Friday, 9 December 2011

Watch your eyes

Friends, Romans, good people o' The Shire. Yesterday evening around 8pm, I noticed a green laser light shining around Plumstead Common.

It could be someone experimenting how they could bend light, or it could be a little herbert who thinks it's fun to annoy passers-by. Either way, a laser light can blind you.

Be careful.

Haven't noticed this before so could be a one off incident.

Monday, 5 December 2011

hello again

Now, where did I get up to?

Things change when you've been away. Logging in to Blogger, the whole interface has changed and I can't tell if I'm blogging or looking at my Orange mobile phone bill. This would be lost on you if you don't use Blogger, or own an Orange mobile phone for that matter.

In the broadest possible way, I sort of feel like I've just walked out of prison and civilians are dressed in hip and 'with it' fashions, whilst I scurry in the shadows with my bell bottom Farah's and paisley shirt.

As part of the Blogger interface, I'm offered the option to add an adsense functionality to Plumsteadshire. Tempting to earn tuppence every month, but I do hate visiting a website and being bombarded by advertisements. Inadvertently, I've already advertised a phone provider, but for the sake of balance, there are other providers available.

Now, let's get straight to the point.

This Saturday (10th December 2011), is the great Comedy On The Common Christmas Special. Plumstead Common's very own live comedy night. Acts LIVE in The Shire are Frank Sanazi, Hattie Hayridge, Fredrik Andersson and Dave Whitney.

I don't have my finger on the pulse of popular culture, so I can't tell you a thing about them, but that's what the internet's for.

It's a hot ticket so book right now and remember, if you snooze, you lose.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Plumstead Live!

I haven't had any time to write about the Plumstead Live! event last Sunday and don't really have time to do it now either, but just to say how much I enjoyed the music; every performance was top notch.

The Plumstead Sinfonia kicked things off in style and I was particularly pleased that they'd included some Philip Glass in their set. The kids from Plumstead Manor School were amazing, especially the acapella. Anyway, I could go on, but it would be a lot of repetition and sound like I'm patting everyone on the back for the sake of it. Not so. I genuinely thought all the music was brilliant. There was a group on at the end who were playing South African music (?). Really, really fab way to end the event.

Not Plumstead Live! but you get the idea.
A great pity the rain tipped down, but it didn't dampen the atmosphere at all. Fingers crossed that the weather will be good for next year's event.

I'm not too sure who were the event organisers, but Nick Day (of PCEG fame), seems to be a big player in this, so Nick thank you so much for putting on an incredible day of live music in The Shire.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The height of Summer

The weather is fright'ning,
the thunder and lightning,
seem to be having their way,
but as far as I'm concerned,
it's a lovely day.

Eat more veg.

I had a particularly brilliant Friday; I was introduced to a mobile grocer. He drives around The Shire selling organic fruit and vegetables from his van. I love to support local businesses, but the grocer was simply the most charming down to earth person you could meet. Quality of service was most notable. Now that's something we don't get enough of these days.

I don't actually know where his regular stops are, so it's a bit like pinning a tail on the donkey.

I bought quite a few bits and pieces including the most delicious juicy plums known to humankind. There is a downside. I bought a bottle of pear juice and the rest of the family quaffed it before I could get a taster. What's the World coming to? You slog your guts out to earn an honest penny etcetera....

I'd love to give more details, but this is as much as I know at the moment.

I'll have to tell you about another high quality van-based food seller, but it'll have to wait for another time. Have you heard of The German Baker?

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Blog spam

I was really confused what had happened to some comments made on Plumsteadshire and found that there's a spam filter on Blogger and they ended up in there. I also found quite a few others there too.

Very sorry about about that Anonymous. I do value your comments, even though they're not favourable to me. You're interesting and put an excellent argument forward. Once again, apologies as it's technology getting the better of me.


Loud party going on nearby. The people sound like their having fun, but it's keeping me wide awake. I'm sure I heard Indian drumming earlier, which I love but not at midnight. It's not an Asian festival today is it?

Friday, 15 July 2011

Steam train

A Crossness steam railway service coming in 2 years time. That's seriously exciting. Heard this on the wireless today.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The knuckle dragging continues

Our 'neighbour' is so unbelievable. The children and the obligatory staffordshire bull terrier need to be rescued from the thugs that call themselves parents.

