Excuse me while I go and void

Discretion is the better part of valour. On some subjects, the less said the better. Beware the curse of TMI. Ah, such wise and admirable sentiments in our overexposed and undermoderated world - and ones so opposed to the relentlessly banal and diuretic spirit of the blogosphere that I feel it my duty to resist. So: food poisoning. hell2

This week, I was planning on writing about Stella Feehily's new play I'd booked to see at the Soho, but come Tuesday evening I wasn't watching Dreams of Violence but rather starring in my own technicolour, surround sound production Streams of Violence. Wow. I've always been fairly laissez-faire about stomach flu - before I got it. In my subsequent 36-hour Dantean odyssey towards the grail of gastric peace,  I glimpsed the full gamut of spiritual experience and boy, was it not so comic. Inferno: the emergency toilets at Bank tube station, hidden in a warren of clanking metal corridors, echoing with the announcement of delays and stinking of bleach. Purgatorio: a fuggy room with a blue plastic bowl, a litre of Lucozade and a blue-lipped, shrimp-soup-loving sinner spasming under a stained duvet. Paradiso: a lake of exhaustion-and-Immodium-induced lassitude 'pon which the blessed float like drowned kittens, occasionally rocked by cheeky breezes that bring nirvanic though noxious relief.

At least I finished my book, Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife, which so irritated me with its clumsy, patronising didacticism, faux-coy, self-satisfied narrator and clichéd 'insights' into a century of small-minded Middle-American domesticity, that twitching ire transported me to a cozy nook of grump. And the week's looking up. My bowels have stabilised, I'm hitting Art in Action over the weekend, and I've retreated into the soggy medieval comforts of Ken Follett's World Without End: utterly predictable, utterly unputdownable, and full of really relatable bits about peasant putrescence, poor plumbing and plague.