About this blog

This is a window into the weird world of Anglicanism, as experienced on a Cathedral Close. Has anything much happened since Trollope's Barchester Chronicles? You will still see the 'canon in residence' hurrying across to choral Evensong, robes flapping, as the late bell chimes. But look carefully and you will notice he is checking the football score on his iPhone as he runs. This is also a writer's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the novelist's life. And it's a fighter's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the judo mat. Well, the agony, anyway.

Monday 6 February 2012

DAY 37--What to Wear when You are Ill

If you are very ill, you have little choice about what to wear.  It will be one of those hospital robes that doesn't do up down the back.  These are the garments of nightmares.  In your dream you are walking down a crowded street and no matter how you clutch the robe behind you, your arse is hanging out.  But in hospital you are probably past caring.  If, like me, you are extremely short-sighted, just take your glasses off and nobody will be able to see you.  If you can't see them, they can't see you, remember?  This is certainly the rule when playing hide and seek with small children.  They conceal themselves behind a standard lamp with their eyes screwed shut.  The grown up seeker comes in to the room and says, 'Goodness me!  I can't see Tommy anywhere!  I wonder where he is?'  And it is not until Tommy gives away his hiding place with a loud giggle that he suddenly becomes visible again.

Fortunately I'm not ill enough to be hospitalised.  I'm just a bit under the weather with a cold.  What to wear under such circumstances?  Interestingly, your choice of clothes will determine how ill you are--not only in the eyes of those around you, but in your own eyes.  If I'd chosen to loll listlessly in Winceyette pyjamas and dressing gown, accessorised by a hot water bottle and lem sip, then I'd have felt far worse than I do now that I'm up and showered and dressed.

I decided to wear my cheeriest jumper to cheer myself up.  Obviously, if an unexpected parcel arrived containing a beautiful powder blue cashmere sweater I would find that even more cheering.  I merely float that idea.  My cheeriest jumper, as you know, is older than the alto lay clerks of Lichfield Cathedral.  It is also a lot brighter.  With it I'm wearing leggings and that black knitted tunic from the other Close Catherine.  Both the jumper and tunic are made of acrylic.

Acrylic.  How do you pronounce that?  I'd never been in any doubt it was aKRILLic until I overheard a woman in a charity shop In Leamington Spa say 'ACKry lick.'  From now on I shall be adopting that pronunciation.  I will eventually forget that this is wrong.  This is what has happened to the family pronunciation of 'cafetiere'.  I was once in a teashop where the waitress pronounced it 'kerFITTYay'.  These days I have to remind the chancellor that this is not right, so that strangers don't mistake him for an ignorant rustic.


  1. Surely everyone knows that you use sellOTapee hold the wrapping paper together?

  2. Poor dear daughter can never again eat lasagne without her siblings reminding her of the time she fell into family parlance and ordered lasAGnee at a rather nice Italian restaurant in Oxford...I truly think we've scarred her for life :(

  3. Families, eh. My younger sister has never been allowed to forget she thought whodunit was pronounced wad unit.

  4. Here in the 'pool a friend of mine asked for a croissant in a bakery. She had to repeat it a couple of times & eventually point to it in order to be understood, at which point 1 assistant said to the other "see, I told you you weren't meant to say 'CROYsant'"