Thursday, 24 September 2009


This blog first appeared on The Bournemouth Echo website on 17th September 2009 and in The Blog Paper on the same date.

Oh, what a miserable day I’ve had. I sometimes suffer with conjunctivitis and every now and then it flares up – which it did last night. I wear “day and night” contact lenses which I can sleep in. I’m meant to remove them and give my eyes “a day off” once a week. I rarely do.

So, I removed my contact lenses, peered into my 3 x magnifying mirror to see the blurred reflection of a rabbit with myxomatosis staring back. That would have been me, then. I fumbled around in the bathroom cabinet and eventually found some eye drops and gel and squirted and applied both liberally. And then I went to bed.

When I woke up, I found my glasses, and stupidly decided to look in the mirror. Where was the rabbit? It had been replaced with a boxer on the losing end of a bout with Prince Naseem. I couldn’t actually see my eyes at all, inspite of squinting out of them – they appeared to have been replaced by two small aubergines.

I couldn’t get on with any office work as staring at the screen was hurting me and words just looked a blurred, indecipherable mass. Heavens, I must have been feeling pretty grim ... I haven’t even been on Twitter much today!

I could see that the carpet was in dire need of a vacuum (I may be using “see” in a metaphorical sense, having a priori knowledge that owning a full-coated German Shepherd who moults continually in combination with a brown carpet - after 2 days, I KNOW it needs vacuuming whether I can see it or not). So, I vacuumed and figured I couldn’t cause too much harm by giving the kitchen floor a good mopping.

I’d very much hoped that my husband would be home in time to collect our son from school, but he wasn’t. I left in plenty of time to collect said son - as I was not going to risk driving at any speed whatsoever. And son, on getting into the car, took one look at me and said, “Are you okay? You’re crying” – which, of course, I wasn’t but the idea of a good sob at that time didn’t seem to be a totally off-the-wall prospect at all. I restrained myself and, very carefully, drove home.

I asked son what sort of a day he’d had at school and, very stoically, he said “Good, thanks”. Except from what I could see of the expression on his face and hear from the tone in his voice, this wasn’t really the case at all.

Year 8 seems to be proving to be a repetition of last year ... son is unhappy at being disrupted by noisy and unruly classmates and saying that he can’t concentrate on his lessons because of this. I am a vile mother. For once, I didn’t pursue his response to get to the bottom of what had actually happened at school today. And, indeed, this is a story for another blog, on another day.

I sat down and realised that my husband would be expecting a home-cooked meal when he arrived home and then remembered that I hadn’t been shopping because I’d been feeling so rough. It’s a good job that my husband is set on a course of trying to regain a youthful physique. (Please excuse me while I snort with laughter for a second or two).

He’s all but stopped eating lunch and now goes from breakfast to dinner without a morsel of food passing his lips. He’s also keen on reducing his carbohydrate intake – so I thought I could make a very sparsely topped Shepherd’s Pie – not least because I only had 4 VERY small potatoes in stock.

Chopping onions and conjunctivitis is not a good combination. By the time I’d finished that particular task, I could barely see anything at all. I managed to pour some oil into the pan, fry the onions, add the minced meat, chopped mushrooms, and tomatoes and then, as I usually do, I reached for the Worcestershire Sauce – and proceeded to pour several generous splashes of balsamic vinegar into the browning mince. I added about double the amount of Worcestershire Sauce to cover up my mistake and hoped for the best.

The result was a slightly more piquant-than-usual Shepherd’s Pie and no-one complained ... or died.

And now, having administered my fourth squirts of eye drops and fourth splodge of gel to my sore eyes, they’re still sore but not AS sore and still swollen but not AS swollen and I am resolving – as I always do – to remember the importance of sticking to the regime of giving my eyes a “day off” from contact lenses, once a week. I expect that resolution will fly out of the window like all previous ones have done and once again, I will kick myself for sometimes being VERY STUPID INDEED.


  1. I love balsamic and worcester so no problem for me! Any chance of a tweeted pic of the aubergine eyes?

  2. Aubergine eyes have long since disappeared! This week's ailment has been migraine which is entirely unphotogenic!