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Wednesday February  15th 2012    Tim Candler

        Sometimes I think I can remember the first time I came down with that sickness loosely referred to as "cough and cold with flu like aches, dizziness and the odd hallucination."  I have a distinct memory of blaming the English, not that it was their fault, but I was given the distinct impression they considered this ailment a test of character which should not be permitted to interfere with the day to day in any way whatsoever. 

     With goo seeping from every orifice, I sat opposite a woman whose role it was to determine my level of brightness. There were colorful blocks in front of me, out of which I had to make patterns. It was probably the hacking cough, the sneezing and weeping eyes that finally persuaded her to hand over what I thought was a handkerchief.  But it wasn't a handkerchief, it was a tissue paper. Something I'd never seen before, and at the time thought totally inadequate. I remember her telling me I could keep it.

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