Dear Winter Virus,
I thought I had made it quite clear when you first made your appearance two weeks ago that I would tolerate your presence for three or four days at the most, and yet here we are, a fortnight later, and you are still here. Isn’t it about time you left? Don’t you have someone else to infect?
Let us take a minute or two to review how your prolonged presence has adversely affected my daily routine and upset my usual habits. Horrified as I was at your sudden arrival, and fearful that I would have to take time off work just at the moment when my line manager had gone to quite a lot of trouble to arrange some extra hours for me, I was forced to go through all the painful rigmarole that goes with making a doctor’s appointment these days, which includes having to deal with a sour receptionist whose job seems to be to ensure that no one ever actually gets to see a doctor ever, and fighting my way through appalling rush-hour traffic in a clapped-out Fiat Punto with permanently misted windows and a broken heater. The GP poked and prodded and listened before finally giving you a name (which I almost immediately forgot) and then he told me I could go to work, but I would have to take you along for the ride.
So, for the last two miserable weeks, I have dragged you to the office with me, and you have sat there sniggering while I’ve filled the bin with snotty tissues and downed gallons of almost entirely useless hot lemon remedies. My bag currently weighs at least a kilogram more than it usually does because it is stuffed with various forms of over-the-counter medication intended to keep you at bay: Sinex, Lemsip, Strepsils, and some Benylin product that apparently thins and loosens chest mucus. And yet, you have scoffed at each and every attempt to dislodge you and I am left with nothing but an empty purse and a bit more back-strain than usual.
Not content with ruining my working day, you have also taken away all my fun. I have had to stay at home instead of attending three rehearsals and my oboe pines for me in its now-dusty case. And godonlyknows what sort of state my poor reeds will be in by now. I have gone to bed stupidly early every night, in the hope that I will wake refreshed and free of your company on the morrow, but to no avail. You are still here, and from where I’m standing, it looks as though you have your feet well and truly wedged under the table. Well, enough is enough. You have worn out your welcome, my friend, and the time has come for you to pack your little mucus-encrusted red-spotted handkerchief and SOD OFF. Okay? Just. Sod. Off.
P.S. Sod off.