Australian Flu

The UK and Ireland* are currently in the middle of an epidemic of what has been dubbed ‘Australian flu‘, with many people off work, doctors’ surgeries bursting at the seams, hospital admissions up and every workplace you visit or hear of ravaged by absent staff who have succumbed to it.

Worst hit are Belfast (in Northern Ireland, just across the Irish Sea from here) and Plymouth (in Devon, the red area at the bottom left of England). A couple of areas of Scotland are relatively unaffected, probably more to do with being relatively unpopulated more than some sort of special cock-a-leekie soup being offered to fend it off. *As for the map…Ireland hasn’t fared any better. If anything, it’s worse with a variant which has been dubbed Japanese flu, apparently more contagious than the ‘Australian’ version.

I’m guessing that Belfast, and the rest of Northern Ireland (?) are being recorded as one of the ‘hot spots’ in the UK because they’re being bombarded from two directions by two different strains of flu.

And, well, I’m also succumbing to it. 😦 with several of the symptoms now apparent. With a husband overseas for a month, it’s exceptionally difficult to manage three children on my own so my mother-in-law, happily flu-free thanks to being of an age where she gets an annual flu-injection, is about to move into the guest room until I begin to feel ‘better’. I have to say that I’m not confined to bed, or incapable of functioning, but I am incapable of functioning at full speed, with every limb aching right now. With three active children to manage Gran’s presence is welcomed.

As a result, I expect there may not be too many posts as I attempt to fight it off or at least lessen the symptoms. If all goes quiet(ish) on the blog for a few days, well, it’s the double-whammy of single parenting and flu.


No Pants Day

This isn’t quite naturism, but perhaps can be regarded as having some sense of kinship with naturism in that society expects and often demands a dress code. Anything that exists beyond that is ‘weird’.

After 9/11 several New Yorkers, in an attempt to put a smile back on the face of the Big Apple, travelled on the subway without pants (i.e American trousers…underwear was in place). And thus was an institution born, to the point where 60 cities around the globe participate in ‘No Pants Day’, riding their subway systems without trousers/pants.

It took place last Sunday, and thousands participated in London alone. Thousands upon thousands more in places like New York, Berlin, Paris and so on.

Of course it’s daft. Of course it’s silly and frivolous. Of course -like naturism- it’s challenging established dress codes. And like naturism, it’s fun. Of course, there’s po-faced commentators like those writing in The Independent who writes

It seems that thousands of people in 60 cities around the world had literally nothing better to do with their lives on Sunday than to sit around on public transport in their undies

I’ve naturally assumed that there must be some sort of charitable objective – perhaps to raise funds for good causes or awareness of people who simply don’t have access to the kind of “pants” they’d really like.

Yet as it turns out, it really is all just in the name of “silliness”; an opportunity for show-offs to remind others how hilariously whacky they are.

What a bloody awful world it would be without silliness and frivolity. What a bloody awful world it would be with the same dreary dress code. What a bloody awful world it would be surrounded only by grey men in grey suits, a world without kilts, African head-wraps, mini skirts, maxi skirts, transvestites, soldiers in uniform and, yes, naturists.

Here’s to all that participated! You make the world a brighter place!