Sick bed reflections

Today marked a turning point. For the first time in three weeks I woke up to an alarm, got out of bed (on three occasions in the last week there have been alarms, but simply to make multiple calls in an attempt to get a Doctor’s appointment) and went to work. Shock to the system to say the very least. I think this is the longest I’ve worn actual clothing (as opposed to PJs) since the day I travelled back from Belfast.

Over the last few weeks I’ve learned a lot. I’ve discovered that you are never too old for daily motherly calls to check on your health and that it is always reassuring to have their back-up that you shouldn’t be at work. (In our home, sick days were so rare that parental approval to stay off school really meant something.) I’ve realised that one needs a lot of patience to get anywhere with the NHS – especially during holidays – and that it’s kind of fun being the person in the Doctor’s waiting room with the awful cough that everyone wants to avoid. Most of all, I’ve come to the opinion that while a couple of sick days can be something of a novelty, several weeks of feeling extraordinarily rubbish truly suck – especially when they coincide with Christmas, New Year and the only time in the year when you get quality time with your whole family.

But enough whimpering and moping. I’m on the road to recovery and 2011 will get better, soon. In the mean time, I have a few sick day tips for you…

1. Do not underestimate the power of multiple pairs of PJs. By this I mean that it’s great to have more than one pair to wear during a day – one to sleep in and then a clean pair to change into after a shower to wear during the day (with underwear) and then change out of at bedtime. This means that you have the illusion of getting dressed and an idea of wearing actual clothes, but are still comfy enough to just crash out on the sofa or in bed. Plus, you don’t spend the day dwelling in sweaty night-time PJs – gross. It’s even better when your ‘daytime’ PJs are brand new Christmas PJs from Fat Face. Of course, this only works if you’re not in a fit state to leave the house as one doesn’t pop to the shops in one’s PJs…

2. However desperate you get, do not fall into the trap of watching Wedding House. I love a good bit of daytime TV, preferably of a house buying/DIY variety, but this show truly takes the biscuit. It’s basically a company that will arrange your entire wedding for you, down to the last detail and each show features three or four couples getting hitched. The fact that all the planning is taken out of your hands severely disturbed me, and some of the company’s idea were quite frankly bizarre. Channel 4 has been forgiven for this piece of scheduling though, being as it followed a daily dose of Glee – meaning that on Friday I saw the last episode of season 1 prior to season 2 starting tonight.

3. Delve into nostalgic DVDs. Last time I had a sick day back in the summer, I ended up ordering Party of Five (and buying Ally McBeal a couple of days later). This time, I was lucky enough to have been given hours of classic entertainment at Christmas, so was able to spend an afternoon in front of The Worst Witch (the 1980’s original film, not the TV series) and an entire day absorbed in the BBC’s Chronicles of Narnia (currently halfway through The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and loving it in all its retro glory). What you need while languishing is comfort food and comfort viewing, thus old favourites are the best.

4. Make good use of the internet. When you have a nocturnal flatmate, daytime human company can be difficult to come by, it’s therefore something of a sanity saver to be able to chat with humans across the country/world via online means. Thank goodness for Facebook, Gmail, Twitter and sympathetic friends. (The not so sympathetic friends can occasionally be amusing too.)

My final tip for you? Take your vitamins and don’t get your feet wet – getting sick really isn’t worth it.

Correct attire does not include…


At least not in one particular Tesco supermarket in Cardiff – as reported by the BBC today.

This will please my mother immensely. Recently, my sister and I seem to have had a number of conversations with her regarding some peoples’ habit of going to the shops in nightwear. Apparently, this is something she sees quite a lot of in Belfast and it disturbs her.

It’s not an uncommon sight in Bermondsey either. In fact, just the other Saturday when I was forced into work, I passed a woman on the high street clad in both a dressing gown and a pair of PJ’s tucked into pseudo Uggs whilst clutching a bottle of milk and some bread. Logic would suggest that going to all the effort of getting dressed just to buy breakfast ingredients (perhaps even for breakfast in bed) is rather pointless.

