My shiny new work regime has fallen at the first hurdle this week as I've been laid low with a lurgy which began on Sunday with a tickly sore throat and has progressed over the course of the week to a full blown chest cold.
Thus, despite having a gorgeously husky, sexy voice not dissimilar to Marlene Dietrich, the effect is rather diluted by being accompanied with a hacking cough and mucousy sneezing, not to mention trailing wafts of Vicks chest rub and Benylin fumes.
I suspect that I am also single-handedly keeping the manufacturer of both Day and Night Nurse afloat in these precarious financial times.
Not only that............Small Dog has proved to be a great disappointment in the 'healing paw' department. She can normally be relied upon to maintain a constant ''duvet top' vigil when either of us is ill, and to be fair, she has put in the odd appearance when I've forsaken my workroom to have a lay down on the sofa in the afternoons. However, as soon as I'm convulsed in paroxysms of coughing and spluttering (which is roughly every 3 minutes) she gives me a long suffering look and stalks off to find a quieter place to rest.
And so, I remain alone, lying pale and wan, not dissimilar to my other screen heroine, Greta Garbo in her famous death-bed scene from Camille, which entirely coincidentally has formed part of my daytime TV viewing this week.
You know..........the one where after having lived a dissolute life as a kept woman, she is finally fading away from consumption. In the final scene, her beautiful but wan face is framed by her pillow - she rallies to get out of bed when she learns her lover (Robert Taylor as Armand) has come.
She hauls herself out of bed and painfully makes her way to a chair. There, her nurse brings her camellias to pin to her lap, and brushes her hair. Rapturous, impatient, and hoping to look perfect, Camille begs: "I'll be beautiful again when I'll be well again, won't I?"
In an exquisite, classic deathbed scene, she makes a great effort to stand and greet Armand as he enters. Her eyes and face are joyous and bright for their reunion. But in moments, she is exhausted and debilitated - he sweeps his fragile love into his arms as she falls. He babbles to her about his reaffirmation of love and promises to stay with her forever - now that he understands her love-as-renunciation. He plans for their happy future together, beginning with a trip to the country where she can get well. She gains sustenance and power from his ardor and support. She falters however, and goes limp and cries that she isn't strong enough. After he calls for the doctor, places her in a chaise and kneels at her side, she experiences sadness for a love that she has lost forever in the temporal world. But she's not self-deluded - her death will release them from an untenable relationship into a more spiritual, mystical relationship: "Perhaps it's better if I live in your heart, where the world can't see me. If I'm dead, there'll be no staying of our love." She signals death when her eyes burst open once. She crumbles and falls lifeless, but remains tranquil with a gentle smile on her face. Armand looks at her and notices she has already passed away. He is horrified that this is the end. He buries his face on her breast, weeping. The film ends with a final fade-out, close-up shot of Marguerite's lovely, radiant face - imperishable in death.
Ok, ok...........so I only have a cold, but it is a very bad cold *sniff*.
And as for looking wan and debilitated, I can do that.
In fact if you disregard my red, runny nose, sleep-deprived bloodshot eyes, wild Abyssinian guinea pig hairstyle, hacking cough and extended snot-filled sneezing sessions, I could pass for Camille any day of the week.