A Quick Catch Up


Despite an exceptionally mild December here in Bedfordshire, my productive time at the Smallest Smallholding has been severely limited for almost the entire month. But due to no fault of my own. In early December, I managed to get shingles.

For those of you unacquainted with this condition, it’s the chicken pox virus, but the adult edition. If you’ve had chicken pox, the virus lays dormant in your body for the rest of your life. Occasionally – usually when your immune system has already taken a battering, or you’re stressed, or for perhaps no reason whatsoever – it rears its ugly head and comes back with a vengeance. It attacks the nerves in one of the nerve bands around your torso causing a dull background ache peppered with electrifying flashes of what I called MEGA PAIN, whilst the rash develops and fills with blood and generally just feels flippin’ horrible.

In my case, it began with extremely sore ribs. I felt as thought I’d been kicked and battered and bruised for almost a week, before a rash suddenly appeared one Sunday afternoon. A quick trip to the pharmacist rang some alarm bells and she sent me straight off to the out of hours doctor. The rash was still spreading but luckily I’d caught it early, so could get some anti viral treatment. “It’ll get worse before it gets better,” the doctor warned me. He was right.

So for three weeks I muddled on with this infernal virus, feeling tired and sore, sometimes in a lot of pain, and just generally fed up. My workload was relatively heavy before the Christmas period so I didn’t feel as if I could take a few days off. I felt like I was coping OK, with the various painkillers and anti-inflammatories. But it’s only now, in the break between Christmas and New Year, that I think it’s catching up with me. I’m finally off the strong painkillers, but the pain from my stupid joints and crap back has returned and I’m so, so tired. I sleep and sleep and sleep and wake up feeling as though I’ve been on a long night out.

I think being trapped indoors has been a major factor. It’s been windy and the weather has been shitty, so between my shingles recovery and this meteorological madness, there have not been many opportunities for me to just get outside and blow the cobwebs away.

Until today.

Off the painkillers. Blue skies. A slight breeze. Bright sunshine. Cold, crisp and clear. Hello Smallest Smallholding, I’ve missed you.


  1. So sorry you’ve been so ill, it sounds terrible. I do hope that you recover fully very soon.

  2. Shingles is horrible, I had it a few years ago and it takes a while to really get over. Wishing you a good recovery, keep resting!

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