A Step Forward

Last night I managed to attend a Labour Party branch meeting, the first time for some months. Colin Burgon’s most stimulating, inspiring and entertaining speech, “What can the Left learn from Venezuela?”, was followed by a lively discussion. A chance to replenish our glasses, hand-pulled ales being a rare treat for me these days, was followed by the more routine branch business. And, as if that wasn’t enough, I even managed to stay for some post meeting conversation.

Earlier in the day, I’d been seriously wondering whether it would be yet another occasion for me to proffer my apologies. After 13 -14 hours of bed rest / restlessness, it had required a tremendous effort of both willpower and physical stamina to remove myself from the duvet lair. The gamut of emotions and felt body temperature was extremely broad, both limbs and torso felt shudderingly cold during the first hour or so, applied hot water bottles making little apparent difference. After two discomfortedly restless hours, au lit, the situation had reversed as perspiration oozed from head, torso and limbs.

Cramping pains in the left upper arm, spasmodically accompanied by aches across the upper chest and both shoulders, and a painful tenderness under the chin, conspired along with abdominal bloating to ensure that sleep remained a distant dream, or vain hope, for the next few hours. The gnawing spasms in the left upper arm persisted well into my ex-bed waking life.

Having experienced that degree of dis-ease in the preceding 20 hours or so, it came as a pleasant surprise to be able to participate in the LP meeting. Today I’m experiencing a little payback, a tawdry collection of gut-wrenching abdominal grumblings, searingly painful sinuses, aching limbs, jangling nerve ends and, an underwhelming sense of exhaustion. In terms of morale, the meeting / socializing experience, on this occasion, far outweighs any consequent additional discomforts.

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