As you may have gleaned from my comments on my last blog post – I picked up a cold – that's all! No temperature or hallucinations etc, just a cold! Now that shouldn't keep a fully grown man away from his work, now should it?
Well in my case 'Yes'. I'll explain – you know when it is on it's way, you can tell can't you, you start to sniff, only slightly at first, then comes the slightly gravelly throat and it develops from there. Well I was determined to beat this one.
I drank copious amounts of water, vitamin C drinks, hot lemon and so on, and went on air on Thursday night hopeful that my remedies would work. Well they didn't! As anyone who watched me In the Kitchen with Tracey Lautch and KitchenAid would attest!
The hour started well with my sniffles being cunningly concealed during mixing or blending demonstrations but I knew something was building inside, something big, explosive and uncontrollable. I had a split second to decide. What could I do? I was in full vision of the viewers! I couldn't secretly signal to my director that I had a monster inside about to erupt; I couldn't wait for the next promotions break. I know, I thought to myself, softly blow down your nostril – that often works !
'Often' is not 'always' and this was a case of the latter – I knew I just had to let the monster loose! Then fate offered me an olive branch – as I suddenly realised that I was not in vision, as luck would have it my director Theresa had just cut to a shot of the amazing mixing abilities of the KitchenAid blender with it's fantastic planetary mixing action as used by many a professional cook – I took my chance and reached for my tissue – and it was gone! Where? I didn't have time to look – as I clumsily fumbled for the one thing that could help control the destructive power of this huge sneeze, Theresa thought I was signalling to say something – she had no way of knowing what was to follow. She thought I wanted to communicate with our customers – well in a way I did, but not in the way she had anticipated !
She put me in vision at the precise point I had conceded defeat. As the 'Aaaaaa' started to exit I defensively spun away from both Tracey and the watching viewers, as if dancing on ice – I thought I'd got away with it, forgetting that despite my covering hand, my microphone was in the direct firing line and only inches away from the eye of the storm! 'aaaaaaccchhhooooooooooooooooooo'!!
Kitchen cabinets rocked, cameras shook, floor managers and camera operators froze, jaws agape – even all the blenders stopped and gawped! (okay I made that bit up). It was only a second that to me lasted about 10 minutes before anything happened. All I could do was to try and recover what was left of my dignity and apologise to all and I mean ALL. My wife told me later it was disgusting – which made me feel a lot better!
I'm sure I must have woken sleeping babies hundreds of miles away, whether they had QVC on or not! I went on to sneeze three more times that night. So dutifully, I decided not to put the crew or more importantly the QVC viewers through a repeat performance and Craigy kindly covered my hours the next day. Fortunately I am not due back on air until Wednesday, when you will see a 'beast unburdened' – me.
On an totally different note but kitchen-related, I enclose a photo I took in a restaurant in Epernay, France last September – the Moules sound enticing!