Susan Morrison: Time to man the barricades . . our house is struck with plague

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Hoist the Yellow Jack. Paint the Cursed Cross on the door. Wall up the house. We are plague-stricken.

Actually, since the boy got a new telly for Christmas and enough games to last a lifetime, the idea of being walled up with food, drink and more computer games being passed in probably wouldn’t bother him too much.

And given the Christmas rush and all, I’m not saying I’d be averse to a bit of peace and quiet. It would give me a chance to catch up with the second series of The Killing. And to figure out exactly what happened in the first one.

The husband would probably be cool with the brickwork over the front door since it’s a good reason not to go to B&Q, which he has begun to suspect I force him to do as a punishment for some obscure infringement of the rules. He’s right, but don’t tell him that.

It’s not actually the plague as in bubonic, typhoid or cholera, or a fever such as Yellow, Dengue or Saturday Night, but we have been hit with a galloping cold which is hurtling around the family with the speed of an Olympic torch-bearer passing Glasgow Airport.

It’s my fault. I brought the offending bug into the house. I came down with it first and promptly lost my voice. My husband thought he’d gone deaf. I spent a few days on the sofa like a Victorian lady poet with consumption, quietly blowing my nose and having a gentle cough now and then.

He’s got it now. As a result, he sounds a bit like a bad tempered walrus braying and snorfling on a South Atlantic beach.

Now, I do not subscribe to the view that men are big babies when they get colds and flu. I believe they are just as capable of carrying on with their domestic duties as the female of the species, but what I will say is this, they are considerably louder than us.

It’s possibly something to do with larger lung capacity or nasal volume. His sneeze power matches the Shuttle for escape velocity and he makes this rumbly, snorty noise with an attendant throat clearing vibro-bark that’s causing the Christmas tree to shed needles at an alarming rate. Baubles have been dislodged. The fairy fell over yesterday.

No wonder I don’t let him out. This destructive power must be kept indoors. If anyone’s passing, we need milk...

Now Christmas is over it’s time to feel bad about yourself

During the sojourn on the sofa, I watched a lot of telly. The Christmas ads are out of the way, so they’ve reverted to the ones that make you feel bad about yourself. I have a whole raft of new anxieties. My hair strength, for example. I may have weak hair. But why do I need strong hair? What should I be doing with this stronger hair? Tie up the Queen Mary? Surely it’s just hair. It just sort of sits there on your head.

And my underarms. Gee willickers. The young lady on the telly tells me I’m damaging them and must moisturise. She says my underarms are letting me down. What a panic. People were looking at me and judging me on the state of my armpits. I naively thought that as long as you didn’t look like you’re leaking and didn’t honk like something CSI should be investigating, your underarms were your own affair.

How exactly are people seeing these offending armpits? How many people do you see waltzing about the Kirkgate looking like they’re about to fandango into Lidl with their arms above their heads like Spanish dancers who’ve lost their castanets?

Warning to Putin, set football as your goal if you need a quick exit

Dear Mr Putin. Far be it from me to stick my neb into the way you run your country, although where you find the time in between tree felling, white water rafting and horse riding with no shirt on (which will, I am assured, ruin your underarms) is anyone’s guess, but can I just point out that historically speaking, when people start rioting on the streets of Moscow and St Petersburg, it’s tended not to end well for the ruling classes, especially not this year.

The last lot over there who thought it would all just blow over were the Romanovs, and it really didn’t pan out at all well for them, although one of them seems to have gone on to own Hearts FC here in Edinburgh. Could be an exit strategy for you right there. . .

New interest for the new year

And a Guid New Year to yin and all. Don’t resolve to give things up this year. Take things up. I’m resolving to look after my underarms, and take up council-annoying. I’d like to know why they want to sell the only family-centred activity in Leith, the Waterworld.

Get me to the barricades, I feel better already.