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i Editor's Letter: Any advice on the man flu?



There's scarcely any point in having a daily column if one can't say thank you to people who have performed a kindness. So to Victoria Summerley (and Julian Hills) at i, thank you for sending me home and stepping in when I came down with man flu. What shall we do when Vicky abandons us for the bucolic delights of country life soon? (Sniffles pathetically).

Man flu. What does it actually mean? It's a jibe aimed at men on the basis that the allegedly stronger sex makes much more fuss about catching a common cold, or any other ailment, than the indubitably fairer sex.

It is a cousin to the notion that men cannot multi-task or just plough on regardless unlike women – because women just have to, don't they? I can't disagree with any of it.

That's what I'm supposed to say, right? Because the idea is that after centuries of cultural patrimony, the worm has turned. Men can be ridiculed and patronised as fools a la Larry David, or objectified and viewed as sex objects in ads, the media, even shop fronts like Abercrombie and Fitch, or Hollister. And it is all just a tiny fraction of what women still go through.

But I digress. I blame my be-fugged brain. What I really wanted to ask you all today, is what to do about the common cold? I really, truly do not want to just go through the wait-it-out cycle any longer, dosed up on Day and Night Nurse. Oh, it's too late this time, but it's just the start of winter; so many more to look forward to.

Come on, i family, help me: what's the secret? First of all, to not catching the damn things, and then to getting rid of them quicker? See you on Monday. Perhaps even in Starbucks?