Heron on the Nile
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  Kamal Fish Men's Flu Tue 14 Dec 2004  

Tue 14 Dec

It's down to 23C. The forecast for the next few days is a max of 33C. I'm wearing just a shirt and trousers, barefoot as usual, but this evening I'm feeling cold; I'll have to find a second layer if it gets any worse. One of those thin sweaters from Marks & Spencer would be ideal. I think there's one in my wardrobe in London. No use to me there, I'll have to dig out that green sweatshirt I threw in for emergencies.

Actually, I've get a sore throat and a bit of a sniffle; yesterday I didn't go out at all. I feel knackered; I think I've get "men's flu".

(I first heard this term from a working mother. Apparently, when suffering from a common cold, women still wash and dress the kids, go out to work, do the weekly shop, cook the supper and clean the house whilst men suddenly become unable to do anything and need all the nursing and sympathy they can get. Women say "it's only a cold", men call it "flu".)

Wed 15 Dec

It's another sunny morning in Khartoum; I'm sat in the living room of our flat. The fan is on; I'm not sure why. I guess we're used to putting it on, but I'm not sure we need it today. I skipped my morning shower. Even the thought seems too shivery to contemplate. I tuck into a grapefruit, a good source of vitamin C, and listen to the BBC World Service.

The programme is covering a campaign to "save Highgate bathing ponds". It's strange to hear about a "local" issue so far from home. They interview some lady who says she's swum there every morning for the past 12 years. Recently the water is just 5C. Shudder! I guess she'd have no quibble with our shower. Sniffle. Where are those tissues?

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