Recovery – Yet another weird symptom

11th May 2021

I had 6 whole days with no symptoms a couple of weeks ago. I really thought I had this long Covid thing on the ropes. Unfortunately however the last couple of weeks have not been great. On top of the on-off phantom smell thing I have just been suffering a general malaise. ‘Suffering’ seems a little excessive, but ‘malaise’ hits the nail on the head.




A general feeling of discomfort, illness, or unease whose exact cause is difficult to identify

Oxford Languages Dictionary

It’s a great word. The kind of word that would pop up in a Jeeves and Wooster sketch;

Stephen Fry & Hugh Laurie played Jeeves & Wooster in the ITV comedy series

Wooster: Jeeves old boy, I seem to be afflicted with a general malaise.

Jeeves: Indeed sir

Wooster: What can you recommend to chase away the blues and generally restore your normally chirpy employer to his usual tip top form?

Jeeves: A cup of tea and good sit down always does the trick for me sir. Though I think you may prefer something a little stronger…

Wooster: Abso-bally-lutely Jeeves! A cup of tea and a sit down? That just might serve to make me worse.

Jeeevs: As I was about to say sir, in your case I think perhaps something a little stronger. Since it is too early for a restorative of the alcoholic variety I believe a strong black coffee with lots of sugar and a large slice of cake should restore you to your usual self.

Wooster: Jolly good idea what. Make it so Jeeves, make it so.

I can only apologise to the memory of P G Wodehouse and his myriad fans for the above sorry attempt at a Jeeves and Wooster sketch.

So, back to my interesting new symptom.

Despite the ‘malaise’ I have continued to exercise, though not such long hours ( I had got up to 22 mile walks and 80 mile bike rides). This morning (Tuesday 11th May 2021) I woke early and set off on a 30 mile bike ride.

My aptly named bike at Hambledon Lock

Easy peasy.

During the ride I can sense the phantom smell trying to take hold. Subconsciously I am pushing it away, but it is always there. It’s not affecting my riding though.

10 miles in and I’ve just rolled slowly through Marlow following the slow moving rush hour traffic. I turn off the main road and am approaching a long hill. I’m cruising along, conserving my energy for the climb and suddenly, totally without warning, I think I’m going to faint. My world view suddenly contracts and I can’t think straight. I have just enough sense (and fortunately space) to immediately stop. As quickly as it came on it was gone.

I would love to have asked the chap walking on the opposite side of the road who was looking at me as if I had just done something really odd, what he saw, but I didn’t.

After a minute or so, and feeling absolutely fine, I decided to carry on with my ride. Better to continue on the really quiet roads than take the short route home on the main road I thought.

For the rest of the ride I felt absolutely fine and had a generally lovely ride on quiet roads.

Should I stop riding because of one isolated incident? Should I give in to the weird symptoms that dog my days? I’d ask for your thoughts, but I already know the answer…


Onward and upward.

Now I’m off to fix myself a strong black coffee with lots of sugar and a large slice of cake.


As you may remember, I will be moving away from Gandalfontour soon and starting a new blog on a new website. I have got myself a domain name and will be launching it very soon. I will make sure that Gandalfontour runs alongside for a while to give you, my lovely readers, a chance to keep up.

4 thoughts on “Recovery – Yet another weird symptom

  1. My mother could be rather unsympathetic when I was a child and used to say, “If you can eat, there’s not much wrong with you.” You have my sympathy and I hope you enjoyed your cake.


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