In The Red: 'My holiday has been miserable but it has been cheap'

Well, I didn't need to worry about getting better. As I write I'm still just as bunged up and ill as I was a week ago. Of course, my holiday has been miserable as a result – but at least it's been cheap.

I haven't been able to do anything – and I haven't spent money on anything, except copious amounts of Day Nurse, and bag upon bag of apples. I did, briefly, get better – for 24 hours, conveniently on a Saturday night – and as predicted spent more money than I had for the rest of the holiday. True, I saved by going out to a free gig, but I also bought dinner, (probably too many) drinks, and got a taxi home afterwards (I know I shouldn't have, but the Tube had stopped running and in order to make the five-odd mile trip home, I'd have spent over an hour on the night bus and changed three times, which seems just a tad ridiculous, really, doesn't it?).

Perhaps it was as punishment that my cold then boomeranged in the way it did. On Sunday I was fine, but on Monday... well, I was worse than I'd been all week. I'm now on day 10 of it – which has to make it the longest-running ailment I've ever had.

Aside from saving money, there haven't been many positive consequences. For one, I've failed to catch up with any of my friends, which was definitely a priority as far as the holiday was concerned. I've also failed to make any progress in my training for the London Marathon – something that I'm becoming increasingly fretful about. It's now just six months away, and I have done, in effect, no training whatsoever. True, I do run anyway – but only the sort of 5-10 mile runs that most people, if they put their minds to it, could accomplish with no training whatsoever. I had seen the past two weeks as a prime opportunity to kick start my schedule, and, although I've made the odd attempt to pound the pavement, I've only ended up making myself more sick by doing so.

In fact, the only positive thing I've accomplished this holiday is to set up a fund-raising web page. So, if anyone fancies sponsoring my efforts for Save the Rhino – and believe me I'll be pleading with you considerably more in the future – please take a look at www.justgiving.com/alicerunsthemarathon. Every little counts!

a.jarvis@independent.co.uk

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