I know for a fact that my sister’s done it. In her student days (so she tells me) it was common practise to head down to the local Tesco Express of an evening to buy ice cream when already ready for bed. [On the way she’d pass other students on their way out clubbing, I guess that’s just the way my sister rolled…]

Ultimately, this illustrates the fact that there is a fine line between nightwear and loungewear. I’d define the latter as clothes which one wears at home, purely to relax in – they’re comfortable but not generally items of clothing you’d wear in public. I’ve got a drawer full of such items: jogging bottoms; old t-shirts; hoodies; vest tops – fine for hanging out in but not much more. At the same time, I’ve got some gorgeously comfy PJs which at this time of year may as well replace loungewear because it’s cold and quite frankly I’d prefer to spend time in bed. Also, if you’re of a Jack Wills persuasion (makers of some of the loveliest ‘loungewear’) and can justify spending over £50 on pyjama bottoms (!!) then you’d want to get them out in public, surely??

Would I go out to the shops in PJs? Probably not. I walk up to the ‘nice’ toilets at Greenbelt in them, but quite frankly, in that context anything looks fairly normal. Actually, I wouldn’t even pop round to my friend’s house (30 secs away) in them, partly because he’d laugh at me and partly because it would feel odd. In fact, last night I was already in my PJs when he called and invited me round to meet his new boyfriend and had to do a very swift change back into normal attire – definitely not an occasion to be in nightwear.

Tesco need to get a life. I’d be more concerned about the people not wearing footwear (ewww) or those wearing so little they’re in danger of catching hypothermia if they spend too long in the freezer aisle. But PJ’s offensive and embarassing? I think not.
If popping out in your PJs floats your boat, do it I say and all power to you. You’re a braver soul than I.

A question of nightwear

Some might say (or rather a colleague at work has said) that I seem to have two obsessions at the moment:
Handbags and pyjamas…

The second alleged ‘obsession’ may have had something to do with the fact that I’d acquired 3 pairs in a week and was so consumed with love for the 3rd pair that I dashed off to Oxford Street during lunch on Friday to buy another.

Here’s the thing, I’m quite particular about PJs (I know, so shocking that I might be particular about anything!) and when I find ones that I like, it’s an exciting ocassion. (And, in my defence, I’ve just thrown out a couple of pairs that were 5 and 3 years old respectively.)

My rules include:
– Soft, flannel-like fabric (think Bridget Jones)
– Tasteful design/pattern
– No cartoon characters/cutesy animals
– No random slogans, particularly slutty ones and particularly when they’re emblazoned across your chest

Why do people think PJs should be slutty? Maybe I’m just bitter because I have no one to be slutty with. (Or should that be for? Anyway…)

The amazing La Senza ones (plural) I’ve bought over the last week are the softest, most comfortable and amazingly cosy PJs ever. I’m not exaggerating. And I can just about cope with the fact that the blue/green ones say “chill” across the front and the pink/red ones say “because it’s me”.

I draw the line at “grumpy but gorgeous” (though it might be true!), “sweet temptation”, “kiss and tell”, not to mention pyjama bottoms where you have “heavenly” printed across your backside!

In writing this, I think I’ve actually officially turned into a grumpy old woman, living alone with her cats (wearing very comfortable pyjamas, obviously). I’m very, very worried about myself!

Right now, this is where I’d rather be:

This is the nest that a week at home with not much to do created. I’ve spent several days perfecting the art of cuddling into my fleecy blanket. I’ve also spent a lot of time in my PJs.

[In fact, in the last week I’ve acquired 3 new pairs – is that excessive? My favourites are La Senza bargains purchased after the protest on Saturday. I got home at 7pm and put them on immediately. They didn’t come off till 3pm yesterday. Bliss!]

This is why I’d love to work from home more. I got a major piece of work finished yesterday whilst in my PJs. (See, dedication, working during the holidays!) But, somehow, I can’t see that attire going down well in the office.

But right now, I’m sat in my office chair, gazing at my two screens and dreaming of the next time I get to spend a day lounging around…it looks like it might be far off in the distance.
[Incidentally, I’m not wasting valuable time on the first day back writing this. This post is in fact brought to you by the beauty of blogger’s scheduled posting facility.]