So, it was the flu and it’s been about as textbook as it could be. Look it up people, 7 to 10 days of yuk followed by a disgusting cough and weariness for…a while anyway. I can’t remember the last time I had a full-blown flu virus so I can’t say if it was particularly bad, it was what it was (and sort of continues to be). But if I remember my freshman biology correctly (and I probably don’t so don’t get to excited) the flu virus mutates from year to year but every 7 to 10 years, it becomes a completely new strain basically. And thus, every 7 to 10 years you are pretty much more vulnerable than usual. Since I think it’s been at least 10 years, I figure I was due and it was inevitable. Whatever. I tried not to whine and complain too much and I feel…well, not better, just differently bad, slightly less bad than earlier in the week. I am still not convinced that a flu shot would have made the difference.
But, I did finish The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss and I was a little disappointed but I can’t totally blame him for that. I think it is a pretty accurate Victorian/Edwardian style novella and I am not particularly fond of Victorian/Edwardian novellas so…eh. I do give Mr. Gatiss, who, by the way, is a member of the disturbingly funny League of Gentlemen and a writer on the new versions of Dr. Who, a lot of credit for the style of the book, and I loved his character names. How could anyone resist a Lucifer Box novel with appearances by Jocelyn Poop and Miss Bella Pok (you might have to think about that one for a minute)? It was entertaining for what it was. I’ll leave it at that.
I also read a children’s book called Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. It is a very charming story, published in the 1930’s and exactly the kind of book I would have liked as a ten year old. I picked my copy up while I was visiting the UK a few years ago at the suggestion of a tour guide. We had spent the day on a lake (I can’t remember which one) in the Lake District and guide mentioned that this was the area that Ransome used as a setting for his famous children’s books. Having never heard of Arthur Ransome I was kind of wondering (in that self-centered way) how famous he really could have been and I have since learned that he was certainly a man of note and one that should be remembered. The story is dated in a lot of ways but it’s also that gentle kind of kids story that I really did enjoy as a child and even now. I love Harry Potter and Lemony Snickett and all the outrageous and crazy books of today but there is always something nice about the books where the most dangerous thing the heroes might face is a really big storm.