This time it has been a stomach problem that has meant that I couldn't be far from a toilet - every 22 minutes for four days, which is a kind of Edmonton Weight Loss program. The problem is that it leaves you tired and feeling bedraggled, unable to focus or concentrate.
In between sleep and rushing to speak with my maker on the big white telephone in the bathroom ("oh gawd! Here we go again!") I have been reading Norman Sherry's account of Graham Greene's life. What a wonderful biographer. So fulsome. So rich and engaging. Not dispassionate, but passionately caring for his reader - seeking to ensure we understand Graham.
Also watched De-Lovely, the bio pic of Cole Porter (joyously bi-sexual), which is a most enjoyable film.
Tonight, in my first period of calm after 12 Immodium and a bottle of Pepso-Bismol as well as numerous home made solutions to "problems below" (a kind of gastric menopause), we will watch Inspector Linley (thank goodness for BBC Canada) and possibly the movie Heartlands, about which I currently know nothing.
I will take tomorrow to recover and then return to the fray of budgets, politics and succession. At least we have a new President for the University - a robust, fun seeking and enjoyable person (who will no doubt have a dark side). It will be good to have a fresh start on 1st June.
Its warm today - +8C - and the snow is melting. Its like a cascade of slow motion water, falling gently over pine trees. While the streets are lined with blackened snow from street cleaning and ploughing, the back garden is virgin with just the gentle paw-marks of meandering cats or drunk birds or passing wild-life. It will be February tomorrow, which I always see as the beginning of the end of the really cold period. It has been cold too - several days of -50C and worse.
Our garrulous builder, Colin, made a surprise appearance today. His pretense was to measure up the inside jobs he is to finish from 2003 - in reality, he was chasing down any cash we could pay for insurance work he did after our summer hail storm repair work. Colin is a genial rouge - sadly, he does outstanding quality work at very reasonable prices. But he is no more reliable than a dead wombat, curdling in ghee topped with fennel. When challenged why he didn't appear last week "as promised", he smiles and simply said "guess I lied".
I intend to be well on Wednesday - taking Tuesday to recover. Fingers crossed and bottoms closed.