My attempts to live my life as a Victorian gentleman have taken another step forward this week. In addition to wearing a tweed waistcoat and a deerstalker hat (plus the mutton-chop whiskers that Mrs BWM won’t let me grow), I now seem to have developed gout.
Gout is a very Victorian illness, but somehow more respectable than cholera or typhoid. It’s something associated with living a proper, excessive gentleman’s lifestyle. I really must ask the cook to cut down on the devilled kidneys, and maybe limit myself to no more than two or three chops for breakfast. And I suppose the large glass of port with each meal will have to go.
Actually, there is still some doubt, so the roast beef and red wine may still be on the menu. It might be cellulitis (some sort of bacterial infection). I think the doctor’s approach is to give you antibiotics anyway – if they solve the problem then it was a cellulitis infection; if they don’t, it’s something else and you’ve endured a week of pain and a £14 prescription charge for nothing. We’ll have to wait and see.
Fascinating medical information, I’m sure, but to be honest it doesn’t matter whether I’ve got gout or cellulitis. The practical impact is that it’s damned painful. And so, gentle reader, I’m afraid I won’t be walking anywhere for a few days at least. I’m just going to be sitting in the house like a grumpy old man with a sore toe.