Alison McQueen


Total Wipeout

I am no stranger to travelling in India, and over the last dozen years I have only once fallen foul of the digestive problems that befall so many. So when I started feeling unwell on Monday, I thought (hoped) it was nothing. Twenty-four hours later, after seeing a homeopath who came highly recommended (but gave me tablets which taste of sugar and seem to do nothing much), I am now lying in a darkened room feeling utterly grotesque.

I was staying with my friends, Simon and Charlotte Hayward, who run a gorgeous guest house in south Goa, Vivenda dos PalhaƧos. As my condition went from bad to worse, it seemed only fair that I should press the eject button and take my illness elsewhere rather than inflicting my gloom on the house. Simon and Charlotte (brother and sister, not husband and wife), are the most wonderful hosts, and there is always a steady stream of interesting visitors. An Austrian family were at the breakfast table yesterday. They live in Beijing, which the wife says she hates. The husband is a diplomat or something. There were also a pair of Indian newlyweds, very much in love, and a couple of lady ex-politicians.

In sharp contrast, I am now the only guest in an otherwise totally empty hotel, which feels a little surreal. I am eating the homeopathic tablets that don’t work, and giving them a boost with regular handfuls of Nurofen. With any luck, this nasty little bout will run its course and clear up in a day or two. Failing that, my next blog may come to you from a hospital in Mumbai.