Mr KD (Knuckle Dragger), has just had a whole minute shouting fest at one of his many kids. "I didn't bring you up to be f***ing nasty ......." blah blah
"you p"""ed me off..... and made me f***ing shout. I don't like shouting....." You could've fooled me, considering you do it every day.

The KDs haven't worked out that the poor children are a result of being brought up in such a vitriolic environment and one day, will shout louder than their parents. One day, they might show their fangs to them as well and bite their big fat heads off.

I'm all for social inclusion, but these effing & blinding, always angry, blood sucking, knuckle draggers contribute nothing but poison to our community. They are a failing social experiment and I can only hope the poor children are saved before they are ruined.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Madam Butterfly in Woolwich

General Gordon Square is THE cultural centre of Woolwich. Following on from Les Girafes on Saturday evening, tonight we have a live broadcast of Madam Butterfly direct from the Royal Opera House. Yes folks, we can watch a live performance from one of the top opera companies in the World and we don't have to pay £200 for the privilege.

Madam Butterfly is one of the most popular operas around, and would you believe it, you WILL know some tunes from it, so come along and hum along.

Monday 4th July. 7.30pm. General Gordon Square, Woolwich.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Les Girafes

There's a spectacular show,
which you all must know,
that is coming our way to Woolwich.
No you didn't hear wrong,
There'll be dances and songs,
and all sorts of theatrical carryings-on.

It ends the festival of performance arts,
in Greenwich and Docklands and nearby parts.
The shows (which are free), have already started,
so just click right here and you'll soon see,
that the shows are accessible,
yes, they're for you and for me.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

I'd better write something

Zounds!!!! I almost forgot I had a blog.

I've polished the nib and cleaned out the ink well,
it's been too long already, I'm ready to tell,
of adventures and gossip, of miscreants local,
of gay happenings in the Shire, I hope to be vocal.

One thing which baffles me is a certain name.
Swaffered's the one, although rolls off the tongue,
I must turn to Google or a reference book,
you know those old fashioned things with things called pages,
with no USB cable that we've not read for ages.

Having just searched on the internet,
I'm none the wiser about Swaffered just yet.
I'll just have to accept this is a word I'll forget,
unless my nails are in need of some bling,
hmm, maybe not, it's just not my thing.

Speaking of books, like I just did,
I'm keen to know when the library will open.
You know the one, the one at The Slade.
It has colourful glass, it's a community centre.
When will it open, so when can we enter?

Lovely listener, do post a comment and give me a date,
This refurbishment looks good. No actually, it's great!
Grey window frames, of which I do approve;
it's powder coated so it's tough and yet smooth.

At the Manor School, the steels are going up.
Facing the Common, it's a brave new look,
maybe a brave new era for an area which some mistook,
for a nowhere place full of cads and crooks.

In this time of spending cuts we must applaud,
Greenwich Council for forging ahead,
with the building works here in little Plumstead.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Dazed & Confused About My Days

All these bank holidays and weddings have thrown my in-built calendar off track. I'm really annoyed that I missed the meeting this evening about the proposed Woolwich theatre/arts centre/church concept. It's a quirky marriage, a bit like a petrol station selling potatoes or a cobbler selling trophies. I was really looking forward to finding out more about the hallelujarts centre too.

I have also missed the comedy on the common, which I think was on Sunday.

They say children need routine. I think this applies to me too.

Monday, 25 April 2011

cute name

One of my lovely listeners has said that Plumstead is a cute name and I tend to agree.

I've always like the name. It has a nice sound and comes across as friendly, almost as if it should be a little village in Norfolk..... what are the chances of that happening eh?

I love the study of entomology. No, wrong one, I meant etymology. Of course, Plumstead is so-called because it was once home to many fruit orchards. Similarly, Hampstead is a derivation of homestead and Chipstead was home to the nation's favourite fish accompaniment¹. I just don't know what to make of Wetwang.

1 - may or may not be true

Friday, 22 April 2011

Anger management needed

My neighbours. Actually, 'neighbour' is too kind a description. The knuckle-draggers in the house next to me have got a serious anger problem.

They shout at their young children all day and now they have a dog (no prizes for guessing if it's a Staff or a Staff), they shout at poor old Staffie.

