The title of today’s post should provide the clue that I’ve tested positive for COVID.

It’s something I can’t quite get my head around – not the fact I’ve got it, which is hardly a surprise given that I’ve recently gone to well-attended and busier than normal football matches and made a much-delayed return to the Barrowlands (it was for The Twilight Sad), but more to do with the unlikely timing of a positive test at a time when I was feeling fine and showing very few symptoms.

I was testing more regularly as last Friday night I was pulling together a social evening, namely a leaving-do of sorts.

A full 106 weeks after it had been cancelled, there was to be a get-together of folk to celebrate my retiral from work.  The numbers for the original night were expected to have been around 150, including ex-colleagues from the different places/departments I had worked over that 35-year spell, along with some close friends who just like a good night out.  This time round, I decided to restrict it to just the 25 or so folk who I had last worked with – it felt a bit disingenuous to invite folk I hadn’t seen in a long while to an event that was now two years out of date.

It was a great wee evening, albeit just under half the numbers could make it, thanks to a combination of an increase in COVID cases and the fact it was taking place as many folk were heading away on holiday for the Easter period with the schools having closed down.  Oh, and to show how much my former colleagues really know me, there were three items handed over following a very generous collection:-

1. A bottle of expensive rum

2. A voucher to spend at my golf club on some new equipment or clothing

3. A gift card for Ticketmaster, meaning that I’ll get to a number of gigs of my choosing.

The following morning, in advance of heading up to the football for another stint in the match day announcer’s box, and armed with a killer playlist to entertain everyone, I took a test, and it came up positive, despite the fact I was feeling fine other than having an annoying head cold and the very occasional cough.  No loss of taste, no loss of smell.  Nothing that would have kept me from travelling, except the two red lines showing up.

I’m typing this on Monday morning, 48 hours on, and feeling fine.  Only thing is that Rachel is showing all the symptoms and feels a lot worse than me, despite which she is still testing negative.

Why am I sharing all this?  For one, it means I’m going to miss out on a much-anticipated gig on Wednesday night when Luke Haines and Peter Buck come to Glasgow as I won’t be out of the required isolation period.

Secondly, it has put a question mark over my plans for this coming Friday, which had already been the subject of change thanks to the propensity of the rail industry in the UK to fuck up travel plans at peak holiday periods.

The Haines/Buck show in Glasgow was a late addition to my schedule, as the intention had been to go and see them at Hebden Bridge Trades Club in Yorkshire.  These tickets were bought a long time ago, for a show originally scheduled for April 2020, and later moved to September 2021 and again to April 2022.  Each rescheduling involved booking new train tickets and accommodation – indeed, for Sep 2021, rather than seek refunds, myself and Rachel used the arrangements to enjoy an overnight trip to Hebden Bridge.

Everything was set for this Friday in that the accommodation was sorted and the train journey down on the day of the gig was booked.  No cheap train tickets were coming up online for the return journey the following morning….indeed, no train tickets were on offer at all for the following morning.  It transpired that the West Coast Main Line will, in effect, be closed over the Easter holiday weekend for engineering works at various locations, primarily at its terminus point at London Euston.  All of which meant the Hebden plans had to be shelved.

I’ve managed a bit of a rescue in that I picked up a return ticket for the Friday evening, which means I’m going to be heading to Manchester on a morning train, arriving lunchtime and getting the joy of spending a few hours in the company of Adam, before catching a train back up to Glasgow at around 5pm.

Assuming, of course, that I get a negative test in advance.  Fingers and toes are crossed.

What it does mean is that there are two tickets for Haines/Buck at Hebden Bridge going spare for this coming Friday if anyone out there is able to make use of them…..just drop me an email to the usual address.

There’s a few lines from a song buzzing around my head just now:-

mp3: Basement Jaxx – Red Alert

And I’m gutted to be missing out on hearing songs from an album, bought around the time I retired from working back in 2020, and whose promotional tour has had as much bad luck as my efforts to have a well-attended leaving-do:-

mp3 : Luke Haines and Peter Buck – Beat Poetry For The Survivalist



9 thoughts on “BASTARD VIRUS

  1. That is, to use a colloquial term, ‘a bastard run of bad luck’. Like your Postie (see recent article) I admire your determination – in this case to get to the gig. Often people I know/knew in the US and mainland Europe would comment how lucky I was to be able to travel relatively small distances across Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England to see bands. I’d then grump about an atrocious public transport infrastructure and eye-watering accommodation prices. Both can take the fun out of booking tickets in the first place.

    I hope someone can use the tickets and that you and Rachel feel better soon.

  2. Just a thought regarding your better half having symptoms but a negative test – is she testing from a nasal swab or at the back of the mouth? My understanding is that you’re more likely to get a false negative from a nasal swab, and that testing at the back of the mouth is more accurate.

  3. Bastard virus indeed, JC. Sorry to read that it’s got you and Rachel and very best wishes for your recovery.

    Bad luck with your constantly thwarted plans notwithstanding, it was lovely to read that your former work colleagues hold you in such high regard – that’s quite an impressive list of gifts, all well deserved by the sound of things. I hope you get to realise and enjoy your planned ventures in the not-too-distant future.

    And choice tunes, too. I’d not heard any of the Luke Haines & Peter Buck album before this post, but very much motivated to check it out on the back of this sample.

  4. My recent bout of COVID also happened to coincide with a gig I was really looking forward to. As the 6Music Festival was held in Cardiff this year, I took the opportunity to buy tickets for Little Simz. Not my usual sort of gig, but having blown me away with her most recent record, I certainly felt she deserved my presence at the show! Sadly, it wasn’t to be. I tested positive for the bastard virus on the Tuesday so was still in isolation come the Friday. TheMadster and her husband-to-be TheEmster went, but MrsRobster and I couldn’t sell (or even give away) our tickets. £70 in Ticketmaster’s big fat pockets and nowt to show for it!

    Funny how it’s now hitting all the people who have been sensible and cautious over the past two years, who have been fully vaxxed have managed to avoid it.

    Hope you both feel well soon. I’m fully recovered now thankfully, but still smarting from missing Little Simz!

  5. I hope for a speedy recovery for both of you! I got that crap about a week after my 3rd shot, so it was 1 day with some fever and that’s it – But afterwards… that was somewhat hellish, I coughed for a month and was dead tired. After a day in meetings I totally crashed. Being ill was nothing, the period after was terrible – I do hope you don’t have go through the same!

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