The winter of our discontent

It’s true, I hate winter. More specifically, I hate THIS winter. So as I write this today, on 1 September, it’s officially over and today is spring. And perhaps… just maybe there is a glimmer of light at the end of this very long tunnel.

You see, I have been sick since early July.  I won’t bore you with the deatails, but here in my first Waikato winter, it has been pretty tough. And it’s tough when you are new in a job and you don’t have the hundreds of hours of sick leave that you had piled up in your old one. And even setting that aside, there is stuff you really need to do, so you can’t simply take to your bed until summer arrives. Can you?

No, but you CAN beg your doctor back in Auckland (and don’t get me started on the ones in the Waikato) to give you some decent drugs that will make you well enough to get on a plane and get the heck out of Dodge for a week in the sun. And what a difference that made, let me tell you….

New Caledonia is just over two hours away by plane, and when you land it seems like a world away. Balmy, warm breezes, palm trees (and Norfolk pines), azure blue sea, the gentle waft of French cuisine, and warm and friendly locals chatting away in French do wonders for the constitution. And New Caledonia is a great place to brush up on your own French, readying you for that OE to France that you really will take one day – soon.

My days consisted of waking whenever, breakfasting with His Lordship, perhaps a gentle walk to the sublime patisserie in town to purchase lunch supplies, then taking up residence in my favourite sun lounger by the pool. With the temperature in the mid 20s, the pool is cold but the sea is wonderful. From this point until my stomach grumbled for lunch, my most vigorous activity was to turn the pages on my book, or ease into the pool and swim to the underwater bar stools and drink a cocktail (or two).

After lunch it was, of course, siesta time, with us both perking up again in time for a brief visit to the hotel gym (me twice, him four times), a wine in our room, and then another stroll into town to select one of the many restaurants for our dinner. Heaven!

His Lordship took himself snorkelling and paddle boarding while I maintained my vigil by the pool/beach. After five days of this repetitive activity I was feeling a million bucks, and definitely up for it when His Lordship suggested an ambitious walk around the coastal road – around 10 ks or so. Apart from a few blisters and a bit of sun (God forbid!), this was a good plan. And by the end of the week I felt I could kick the month or so of ill health well and truly into touch.

Yeah right! A week after our return it came back instantly and spectacularly. So it was back to my trusty doc, and another whack of antobiotics, as well as about 10 supplements a day that has me peeing fluoro green.

And I will get better. I know I will. But right now my sense of smell is completely gone, although they tell me this should return. So cooking a lovely slow roasted pork belly the other night seemed a complete waste of time when His Lordship declared the smell sublime and I could smell nothing. Honestly, I may as well have cooked slow roasted cardboard.

And today I ate burnt pizza for lunch as my nose failed to warn me that this was fast inching towards charcoal in the oven as I was distracted with work on my laptop. On the plus, side, with no sense of smell, burnt pizza tastes just like everything else, only crunchier. I am optimistic that this current development may lead to weight loss due to intense lack of meal enjoyment. But quite frankly, I would rather have the smells back any day, and diet be damned.

The other thing about being blocked from the ears to the nose and everywhere in between is that at night, in the pitch dark of small town Waikato, it really is dark. When your senses are diminshed, this is quite frightening, and His poor Lordship has been forced to sleep with the lounge light on to “comfort me”. So why oh why did he wake me from a sound sleep last night to tell me that the power had gone off, plunging us into that intense darkness where you can’t tell whether your eyes are open or shut?

So now add tired to my list of complaints, and if anyone has a cure to help me resurrect my sense of smell, please let me have it. I am so far taking Echineachea, Vitamin B, Magnesium, Probiotics, and Zinc. But I’m probably missing something vital.

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