Having fought and won all winter long – through tempest and storm, deluge and downpour – I have finally been brought low. Not work, not home, not finances, not fatigue, but good old germs.

I have copped the family cold and feel rubbish. All life contains some suffering as the Dalai Lama points out, but is there a more pointless way to be laid low than with a cold?

We have astronauts and cosmonauts in orbit and super-chilled particles smashing together at the speed of light. Yet when it comes to medicine, short of chopping it off of blasting it with some chemical or other, we are clueless.

All it takes is a couple of hours standing around on a chilly afternoon, some arduous fetching and carrying on the back of a few late nights and an immune system off its game and bingo – germs win; I lose. Harrumph.

Of course we’ll never beat the common cold, just like we’ll never beat the onward march of the years, or the bad in human nature, or the all the wrong in the world.

But still, surely someone could have a better try? Never mind a mission to Mars how about some advance on Lemsip?

But the one good thing about being laid low – especially on the silent, seeping, sapping way a cold spreads through you – is the reminder just how fighting fit I feel most days. Mustn’t grumble. Now back to grumbling…

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