Who should be contacted first? RSPCA or NSPCC? Should I just stay out of it? This is a dilemma.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Pond life

I do wonder how our new neighbours manage to shout all the time. Surely they must get hoarse? Actually, they do have two volume levels - loud and louder. With six children, I guess shouting is the only option. In my book, foul language is not an option, but not for them; it's as common as the word 'the'.

It does make me sad as the children are only offered one route into the World, which I view as an unhappy one. Or am I wrong? If being shouted at and sworn at is the norm in your young life, does happiness still exist but at a different level? I guess their parameters of happiness are different from mine.


A sunny day at the weekend, so La Familia Pangloss headed for the coast. In order to avoid traffic jam hell, we avoided Brighton and opted for Ramsgate. It's an easy drive from The Shire and I just love seeing the sign Thanet Earth. We had a lovely afternoon and even pootled around the harbour in a fishing boat. We really felt like we were on holiday. Having said this, there were plenty of tattooed people of the Super T ilk. They just did their own thing and enjoyed the sun as much as everyone else, which is fine, but I couldn't help thinking that their sheer numbers even made Woolwich look middle class. Hmm, could've been a few coach parties of the White Lightning Appreciation Society.

Ramsgate does have some lovely architecture, and you can see the developers working away to smarten up the flats and make the town the next Brighton. Neighbouring town, Margate has opened it's Turner Gallery and that should go some way to push this forgotten part of Kent into regeneration. Should be interesting to see how these towns develop in the next five years.

Thursday, 7 April 2011


The recycling centre opposite the Co Op on Plumstead Common Road has been removed. This is a great shame as I was a regular with my juice cartons. They seemed well used so apart from misuse¹, I'm not sure why this facility been taken away. The notice up on the lamp post informs us that the nearest recycling centre is at Sainsburys in Woolwich. That's a long way to walk with a couple of bags of rubbish.

1 - I refer to misuse as :-
  • dumping all sorts of junk around the bins rather than in them
  • people ransacking bins (usually the clothes or electrical bins)

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Tennisgate - it's working well then?

I took this photograph. It's a sunny day and just right to go out and enjoy some sport. Up until now, these tennis courts would've been busy, but there's a distinct lack of human interaction going on.

I think I can safely assume that Greenwich Council's flash of inspiration to charge for the use of this sporting facility has alienated EVERYONE in our community. So much for Greenwich Council working for Greenwich residents eh?

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Cycling makes me feel sick

If travel sickness is your thing, maybe best to avoid riding a PUKY bicycle. The company has a strap-line of 'Motion Makes Clever'.

Sorry chum, but for some, motion makes sick bags important.

Friday, 1 April 2011

This is no April Fool

Plumsteadshire - the blog that opened the flood gates on TENNISGATE!!!!

You first heard it here folks, Greenwich Council are introducing a charge for us to play tennis at the Plumstead Common tennis courts. And news has hit the local headlines as this story has made front page news in The Greenwich Mercury. Hard-hitting reporter, Mandy Little managed to out-bid News International and Reuters to secure exclusivity for this story.

The good people of The Shire are not happy at all. The burghers of Ennis Road have demanded to be renamed Tennis Road in support of our courts. One teenager was heard shouting "balls" whilst dragging his knuckles past the Co Op, clearly a rallying cry of despair at the Council's decision. A man in a wig ran out of Woolwich Crown Court muttering 'see you in court', obviously heading for a game of tennis up the hill.

There has been talk of holding a 'play-in' at the courts, which sounds like a great idea, so let's do it; will the Co Op supply some orange squash? Also, lovely listener, Marvin is making a stand with a petition. Email him right now at

Sir Cliff jumps off the 53 for a game of singles at Plumstead Common

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Love Clean London

This Love Clean London website looks like a good idea. Some of us have mobile telephones (personally I don't think the idea will catch on), and lots of these phones have cameras.

With Love Clean London, you use your mobile telephone camera to photograph filth and general environmental crime from your local area. Send the photograph to 07725 202020 and before you know it, a team of ghostbusters will swoop down and rid our streets of detritus.

For the vast majority of us who don't know what a mobile telephone is, use a computer to visit something called a website on something called an internet (another concept that has no future, I feel). The internet address can be found below.

