As I write this, I am curled up in bed. No, that’s not quite right, actually.
‘’Curled up’’ suggests a certain cosiness, and a far more artful arrangement of limbs than would accurately describe my current situation.
I’m lying flat, with my laptop balanced precariously on my stomach. The brightness of the screen is turned down as far as it will go and yet I still feel as though as I am staring directly into the sun’s fiery heart.
A chicken and mushroom Pot Noodle is going cold on my bedside table, next to a very fancy scented candle and fancy books that I will probably never read.
I don’t know what happens to an uneaten Pot Noodle if it is left overnight. I’ve never not finished one before.
Will it stay in its current form? Or morph into a substance more solid than concrete, in the way that cold Weetabix does? Maybe I should take the fork out just in case.
Writing under these conditions is not easy. I could email The Courier bosses and explain my predicament but I fear that they wouldn’t have a violin small enough to accompany my tales of a too-bright laptop screen and the £1.20 I wasted on that Pot Noodle.
Poor wee soul in a very good mood
I’m not usually awake at this time, as the clock nears midnight. It’s a lot noisier than I would have expected it to be – although my 80-something neighbours do often comment on my lack of stamina when it comes to the late-night socialising.
For all I know, they could have a regular absinthe and cigars meet-up on the go. It wouldn’t surprise me.
If my aunties could see me now – a wretched creature with only one eye open, trying not to breathe too deeply because it shoogles the laptop around – they’d call me a poor wee soul. And then tell me to get back to work.
This is one of the more intrusive headaches I’ve had in recent years. But still, underneath the pulsating and thumping and vampire-like sensitivity to light, I remain in a Very Good Mood.
first dose done 💉 pic.twitter.com/LhGn9cDrYi
— Kirsty Strickland (@KirstyStricklan) June 7, 2021
I got my first dose of the vaccine today. Pfizer, naturally: the sexy one. The headache and pathetic wallowing is likely a side-effect from it. And I’d take it again a million times over.
What a rush it was! Not least when you consider that these vaccines: these miraculous, beautiful wee vials of magic, were never expected to be developed so quickly.
Few would have dared believe that they would be as effective as they have been, especially on the new variants that the virus has managed to cleverly mutate itself into.
Dancing for joy
As I walked into the hall with my mask on and my blue envelope clutched in hand, I felt a surge of elation.
A few of my friends have told me they cried when they got theirs, such was the joy and relief they experienced. I didn’t cry, but I understand why many did.
I’ve not felt as connected to a higher power since primary school, when the up-tempo chorus to ‘Shine Jesus Shine’ kicked in and we were allowed to do the dance moves.
If those women had been free around the time the Brexit deal was being negotiated the UK wouldn’t be in the state it is
Of course, the higher power that watches benevolently over Scottish vaccination centres comprises of wonderful NHS staff.
At mine, those angelic beings were predominately women. Each as kindly and slightly intimidating as the next: as they led the would-be vaccinated with clipboards, hand sanitiser and no-nonsense instructions.
It took a total of five minutes from walking in the door to getting jagged with the elixir. By any standard, that is a logistical triumph.
If those women had been free around the time the Brexit deal was being negotiated then the UK wouldn’t be in the state it is now.
Nearly 3.5 million Scots have now received at least one dose of the vaccine. In the ongoing debate about how to tackle missed appointments and combat vaccine scepticism, we’d do well to remember how lucky we are.
To have a safe – free – vaccine that protects us from the worst of the devastation that coronavirus can inflict is a gift beyond measure.
Without it, we wouldn’t be enjoying many of the freedoms we have now. Along with the safety measures that are still in place, vaccines are our passport to a summer of friends, family, hugs and merriment.
I’ll gladly accept a headache to get all that back.
Hope for tomorrow
And really, it’s no worse than any hangover I’ve ever had. And it’s far more productive, too.
I can be smug about this headache, knowing it comes from doing something that will keep me safe, rather than a night when I should have stopped long before that final whisky “for the road”.
When tomorrow comes, I’ll hopefully be feeling a lot better.
And the first item on my agenda will be to make another Pot Noodle.