I have been feeling off-colour all summer. There is a constant metallic taste in my mouth, loss of appetite and general lassitude. I feel tired after quite short walks. I feel twenty years older than I am.
In the mornings I have a runny nose, a persistent cough and feel sick. Perhaps I’m really turning into the octagenarian J L-M? Can’t be as he was more spritely. The culprit must be the daily blood pressure pill I take: 10 mg Amlodipine. There is a leaflet in each box of tablets and my symptoms are listed as being uncommon, affecting one in a hundred people. Time to see the doctor and find an alternative.
I am also going dotty. I invited a lady friend to lunch with me at Brooks’s, something that is discouraged by custom, although not by law. The actress Helena Bonham Carter lunched once and it caused a great stir. We will go to Franco’s on Jermyn Street, a restaurant I much preferred in the old days when it was dowdier and cheaper.
I am on the final volume of the J L-M diaries, The Milk of Paradise, and inevitably finding it rather depressing as his friends and his wife fall ill and die. He is constantly on call to write obituaries and speak at funerals and memorial services. It saddens me that the end of such an enjoyable journey through his long life ends on such a downbeat note. I wonder if this is what inspired Martin Amis to write a novel when time goes backwards; Time’s Arrow?
I listened to Mahler’s Sixth again on Radio 3 catch-up. It was much less gripping at home. I am also surprised how little I remember unless I have heard a piece of music many times.