A thing about being on my deathbed

I am so ill I can hardly speak, as silly old Mary Musgrove says in Persuasion. I have a bad cold and when I woke up this morning I groped into the back of my bathroom cupboard for a thermometer because I was convinced I had a temperature. Some sort of fever, I was quite sure. After a few seconds the thermometer bleeped and read 36.7, which Google told me was in the ‘normal’ range. Pah. What do thermometers know?

Valiantly, I struggled into work, wheezing like a consumptive on the 94 bus which the woman sitting next to me enjoyed very much. And I have sat most of the day at my desk with a loo roll beside my keyboard, blowing my body weight out through my nose. Sorry, but it’s true. I’m reading the gripping thriller I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes at the moment and, as a result, half wonder if I’m coming down with smallpox (you need to read the book, which I’m only halfway through, but so far it’s mostly about a terrorist plot to kill off America by infecting them all with the deadly virus). Just what I need when I’m off to a wedding in Yorkshire this weekend, a bout of smallpox.

Anyway, talking of the north, HERE is an interview I did with the Duke of Northumberland which was in the last issue of Tatler.