Feeling ill but still keeps her dignity

Mrs M and I have been a little unwell over the last two weeks. It seems that having avoided our entire coughing and sneezing family members during the Christmas period, we have caught the tail end of some bug trying its best to make us miserable just before spring arrives.

It is unusual for my wife to feel ill as, being a nurse, she seems to have built up a healthy amount of resistance to common bugs over the years. We have now, however, developed the same symptoms and as a result we have stereo sickness.

I don't want to appear selfish but being under the weather at the same time as your partner only adds to the complications; I now have to share the attention and sympathy with another person.

Our malady started with a slight sore throat and a cough that tended to sound like one of those false noises trying to convince others that we were not well. For a while it seemed that we would perform this drama in sync with each other.

That is where the similarity ends. Mrs M is a good patient and suffers in relative silence. I employ all my amateur dramatic skills to ensure that everyone knows the pain I am going through.

In a similar way I ensure that the scene is complete by looking as ill as I feel; Unshaven chin and sticky up hair until I become Stig of the Dump. My wife, however, still seems to maintain her natural amount of grace even through the most trying of circumstances.

Even after one rather painful and heavy session of nausea Mrs M, almost by instinct, picked up a brush as she returned to bed and tidied her hair. Even when we had to visit the emergency doctor in the middle of the night a couple of nights ago she still managed to look stylish and presentable whilst at the same time feeling ill and feverish.

Determined to see the positive side my bride took the opportunity of weighing herself after about three days of not eating exclaiming 'there must be some upside to being ill'.

She has obviously been in some pain and thus unable to function normally, yet she is still unwilling to let go of all the marks of dignity.

Not so I; other than the odd gargle with mouthwash my usual routines have been put on hold until I get back to wanting bacon again. (A sure sign of health in my book)

I mentioned the idea of bacon to Mrs M and she didn't seem too impressed. She ran off to brush her hair again.

One roast potato! I ask you.

Our dear friends Mel and Sheila took us out for the day to enjoy a country drive and some honest pub grub.

The food was excellent and, to my liking, came in ample measure.

I had started to feel that, in inverse proportion to my waistline, food size had reduced over the last few years.

But here in this Yorkshire country pub the landlady was bucking the trend.

The hotel we visited a few weeks earlier was the opposite end of the spectrum; I was served a small piece of lamb laying on a miniscule amount of mash. The plate also contained two baby carrots and only one, yes one, roast potato.

My wife tried to subdue my inner outrage at such injustice by saying it was the way that the top chefs did it these days.

Then it struck me: what an incredible marketing campaign these resteratuers have waged recently. What a master stroke by these master chefs.

They have convinced the british public that fine dining is when you pay more money for less food.

Never has such economic brilliance been seen since the invention of the mini skirt.

Well this proud northerner has seen through their plan and intends to revolt by ordering a side dish of chips with every meal I have in one of these psuedo-chic establisments.

In addition to this I shall demand proper gravy when they try to offer my a smudge of, what the menus describe as, jus.

Gordon Ramsey might like to tell us that his 'F' word stands for food but we now know it means the customer is a Fool.

It is time for a revolution: up and down the country citezans no longer need to stifle an exclamation of 'is that it?' when offered a large plate with a solitary island of food in the middle.

One roast potato! I ask you.

Perhaps the best response when faced with such paucity would be to say 'if I had wanted a starter I would have ordered one'.

If the menu says that your meat comes on a bed of mash ask them for a king size mattress.

Human Bed Warmers Wanted For Hotel

When I was a kid we thought it was the height of extravagance to be offered a melon starter whilst on holiday at an average B&B in Prestatyn. Nowadays we even have the option of a pre-main course before our breakfast. During our recent hotel stay we had the choice of five different types of fruit before we hit the cereal bar. This was followed by a full English breakfast and a rack of toast and jam.

Back in the sixties the idea of having an en-suite toilet or a TV in your room would not have even entered our heads but now it seems to be the minimum standard; even the most budget of hotels offer tea & coffee making facilities, trouser press, and a telephone.

Well, hot on the heels of the turn down service and the chocolate on your pillow comes the Human Hot Water Bottle. That's right! Hotel chain Holiday Inn are trailing a new scheme to offer guest the option to have their bed warmed by a staff member before retiring for the evening.

Before your brain goes in to overdrive let me tell you that the employee first dons a full fleece bed suit before starting the warming process, and leaves the room before you get into bed. That's alright then!

Back in the years of my childhood you were lucky to be offered an extra blanket to stave off the nighttime chills. On the plus side it was the age of the nylon bed sheet, an invention that offered a full electrical storm of static every time you moved an arm.

The thought that humans have now evolved to need other people to warm their beds for them before they can rest seems somewhat ridiculous.

What next? Bedtime stories for the weary traveller, someone to cut your food up before your eat it, or perhaps a shoelace tying service. Bed warming seems to just a step to far.

Although I am not sure that I would want someone warming up my bed before I go to sleep it does strike me that it would be an incredible job to have. I wonder what the qualifications are.

You would imagine there to be a minimum height for the job otherwise the bed wouldn't get fully warmed. Even though I am probably big enough to meet the standard I am far too good at sleeping to be of any real use. Mrs M tells me that as soon as my head hits the pillow I start to snore in several octaves. A musical human hot water bottle; now there's a thought.