are not going to be very cheerful this week. Julie tested positive for Covid-19, and has been very unwell. So far, I have avoided catching it from her, but I do sense it is inevitable that it will happen.


Then poor Ollie started to shake his head again yesterday, so I have resumed treatment with his ear-gel.


Our central heating is still not working properly, and the engineer will not come back to fit the part because Julie has Covid. So we are running out of wood for the log burner soon, and having great difficulties buying any locally that can be delivered before Christmas.


It has been excessively cold all week. Not getting above freezing at all, and dropping to -8C at night. (17F) On the bright side, it is supposed to warm up here from Monday morning, and that will help. But it will still not be warm enough to cope with unreliable heating, unfortunately.


With Christmas day falling on a Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are public holidays, causing everything to shut down here until the 28th. It really couldn’t be a worse time of year for all this to happen. But I am trying to stay positive, despite it all.


Whatever you are doing on this day, I hope life is trouble-free for you.
I really do.


Covid Comes A-Knocking.

After escaping more than two years of the pandemic, Covid has finally arrived Chez Beetleypete.

Following a bad headache yesterday, and a persistent cough last night, Julie did a home test this morning, and tested positive for C-19. Because she works for our local doctor, that means a mandatory five days off work, and no return until two negative tests are confirmed.

There is additonal fallout from this. We have had to cancel a family meal booked for next Sunday at a restaurant, and the engineer trying to fix our erratic heating will not be able to come into the house to work.

At least we are both fully-vaccinated, so that should stop the symptoms being bad enough to require further treatment. Fingers crossed for that of course.

Julie worked all through the worst of the pandemic. She often expected to contract the virus, but was lucky not to. In the last few weeks, various colleagues of hers have also tested positive, and she has done extra shifts to cover their absences.

We had probably both become rather complacent about the virus, but today’s positive test has brought home the reality that it has not gone away, and we have to live with its constant threat.