The Clan of the Cave Bear


The family McLeod have become the Clan of the Cave Bear. We have been holed up in our house for almost two weeks now, with only brief forays outside to gather nuts and berries. Hibernation has been fun, but it would have been a lot more enjoyable without the inevitable sickness that seems to accompany any relaxation time in our lives. All three of us have been ill which seems to us to be an awful waste of time, although it has helped me to see into the future.

For the last week thanks to an evil ear infection, I have been completely deaf in one ear. It has really surprised me at how much an ear problem can sting, I’ve not had one before and I am quite keen to never ever have another. I woke up with it one morning and following some mutterings of doom from my husband (an old hand with ear problems apparently) I made my way to our local doctor to get some medication before the prophesied explosion of my ear drum (nice, happy Christmas to you too sweetheart!). Antibiotic ear drops duly prescribed I expected to be shot of the pain and the deafness in a trice. Not so unfortunately. I have had to drag myself through a week of ‘grumpy ear’ which featured plenty of shouting and ‘Pardon?!’s. And on New Year’s Eve instead of being at the local hoo hah with the neighbours I was asleep hours before the chimes. Goodness me, is this what I have in store as I get older? Deafness and accompanied anti-social behaviours?

It also left me with plenty of time for my own thoughts, given that that was pretty much all I could hear anyway. For one long, lonely morning I did wonder about mastering lip reading rather than the more uncouth yelling of ‘what?’ at my husband every time he tried to say something to me. There are some useful aspects to temporary hearing loss, such as getting away with some judicious ‘selective hearing’ i.e. choosing to ignore things which you can hear but don’t want to know about. Heh, heh, heh….

A week later and I went back to the medical centre, this time talking to a different doctor, and explaining to him that I was fed up with being ill and could he please fix it pronto. ‘You were given drops, yes?’ ‘Pardon? Oh, yes’. ‘Those drops never work, take this prescription for proper antibiotics and be on your way grumpy cave woman’.  So very soon it will be time for us to emerge from our cave after our Christmas hibernation, blinking into the sun, grunting and pointing at cars. Resolutions have been made, the usual boring ones about being healthier, and a couple of more exciting ones, which I think are important to balance up the duller more sensible ones. My husband wants to take photos of the Vuelta de Mallorca from the back of a ‘chase bike’, I am going to do some travelling in Europe and La Gidg has decided she wants to hike up mountains.  There, they’re in print now so no going back. Next Sunday we start with the mountains. Happy New Year to you.


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