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12 February 2004

Ah, you can tell that Iím not well. I went to make coffee yesterday: filled kettle, boiled water, ground beans, put beans and then water into cafetiŤre, all fine and dandy. Let it sit five minutes, came back, very carefully poured coffee into the lid of the coffee-grinder...

I am famous for doing this sort of thing with tea. Tea is a drink I donít take seriously, and my errors and omissions make that clear. I have opened a new pack of tea and emptied it directly into the pot instead of the caddy; Iíve emptied it into the kettle instead of the caddy; Iíve carried it carefully to the cold tap and filled it with water. And thatís only stage one, what not to do with the tea-packet. I could fill a small Xmas gift-book with 101 Ways to Go Wrong with Tea, if I had a cartoonist to play with.

This is the first recorded instance of leakage, from tea-making (which is a frivolous activity, except in China) to coffee-making (which is a serious activity, all the world over). Iím trying not to be disturbed, and just to blame it on The Virus. Many things at the moment are blamed on The Virus, and quite right too. The only good thing is that even at its most virulent, it hasnít quite stopped me working. Writing when youíre sick is an odd process, like writing when youíre drunk or exhausted: itís ill-disciplined, you slip gears and go off at tangents and do all those things that you ought not to do, but itís better to stray and have to be dragged back than not to move forward at all. At the moment Iíve built up so much momentum, itís actually easier to be at the computer than otherwise, especially when Iíve been too sick to leave the house. So I sit here and write a bit and groan a lot and write a bit more and send an e-mail and moan to Misha and write a bit more; and by the time I stagger bedwards, itís not been a bad dayís work. Not that Iíve read it, mind, that comes later...

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© Chaz Brenchley 2004
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.