Sunday 26 February 2017


This time last year I was struck down with pneumonia, not an experience I would recommend to anyone. I did intend to have my flu jab this winter but was waiting until my chest cleared...and waiting...and waiting until it became obvious that the chest-rattle was not going to clear on its own and it was probably too late to have a winter flu jab anyway.

  • I could ignore it and hope it went away on its own but that's how I ended up with pneumonia last year.
  • I could request yet another course of antibiotics (I'd already had three courses last year) but I've only just got over the side effects of the last lot.
  • Or I could try something completely different - herbal medicine.

On a friend's recommendation, I went to a well-established herbalist in Leicester, Hydes Herbal Clinic. Advanced warning - this is not a cheap option. I had an hour's consultation and a thorough physical examination and came away with a large bottle of tincture, two kinds of pills and a bill that reminded me how expensive all medicine would be if we didn't have the NHS. 

I am delighted to say that within days of starting the treatment, the chest-rattle began to ease and it has now virtually gone. The herbalist is also trying to treat me for anxiety and related IBS symptoms but I fear that these are rather more deeply entrenched and may take more than a few weeks to tackle. But I shall persevere. 

At the risk of repeating myself, this treatment is not cheap and the tincture does taste rather unusual (good job I bought a jar of Nutella the week before!) but if it works, it'll be worth every grimace and exclamation of "Yuk!"

As for the Creative Writing MA, I do seem to be rather busy right now. Best go and get on with my next assignment.