Tonight I am feeling fed up. Is that allowed? I think it is. For tonight at any rate. I will not stay fed up for long. But just now I am having a wee bit of a wallow. Indulge me.
I have not slept for a while. Which is not helping my mood. I am not good at sleeping but even by my not-very-high-standards the last two nights have been dismal. Dawn breaks here at 4:30am, I have discovered.
This is not why I am fed up. It has to be said it does not make me feel bouncy and full of fun, but it is not the reason why. No.
I am fed up with feeling poorly. I had my accident on the 30th day of November, 2010 at approximately 11 o’clock in the morning. I know this because I had been listening to Woman’s Hour on Radio 4 and it had just finished.
I do not look like this anymore. I have come a long, long way. However, since then, I think I have had about five weeks of feeling well. That’s not much, is it? On the up side, at least I know that I can feel well which presumably means I will be well all the time again one day. But I do rather wish that day would hurry up.
Today I went to the hospital. Again. I saw my lovely Maxillo Facial consultant. Again.
‘Hello,’ he said, then with irony, ‘it’s been an age!’
‘I know,’ I replied, ‘you must have missed me.’
‘Oh, I did, I did! That’s why I had to get you back.’
‘It’s because you love me, you can’t function in clinic without me.’
‘Very true. I think I see you more than I see my wife!’
Having dispensed with our banter, he decided that I am ill. Six years to become a dentist, a further five years training to be a doctor and then years working through a surgical program to diagnose that I. Am. Ill. Hope for the NHS yet, then. There are two working theories: a) I have chronic infected sinusitis which is a known but not frequent complication following my type of injury or b) I have an infection at the site of my other metal plates or in the bones themselves. Neither option is good but a) is infinitely preferrable to b). So more antibiotics have been commenced. Nose drops have been added to the mix. Steam inhalations have been ordered. An ENT referral has been made. An ultra sound scan is being organised. I will return to the Max Fax clinic in two weeks. Because he cannot function without me. Obviously.
Having indulged me in my moaning, I would like to share another, nicer, indulgence with you. Before I went to the hospital, I pottered up the garden in search of chillies, would you believe. I got side tracked. The redcurrant bushes that I had given up on were weighed down with fruit! I was beside myself with happiness. It does not take much. I picked over 600g and set about making Currant Shrub which should be ready in time for Christmas. My gift to you for making it through this dismal post is the recipe. Enjoy.
Makes about 1 litre
300ml strained redcurrant juice (1kg redcurrants simmered for 45mins in 400ml water should yield at least this)
600ml rum or brandy
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1tsp grated nutmeg
300g granulated sugar
Mix the redcurrant juice, rum or brandy, orange zest and nutmeg together in a large wide-necked jar. Don’t worry if the mixture becomes a gel, it will liquify once the sugar is added later. Seal the jar and leave for 7-10 days in a cool, dark place.
Transfer the currant and alcohol mixture to a pan, add the sugar and heat gently to about 60c. When the sugar has dissolved, strain the liqueur through a jelly bag or muslin. Decant the strained liquid into a sterilised bottle and seal with a cap.
Store for several months in a cool dark place so the shrub can fully mature. Use within 2 years.