With this super tool, we can make Plumsteadshire looking super clean.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Nearly New Sale

Forget the Harrod's January sale,
it's full of pricey tat,
Trinity Church is here and now,
it's simply where it's at.

Have a portrait photo taken,
or looking for a cheerful toy?
Oh it's nearly Mothering Sunday,
You'll find a present here. Oh joy.

Your playgroup needs YOU

Sunday, 27 March 2011

It's game over for tennis

I guess as part of the Council's budget slashing exercise, we will have to pay to exercise soon.

We will be required to pay to use our tennis courts. I saw a notice at the Plumstead Common courts this morning setting out the fees.

Not sure how we're expected to pay though. Are Greenwich Council going make cuts by paying £15,000 to someone to take £6.50 at the tennis court gate?

Regardless of the maths, the tennis courts are well used and I dare say, much less used because we now have to pay. Doesn't my council tax go towards the upkeep of these courts anyway?

So much for Greenwich encouraging us to get fit.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Comedy On The Common

It's comedy night this Saturday at The Pavilion, so why not welcome in British Summer Time by enjoying a glass of ale and laughing off the Winter blues?

Adjust your time-piece on Saturday night.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Big moon

Doesn't look much different from most decent moon photos, but this is with my camera and without a tripod. It's a big moon tonight.

Friday, 18 March 2011

PCEG hits gold

As some of you are already aware, the Plumstead Common Environment Group have won a Mayor's Safer  Parks Gold Award. The entire team at Plumsteadshire HQ would like to congratulate Nick Day and the PCEG for their unwavering efforts at improving Plumstead Common for us all to enjoy¹.

LX CUE 1 : House lights dim

SOUND CUE 1 : Spandau Ballet - Gold (played to death at conferences)

LX CUE 2 : Scanner lights sweeping all over Plumstead Common

FX CUE 1 : 20minute fireworks display starts with Big Berthas booming off the top of the old mill of The Old Mill pub.

FX CUE 2 : Lasers fire up and draw random shapes on the clouds

ENTER S.R. members of the PCEG in electric cars covered in fake grass and bunting

SOUND CUE 2: Tina Turner - Simply The Best (played to death at conferences)

ENTER S.L. Mayor BoJo and Ant & Dec with trophy in hand to present to the winners

Then we all go home and go to bed.


The word on the street though, is that BBC Radio London might be 'doing a piece' on Plumstead Common on their breakfast radio show tomorrow. That's Saturday morning. I normally tune in anyway, so am definitely going to listen in. The Saturday breakfast show is really informative and fun and Simon Lederman, the presenter is a real fan of London. I don't know if Joanne Good still presents on this show, but she is absolutely hilarious and as mad as a box of frogs.

The gold award could look like this

1 -  Let's not sit back and leave the PCEG to it. They could always do with an extra pair of hands. Be pro-active and join in. Looking for friendship? You never know who you could meet at one of the fence painting days.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

There's going to be a Royal wedding!!!!

I've had an exclusive insider scoop. There's going to be a Royal wedding this year. Oh my God, I can't wait. I'm putting on my top hat, tying up my white tie and brushing off my tails.

May I send my heartiest congratulations on behalf of the good people of Plumsteadshire to Harry and Kate. We are jus..... Hang on, there's something afoot. Do my eyes deceive me or is that a picture of Harry?

What the heck, I'll order a box for family and friends anyway.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Time to sweep away crime

When I heard there are sweeping changes coming, I never thought it would hit home so directly.

Over the past year, I've had 3 brooms stolen¹ from my front garden. These aren't a kind of Stradivarius of the cleaning world, but just plain, cheap brooms. I've never had anything else taken, just plain cheap brooms.

It's a bit of a mystery to me. I'll buy another one and booby trap it.

Hardware store shopping list
1x plain cheap broom
1x reel of fishing wire
1x packet of screw eyes
1x vat of boiling hot oil

Can you guess what it is yet?


1- not at the same time

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Woolwich regeneration

Even though I have a real camera, I love the lo-fi effects of taking photos on the telephone camera.

Back in the early '90s I had a LOMO camera, which was fantastic. It cost £15 brand new and was quite exciting to take photographs and have little control over the end result. The LOMO has had a bit of a renaissance over the past few years through their film cameras and smartphone apps, which is great as it injects a bit of chance to photography.

