Aim, method, re­sult – pos­si­ble con­cus­sion

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

AVAGUE mem­ory came back to me the other day of record­ing the re­sults of chem­istry ex­per­i­ments. In our sci­ence note­books we set out an aim, method, re­sult and – hope­fully – a con­clu­sion to our in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

The mem­ory is hazy, be­cause at school I didn’t pay enough at­ten­tion to the dark arts which was how I saw sci­ence and maths. Mr F on the other hand was (still is) a star player in these sub­jects.

Even now I can smell those pun­gent chem­i­cals and see the flam­ing Bun­sen Burn­ers in the sci­ence labs. They be­came my own lit­tle Hades; an un­der­world I laughed my way through, but se­cretly feared.

My ran­dom thoughts on record­ing sci­ence ex­per­i­ments all those decades ago came af­ter Mr F and I re­turned from what turned out to be a strange hol­i­day.

Aim: A week’s chillin’ with (hope­fully) a bit of sun to blow away the win­ter cob­webs. Method: A short cruise. We left it too late to book trips at ports in France, Spain and Guernsey – they were all sold out – but de­cided we would be con­tent to stroll around the decks, catch up on our read­ing, have a few drinks, and en­joy some lovely meals with­out (oh joy) hav­ing to drive home.

Mr F also en­joyed tak­ing part in in­di­vid­ual quizzes be­fore din­ner and joined a Span­ish class. I saw a cou­ple of shows and a film – Ever­est. And the sun shone.

On the down side the P&O ship Bri­tan­nia was far too big – it looked like a block of flats – and there was no prom­e­nade deck on which to stretch our legs.

But, a rea­son­able re­sult? Yes, un­til I tripped on the stairs, blood­ied my nose, and ended up with a face of many colours. This was fol­lowed by gas­troen­teri­tis.

Mr F was left to his own de­vices while I was con­fined to our cabin for the last 48 hours of our hol­i­day, served in­valid ra­tions on card­board plates and reg­u­larly squirted with dis­in­fec­tant by a spe­cial crew in sur­gi­cal masks.

My con­di­tion wasn’t as ex­treme as norovirus, which we both had on a four month long cruise in 2012, but, if you’ve seen the news, you’ll know why cruise ships don’t take any risks with spread­ing in­fec­tion.

Now home, the bruis­ing is nearly gone but my head still hurts and yes, I have a con­clu­sion:

When it comes to hol­i­days – stay at home.

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