At about the age of eighteen I had what they call Quinsy. No, not the coroner on that 80’s programme. This is an illness that makes tonsillitis seem like a slight sore throat. Tonsils morph into great sacks of puss that close off the wind pipe and stop the jaw from opening; it was rough.

Two weeks of not eating and not being able to speak; a blessing for some and as the Mrs says, nothing like a good illness to get you lean. The family had just moved from Wales to York and at the time I recall my mother going to Wales to look after her mother who passed away in the same month. My dad wasn’t exactly miss nightingale and was and still is a workaholic, thus I pretty much had two weeks in the darkness.

When the main barrage of septic tonsils had finished I had…

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