I still feel sick. Mandy's out for the count with the same thing too. It's about half two in the afternoon and I just managed to stagger out of bed maybe an hour and a half ago. I'm definitely getting better - I can feel the cold receding, and I don't feel as weak as I did yesterday - but I still feel like I've lost a couple of days.

The thing I hate most about this kind of random illness isn't necessarily the physical discomfort; it's the boredom. Sometimes, all you can do is lie and wait for it to pass. This is boring. You know it's boring, but still you lie and wait, since any kind of stimulus - a book, tv, a conversation - is painful, annoying and difficult.

It's also affected my writing, of course. I didn't write either Thursday or Friday, which was hard, but my head was swimming and clogged. When you write this intensively, any kind of break - even a weekend - can send you into a relative tailspin, and the longer you leave it, the harder it is to put yourself back into the mental 'frame' you were in when you last had the manuscript open on the screen in front of you.

This, however, is not important.

I just spent the past hour watching the tv. There are almost - possibly at least - a million marchers in London protesting against the prospect of an assault on Iraq. Right now, the Prime Minister is giving a speech at the SECC, barely a mile from where I'm sitting now, at the Labour Spring Conference. There are God knows how many people marching through Glasgow towards the SECC as part of the same protest. And if it wasn't for the fact my head still feels like it's had half a mile of cotton wool dragged through it, I'd almost certainly be there. All I can do is flick through the cable channels - CNN, Sky, ITV and BBC24 - and watch the arial shots of miles-long marches winding their way towards Hyde Park in London.

Dishes are neglected, floors need hoovering. Perhaps some of these things will clear my mind to the point where, perhaps, I can get some writing done before I go to the pub tonight.

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