|Me in the sea: Bikini from Asda, body from Lidl|
Saturday, 29 October 2011
Frankly Mr. Shankly
Nitrofartypantidril. Yes, I’m knocking back anti-biotics that turn your wee green. Jealous? Think I’m cool? Wish you could score some of these yourself? Well, their street value is higher than a cheese and onion pasty or a chunky KitKat but I was prepared to dig deep for these babies. I paid my vial of cloudy wee up front and I’ll pay the balance of tripe tongue on completion without batting an eyelid. This is 40th birthday PARTY TIME!
Almost immediately after the Great North Run, my body had started to protest with a bout of hurty wee. You know the kind? The stuff that feels like someone has shoved a bottle brush up your flue and given it a good scrape. That kind. But I downed the usual foul-tasting crap in sachets, chugged a few gateway anti-bs and put it down to dehydration. I had a holiday in a far flung destination planned. All four of us were going on Emirates like posh people to a place with real sun, no pensioners called Elsie and Bill, reeking of stale whisky breath and Bensons at 8am, and no syringes or poo in the sea! Not Salford Airlines for us. No Siree. We were going far far away to celebrate my initiation into the realm of the wise - my 40th birthday – and I wasn’t going to let a piffling UTI get in my way.
So I got on the plane with throbbing kidneys and a week’s worth of Trianythingonceoprim to see me through. I was uncomfortable but not uncomfortable enough to reject my in-flight meal. I was supposed to avoid alcohol but sometimes, alcohol is just unavoidable. Yes, perhaps that gin and tonic really would numb the feeling that I had been kicked in the back by a donkey. And who could resist that spicy curry, so elegantly packaged in plastic and tin foil...?
By the time we got where we were going, I had sat for almost 24 hours like a banana in various vehicles. I hadn’t slept. My breath smelled of dog fart and my kidneys were tap-dancing along my back in hobnail boots. I was sure I was going to die melodramatically in Morrissey style, speaking Frankly, Mr. Shankly in flippant Mancunian iambic pentameter about never quite having been creatively fulfilled in life. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ownZDWNIRs
Incredibly though, things improved. The holiday passed in a state of deep pleasantness, except for that time we went kayaking and got swept out to sea on a riptide and had to be towed back by motorboat...oh and that time the fusty older childless people got annoyed that our kids and another couple’s kid were screaming and shouting and running riot, happy-slapping all the genteel elderly French guests and nicking their false teeth. Even my kidneys seemed to be on the mend. I, horrible Queen of Moan, was enjoying myself. I didn’t even get diarrhoea.
So I thought it was prudent to test out my newly recovered vital organs with some booze. I drank a full bottle of wine in the space of two hours IN THE AFTERNOON with a new bride from Banbury who knew one end of a sauvignon blanc from the other. I dumped the kids on my husband and talked crap loudly enough to make people clutch their bags to their breasts and move further away from me. It seemed like the decent thing to do. This was, after all, my 40th celebration. Big mistake.
Vertigo, hangover, renewed kidney infection, loudly ticking landmine inside the head. This was the price I paid for my misdemeanour. This is what happens when you try to do youthful, silly, fun things to an ageing body. Even the comedy flight home, where we shared a plane with many hundreds of squabbling pensioners going to Mecca (and given that there were no rollers or fluffy slippers, I was fairly sure they weren’t off to the bingo), was not enough to talk my body into behaving and making nice for my 40th.
So I’m back now and my whole big day has been overshadowed by knackered organs, almost certainly caused by the Great North Run, which I pushed myself to do, despite injury, because I didn’t want to let Cancer Research down. The tragedy of making yourself ill in a bid to make others better is something even Shakespeare didn’t dream up (well, he might have done but I was busy scratching The Cramps on my desk with a compass when they were teaching us that sort of stuff at school). Karmicly, this is a sum that doesn’t add up and I’m praying the nitrofartypantidril does the trick. The next step, if this infection doesn’t shift, is to scan my kidneys. Not good. This horrormoanal woman is panicking.
So, until I’ve finished my course of disembowling tablets and I know what’s what, the immortal words of that old whingebag, Morrissey waft around my head.
“Frankly Mr. Shankly, I’m a sickening wreck,
I’ve got the 21st Century breathing down my neck,
I must move fast, you understand me,
I want to go down in celluloid history, Mr. Shankly.”
Except in my case, it’s literary history. Even Shakespeare never got it that on the nail, proving that it takes a Mancunian from the land of perpetual rain to moan with real aplomb.