I like the thought that we (humans), like to think we can control everything, but actually, we can't, and shouldn't. A bit like that sentence actually.

1 - There are other photographic developing & printing services available.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Spring is springing

This morning, I leapt out of bed and breathed in the fresh country air of Plumsteadshire. Winter has felt like it's gone on for far too long now and Spring hath arrived at long last. Of course, I had to take a photo of the Common.

Doesn't it look pretty?

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Save the Maryon Wilson Animal Park - part the seconde

One lovely listener has sent me a link to the Friends of Maryon Wilson Park website.

See what happened with us giving the Government a hard time about saving the woodlands? They got scared and saw sense (well, that's what I like to think). We can do it with MWP.

please save us
Click on the deer and sign the petition. What the hell, do it again and again with as many false names as you can think of. Turn it into a party game. Theresa Green? Aguerra Dos Latte?

Whatever you do, just don't sit on the fence and watch it disappear.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Dangerous religion

I thought the title of today's blog might stir up some bad feeling, but stick with it.

Last week, I was driving past the wonderful Woolwich Barracks and noticed a white van tail-gating¹ me. 'White van²? Oh what a surprise', thought I. The van proceeded to overtake me on the wrong side of the road, but then I just chuckled to myself as I saw the side of the van.

It had a really long name, something like 'Church of the redeemed something or other blah blah rhubarb'.

Hmmm, driving like he was possessed. Not my idea of kind, loving human being finding his way to the Kingdom of Heaven.

As if that didn't ruffle my feathers, I was riding my bike yesterday and a car was so intent on not letting me join the road that the driver tried to push me into the wrong side of the road. This would be really bad news if I was in a car, but I was on a bike, so let's just quadruple how bad that is. So I just position behind this car and then chuckled to myself as I noticed the Christian fish proudly stuck above the left tail light and a holy message over the right tail light.

I checked my mirrors, signalled, did a lifesaver then overtook. Passing the driver, I said "Peace be with you" or something like that.

1 - Whilst drivers are being unnecessarily fleeced by speed cameras, little seems to be done about dangerous driving. Drivers tail-gating, people using mobile phones, eating, applying make-up, reading newspapers. I bet we've all had to slam on our brakes to avoid these drivers.
2 - For the record, dangerous drivers can also drive vehicles other than white vans, BMW's for instance.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Feeling thirsty?

Café society could be coming to Plumsteadshire but before we get too excited, let's just cross our fingers.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Spring has sprung

You can tell when the seasons are changing. You can tell that Spring is on its' way. When I lived up North, the arrival of Spring was marked by the appearance of millions of crocuses across The Stray. It were a grand sight.

Walking to Plumstead railway station during the week, I had a vaguely similar sense of the arrival of Springtime. There were warm yellows and intense blues as the new season of estate agent's For Sale signs have popped up. Spring is certainly here.

This morning, I went about my way and breathing in the fresh country air of Spring, I was stopped in my tracks. I came across a large, powerful looking Staffordshire Bull Terrier walking off its' lead. I asked the large, powerful looking owner if it should be on a lead. I don't know what the law states on such things and neither do I know what the code of conduct is amongst responsible dog owners, but I do know this - the dog was off a lead, such dogs have a terrible reputation, and said dog was right outside a primary school, just before 9am and there were lots of children around. This is why I had to speak to the owner.

I didn't expect a charming response and neither did I get one. "Woss it gotta do wiv you wot I do wiv me dog?"........ expletives etcetera.......

I would've quite happily explained that Staffs have a bad reputation, maybe due to the owner rather than the dog, and that such reportage might jangle the nerves of a nation and this could discolour our views of four-legged friends in general ergo he should keep Killer on a lead when innocent victims are aplenty, just to show that as a Staff owner, he shows some civility to others.

However, I have a schedule to keep to so had to leave him to drag his knuckles elsewhere. It makes me sad to think that people can be so instantly aggressive.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Save the Maryon Wilson Animal Park

I love the many green spaces around The Shire, and (as long as there's a Wi-Fi hotspot nearby¹), I love getting down with nature too.

The animal care centre in Maryon Wilson Park is under threat and it must be saved. I've taken Toddler Pangloss to meet and feed the animals many times and we loved it. We are really lucky to live in London and have the privilege of learning about animals. I know we also have Woodlands Farm on Shooters Hill, but that can be a drag to get to if you need to get on buses with a child and a perambulator and a bag of nappies et al.

