Monday, February 09, 2004

I've had the flu the last few days and I blame Spurs. Being there on Wednesday, as Tottenham surrendered a 3-0 halftime lead to a depleted Manchester City, losing to a soft goal in the final minute of injury time, sent my adrenaline through the roof then left me down on the floor. I went into something akin to shock. Ben and I tried to walk off the pain on the way back to the tube station. I joined him and Ilana for a bit of a postmortem in Primrose Hill. I appreciated it - much better than just going home and being alone with the humiliation. But when I got into bed around 1 in the morning I was shaking and had a high temperature. With just two days left to sort out my remaining work and clear out of my desk space, I had no choice but to go into work on Thursday and Friday. So I sort of grumped my way through, avoided all work-related send-offs and found everything very mundane and anticlimactic when I finally packed up and walked out at 6 on Friday evening.

I've found that most people lose sympathy when I say I got the flu because my football team lost. I'm still glad I went. I can say I was there, that night, at that game. And you have to embrace the pain and see the humour. Afterwards, something in me wanted to pile on the misery. There's something sadomasochistic in being a football fan, especially when it's Spurs. I imagine Man City are the same way. I'm pleased Ben and I spoke to a couple of their supporters on the tube home. They were happy and good for them; we all want the same thing really.

Unfortunately I was left with this bug, which by Saturday night (when 30 or so people turned up to my goodbye drinks at the Salmon and Compass) had up and moved south to my stomach. Hence I had to abandon the beers and switch to water half way through the night. Still, I was made to feel pampered: I sat there on the leather sofa as one solicitous friend after another came over to look after me.

My plane leaves in 6 hours and I haven't packed yet. I'm not yet with it. Today feels less like the start of a break than like part of a long, loose expanse of time. It seemed weird this morning to think of my old colleagues, continuing the work I was doing, only without me. It all goes on and now I'm not there.

But I am excited. By Wednesday I'll be studying. This blog enters its Jerusalem phase, just as soon as I get the necessary hardware out there to connect up to Israeli internet.

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