MAN FLUE? BY DONALD HENDERSON          - 22/7/2013      <--Prev : Next-->

As winter swept into the Western Cape this past weekend bringing with it multiple cold fronts, torrential rain, strong, gusty wind my body decided to join in the winter festivities by embracing a particularly nasty cold. Well, I thought it was as I coughed incessantly, blew my nose every two minutes and turned pale with the effort. But my wife and daughter dismissed the uncomfortable episode as 'man flu', and who am I to argue the point.

I am hopeful that the care and attention I later received was because they cared and loved me though I have to admit I had my moments of suspicion that they were enjoying a joke at my expense.
The treatment began with my wife declaring that she was preparing a hot drink for me that I had to take. As I was reaching for my second box of tissues I was in no position to refuse. But first came the garlic.

My wife has always maintained that garlic has many positives and can cure many ailments. I have no reason to doubt her claims and have gone along with it on many occasions as I enjoy garlic. The one attribute I have noticed is that it keeps everyone a safe metre away from me. Well, I like my space!

This time I noticed that my wife was taking this outbreak with concern as she brought a fistful - it must have been a whole clove - of garlic roughly cut and a small glass of water to wash it down. Pleased with the attention I was now receiving I began to make my way through this meal of garlic which required another glass of water to wash it down. I was rewarded with a 'Good boy' and reached for more tissues.

After a day of my cold I noticed that the 'man flu' in conversations with others had become a 'bad cold' for which I was grateful. But I know the rules. As soon as my wasted tissues spilled over out of my area it was immediately referred to as 'man flu' as I was making a mess.

Now for the hot drink, a recipe concocted by my daughter who, I am sure, loved me at one time. It was hot so I had to wait a while for it to cool down. Being a mere man I cannot take really hot drinks as it burns my mouth. But in time I began to sip the hot drink which was now a warm drink.
It was tasty. At first. Lemon was a strong flavour which was soothing on my raw throat and I could detect the flavour of ginger. No doubt there would be garlic there as well. We must have our own field somewhere!

As I made my way through the drink more flavours became apparent. Cinnamon, nutmeg, pineapple and - joy of joy - honey. But just as I was getting into the flavour I reached the bottom and gulped the remainder down my now eager throat.
As the cup had been sitting there for some time some ingredients, the nasty ones, had slipped to the bottom along with most of the honey. That last part tasted fine for about four seconds then wham! A heavy dose of cayenne pepper lurked in the honey and scorched my raw throat.
'Because it will do you good.'

Now I am over the cold and I don't really know what defeated the winter scourge. Honey? Garlic? Cayenne pepper? Or is time alone the perfect healer?
I am not certain, but love does come in the strangest of forms.
I am pleased to conclude that 'what goes round, comes round'. My wife has the cold and, as I have made an amazing recovery, I have been feeding her with my own brand of 'hot toddy'. It contains hot water with lots of fresh lemon juice, freshly-cut ginger, cinnamon(ground) and a discreetly-applied amount of cayenne pepper disguised in a liberal amount of honey. Served, of course, with a fistful of garlic.

My wife's cold has all but disappeared and the vampires next door left last night.