I woke up this morning with a cold. As always my first thought was: 'But I've got to sing!'
I tried the wide-ranging phrase from Donizetti's Anna Bolena where Anne Boleyn tells Lord Percy not to be in England next day, and could feel that my voice was there under the gunk; the cords weren't waterlogged with laryngitis.
'Let not another dawn find you in England...'
I feel both exhausted and wired. I look like a mortuary photo. I'm upbraiding myself for not wearing my sou'wester and wellies down to the Jubilee Hall where I sang So In Love and spoke and danced as Tytania in to the Wonderful Beast Shakespeare Gala. I'm remembering school days when my mother would make me a bed on the settee, leave me a Vesta Chow Mein to cook for myself, and I would try to eke out a cold caught at the start of the week all the way to Friday, so as not to miss the verdict being delivered on Crown Court.
So, how to treat a cold?
Basically, do nothing. Really. Drugs can only relieve the symptoms of a cold, not cure it. And it's too late for Vitamin C, zinc and/or Echinacea.
I'll drink more water than I normally would. I'll inhale with Eucalyptus from a bowl with a towel covering my head, just for the sake of seeming to be doing something. (Not with added Menthol because that would irritate my vocal cords). I'll give myself a nasal douche morning noon and night, and cook myself what I call my Medicine Meal - a curry overloaded with garlic, ginger and cardamom pods, sweetened with mashed banana and apple. Otherwise, I'll stay indoors and rest. And count myself lucky that I can. Yes, I'll be monitoring the cold for signs of it going chestward, but I'll read my latest Jo Nesbo, swear over the Guardian Cryptic Crossword and watch TV.
Always remembering what Voltaire said: 'Medicine is the art of entertaining the patient while nature takes care of the healing.'