Oh, WHEN will this affliction ever LEAVE me?

I am now onto, let’s see, DAY NINE of my viral infection, with no end in sight – and frankly, it is all starting to get a little boring. Yesterday in particular was a complete write-off, which saw me up and about for not much more than ten hours – most of them spent groaning, mithering and angrily breaking wind. I’m generally quite good at handling illness – at least when it provides me with a justification for doing sod all – but one can only hold self-pity at bay for so long.

However, this was as nothing compared to the problems faced in our village over the weekend, as a freak downpour on Friday night/Saturday morning caused flash flooding, wreaking unprecedented havoc. (I’ve written the episode up on the village blog, accompanied by photos from K.) The village pub in particular was hit hard, but a concerted collective effort saw it back open for business on Saturday night. Our local pub singer performed a free set; couples danced on the newly exposed quarry-tiled floor (a distinct improvement on the ancient and now ruined carpets, if truth be told); everyone affected to ignore the pervading smell of damp; and the whole evening displayed the sort of Pulling Together In Times Of Trial spirit that Made Our Country Great, Spirit Of The Blitz, etc etc etc.

Turning to lighter matters, I’m pleased as Punch to have received this beautiful and extremely tasteful hand-crafted trophy from Guyana-Gyal, which will nestle in nicely with the contemporary ceramics on us cottage mantlepiece:

premio+arte+y+picoIt’s an understated little thing, isn’t it?

Now then, the rules also state that I have to pass the award on to “five other blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community“. (Oh, and I also have to credit the award’s originator. There, ’tis done.)

In which case, I shall firstly make a posthumous award to the much-missed Tired Dad, who rather abruptly shut up shop in April. TD’s contribution to the You’re Not The Only One blogging anthology (“Truce or Scare”, page 98) is not only the best thing he’s ever written – a masterpiece of controlled exposition, which saw me swerve from hysterical laughter to a full-on sobbing fit in a matter of minutes – but it also serves as the missing final post from his blog, for reasons which should become apparent.

My second award is also a posthumous one. Peach did a fantastic job with the aforementioned blogging anthology, and she has also done a first-rate job at keeping Post of the Week going this year. (And she’s dropping her first Babby soon, so Yay for that.)

My third award goes to Gordon McLean, both for long service (he’s been at it more or less continuously since 1999), and for generally being helpful, supportive and an all-round good egg.

The fourth and fifth awards go to two relatively new blogs, which have been my favourite discoveries of 2008: Todger Talk (especially for the disarmingly honest and unfailingly hilarious reviews of sex toys for men) and Bête De Jour (back in business after a nasty flooding incident, which rather neatly brings this post full circle).

I hope that all recipients feel as aesthetically blessed by this sumptuous piece of craftmanship as I do. Oh yes indeed!

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