If you've not been to the Maryon Wilson Animal Park, then go on a Wednesday at 1.30pm. You won't be disappointed.

There's an online petition for everyone to sign and make our virtual voices heard.

Don't make excuses like, I'll do it tomorrow, because you'll forget about it tomorrow. Sign the petition now!!!!

1- sort of joking

Friday, 21 January 2011

Greenwich Market redevelopment

So it seems our beloved Greenwich Market has been given the green light to be knocked down and built back up again.

Due to my lack of knowledge on this development, I'm reserving judgement at the moment, but on the whole, I'm in favour of letting go of the past and moving forwards with architecture. Having said that, I do love Greenwich Market. I love it for its' faults too. It's ridiculously cramped in peak season but oddly it doesn't bother me. I guess it's like a cranky old car that you know will need care and attention, but you just can't imagine taking to the scrap yard.

The development includes a 104 room hotel, which does cause me some concern as that would be a substantial building, but what does it look like? Having said this, Hopkins Architects are handling this development and they seem to have a sturdy track record in heritage projects. Judging by the computer aided rendition of the future market (see below), there looks to be new timber à la rustique facades around the perimeter, which I really like, but UTTERLY HIDEOUS stretched canopies which look like off-cuts from the Millennium Dome, or the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. I don't mind the tensile structures in the Dome or the QEH, but it really cheapens our World Heritage Site and makes it look like Penge High Street. Hopkins, back to the drawing board on this carbuncular detail please.

In terms of protecting heritage sites, I just don't understand what it means to be a part of a Conservation Area. Also, I think the market has listed building status and more to the point, what it means to be a part of a World Heritage Site.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Surprise newspaper - deuxieme partie

I was joshing about our local Co Op selling the New York Herald Tribune, but today I saw a copy of the International Herald Tribune on the bottom shelf. Well shiver me timbers, in my books that's pretty darn close. The icing on the cake for me would be to see Jean Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg walking down the middle of Plumstead Common Road.

Maybe I'll see how long it'll be until they sell Le Figaro, Corriere della Sera or Buenos Aires Herald.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Ice sculpting

Today, tomorrow and Saturday, there is an ice sculpting festival at Canary Wharf. I love the sound of this. If I manage to go along, I won't expect to see anything to compete with the Harbin Ice Festival, but I'm sure it'll be spectacular nonetheless.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Surprise newspaper

I popped into the Co-op on Plumstead Common Road to pick up a newspaper and by golly I couldn't believe my eyes. Amongst the newspapers was The China Daily, a newspaper from.... well, it speaks for itself really. I was pleasantly surprised as the only time I'd seen it in this country was in a newsagent on Old Compton Street¹.

So what next? The New York Herald Tribune?

1 -  Before the smutty comments come pouring in, I was on my way to Joe's Basement. Honest your honour. Hmmm, was going to add a link to Joe's Basement, but now discovered it is no more. It was THE place to go if you had pretence to be a serious photographer, or paparazzi.

Start of the year

I celebrated New Year with a packet of antibiotics and a steaming mug of Lemsip¹. Who said I don't know how to have a good time?

It would seem that I (along with many others), had caught the plague over Christmas and this saw me well into the new year. In fact, only this week do I feel like a human being again. Apart from the usual flu symptoms, I also went off my food and didn't eat anything for 3 days, then the most queer thing happened.... I lost all sense of taste. Not in the sense that I had suddenly developed a penchant for S Club 7  or über cheese - Agadoo. No. I couldn't smell anything or taste any food. Being a glass half full kind of person, I thought it was great that I never knew when a nappy change was called for.

My taste buds did come back, but oddly I was left with a constant metallic taste in my mouth which wasn't particularly nice and after 2 days, it was very annoying.

After 3 weeks of coughing, being dizzy and feeling like my muscles have been vaporised by a Flash Gordon style anti-matter ray gun, I feel like a human being again². So on that note, a belated Happy New Year to all in The Shire.

1 - Other cold and flu remedies are available from your local chemist, but go to Temple Pharmacy at The Slade because they're really nice in there.
2 - There were other symptoms, but for the sake of decency, I'll only mention the mentionable ones.