October 29th, 2009.

The flu. Oh God. A week before the show airs and I get the most crippling kind of flu-shivers, giddiness, headache, severe pains all over my body, exhaustion. Hobbled like an old man, with Jennie, into Extra interview which is taped on Victory Blvd Glendale. Hindsight? Good idea?

Must remember not to do interview when ill. Really need to be in ones own body to do interview. I did my blustering, inchoate best. Internal monologue: Remember to say the word healthy rather than normal when referring to sexual activity. Make salient point about Elliot Spitzer and Larry Craig. Remember that there is no cure for addiction. Remember. Remember! Actually, I totally forget everything. The modern opera that plays constantly in my head overwhelmed me. Oh well, that’s what you get for being interviewed with a 103 degree temperature. Chicken soup?

Last night my tee shirt and sheets were drenched with sweat. I peeled them off and lay panting in the inky black Hollywood night. This morning I do feel a little bit better but the backs of my eyes ache and I am covered in the light mist of transpiration.

Thank God it is not the AIDS or Tudor Sweating Sickness. Tudor Sweating Sickness-a deliciously fruity disease that gripped the United Kingdom during the reign of Henry VII. Sweating Sickness was distinct from the Black Death. The Black Death, incidentally, the Jews were blamed for causing.

Must have been fun to have been Tudor.

“The disease began very suddenly with a sense of apprehension, followed by cold shivers, giddiness, headache and severe pains in the neck, shoulders and limbs, with great exhaustion. After the cold stage, which might last from half an hour to three hours, the hot and sweating stage followed. The characteristic sweat broke out suddenly without any obvious cause. Accompanying the sweat, or after that was poured out, was a sense of heat, headache, delirium, rapid pulse, and intense thirst.”

Gosh, maybe I have got Tudor Sweating Sickness. I love that the disease begins with a ‘sense of apprehension’.

Yesterday evening Justin and Eric came to visit. As ill as I was I still managed to stumble out of bed and cook the most delicious pork loin. I baked it in the oven with fresh thyme and Dijon mustard. I roasted potato and turnip and boiled some peas. Wholesome food will help anybody overcome the misery of any illness.

Feeling at best a little vulnerable and at worse castrated I will not now launch into my practiced tirade against those of you who don’t know the ingredients of pasta or how to make jam or why a pastry board in a Victorian kitchen is made of marble.

I took a tour of the old Governor’s Mansion. Our guide asked if anyone could think why the table had a marble top. There were a dozen or so women in the group, each of an age to have cooked unnumbered meals, but not one of them could think of a single use for a slab or marble in the kitchen. It occurred to me that we had finally evolved a society in which knowledge of a pastry marble could be construed as “elitist,” and as I left the Governor’s Mansion I felt very like the heroine of Mary McCarthy‘s Birds of America, the one who located America’s moral decline in the disappearance of the first course.

Why oh why are people so lazy about making food properly? Buying ingredients, preparing and serving. I love cooking. Taking care. Using linen napkins. Why should these delightful experiences be abandoned or exchanged for fast food? Eating on the go? The TV? Yes it’s true-I don’t have a TV. Don’t know what Extra is. Never seen it. Didn’t know who Drew was. Never saw Celebrity Rehab. I was busy making cassoulet and pressing my huge Edwardian tablecloth.

I am going to get dressed and walk the dog. It is his birthday tomorrow.