Don’t bully me

Wednesday May 10 2006

If you have to catch a summer cold there’s no better time to do it than when you’ve a couple of days free so’s you can pander to it properly. And, apart from a quick trip to Tesco’s, that’s exactly what I did today.

Dolly thought it was wonderful of course, having a tame human around all day for purposes of service and extended cuddles when needed. She did glare at me now and again when I was overtaken with a really bad coughing fit but other than that she seemed to think the day was satisfactory.

I count it successful, too, nursing the cold as it fast-tracked from tickly throat to runny nose and on to a real, classic, productive cough. Between coughing fits I slept, and kept the liquids going. My appetite was not diminished, so I tucked in to lunch and dinner with considerable gusto. And some relief, because I’m a firm believer in the old ‘feed a cold and starve a fever’ approach to minor infections of the upper respitory tract. A cold I can manage; a fever would require some major adjustments to my plans for the next few days.

By the end of the day, at about four o’clock in the morning of tomorrow if I’d let it be tomorrow, I was perking up nicely, the intervals between coughing were getting longer, and I seem to be on course for a full and speedy recovery. Might sound daft but I’m always mightily encouraged when my system goes into overload when fighting off an infection. It’s uncomfortable but it’s a sure and certain sign that the auld body still has a lot of fight in it.

My slumbers were disturbed twice during the day by calls from estate agents. The first, from a pushy young woman in Minehead, was to tell me that a ‘maisonette’ had come on to the market, at my maximum price, and she thought it ideal for my needs.

“No, sorry,” I said. “I told you didn’t want to live in an apartment and a maisonette is only another word for a two-level appartment.”

“You won’t find anything better at your price,” she said, flatly.

Can you hear me counting to ten before replying? “Oh, I’m sure we will if we try hard enough. Thanks for thinking of me.”

I was as sweet and nice as I could manage, keeping my anger at bay until I’d ended the call. Then I cursed, loud and long. Where do these people come from, I wonder?

Graham was incensed when I recounted the exchange. “I’d have told her to eat ***t and die,” he said.

“That’s why I deal with them and you don’t,” I said. “She might come up with something suitable yet and there’s no point in losing that possibility. Mind you, when we’re finished, I make no promises that she’ll not get a short, sharp lecture in customer management from me.”

“Hmmmph. I may hold you to that,” came the not overly gracious reply.

The second was from a really rather good young woman in Taunton, telling me of a property very close to my requirements, but a full £5k over my maximum price. I work very strictly to the Mr Macawber principle of financial management—spend sixpence more than you own and you’re courting disaster. I declined, with thanks, and she promised to keep looking for me.

“That’s a shame,” Graham said when we dicussed it. “We may have to come up with a little more cash by the sound of it. I’ve got £3k spare if that’d help.”

“If you’re sure about that, I can find another £2k to add to it. That would make the house hunt rather easier.”

“Let’s do it, then. Will you phone back to arrange a viewing?”

“No. Another £5k opens up possibilities that weren’t there before. And I don’t think you’d much like the area.”

When I explained exactly where it was, he agreed. “You really are getting to know your way around, aren’t you?”

“Thanks. I’m trying hard.”

“Can’t ask for more than that.”

And that is true. I am trying my best, and shall resume the search again on Friday, when I suspect that the extra funds will make a startling difference. Meantime, I shall enjoy the sunshine, get our laundry done, and nurse this cold into extinction. Doesn’t pay to under-rate a cold. They have a nasty habit of turning round and biting you when you under-rate them. A bit like elderly house buyers when estate agents try to bully them, I suppose.



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