Kate Livingstone: Celebrating with a nip of cough bottle

A few days in to 2018 and celebrations are already a thing of the past for most of us.

Sunday, 7th January 2018, 7:00 am
Were the good old days really better?

The decorations have been taken down and stored away for another year. Now there is only the mountain of food to eat that most of us bought ‘just in case’ someone popped in.

My family did ask me how many people I knew when they saw the fridge bulging with cold meat, spreads and sausage rolls! My response was that you never want to be caught empty-handed if someone comes calling.

However, I have to admit that is has been a very ‘dry’ New Year so far with a cough bottle my tipple at the bells – not so much choice but necessity I’m afraid.

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This year I turned down invitations to spend Hogmanay anywhere other than at my own fireside. I wasn’t being a party pooper but I really don’t think I would have been welcome with the coughing and spluttering that I had been doing since Boxing Day.

I don’t think there can be anything worse than having a few days off work and being struck down by the dreaded lurgy.

Instead of spending time with family and friends, there I was wrapped in my dressing gown and sitting at my fireside watching yet another festive film.

Sadly it didn’t seem to affect my appetite and I’ve 
managed to make inroads into that food mountain in my kitchen.

However, while feeling decidedly under the weather you would hope for a bit of TLC from your nearest and dearest, but sadly, in my case this didn’t happen.

“You should have got the flu jab,” retorted my mother in her ‘I told you so’ voice.

“Didn’t I say that you should have got it?”

Through a coughing fit, I pointed out that I didn’t have flu and wasn’t in any of the categories as definitely needing it.

“But you’re nearly 60,” stated my darling mum.

Through more coughs and splutters I pointed out that I’m still two years away from that dreaded landmark and I wasn’t ready to adopt the habit of the elderly of calling myself by my age next birthday the day after celebrating the latest one.

“Well if you get that Australian flu that is supposed to be coming here this winter, don’t blame me,” she said.

“Mother, I won’t blame you, I’ll blame the Australians!” was about all I could muster in response.

Knowing that I was never going to win this argument, I asked her to get me another cough bottle – anything to get her out of the house.

Hopefully the rest of 2018 is an improvement on the first few days.