Monday 17th June, 13:02
I haven’t quite figured out how, but I seem to have contracted leprosy. Consequently, I’m in quite a lot of pain. Mmmmm, pain.
We started digging around the olives today in heat that was anything between 80 and 150 degrees Celsius. I had to wear long trousers because in the past couple of days, as I say, my legs have come up like the acne-scarred face of a teenage leper.
There is a lady here who does reiki and massage and knows a thing or two about healing. Let’s call her Beryl. A nice Italian name. Beryl reckons I am allergic to something in the olive groves, and exposure to the sun has turned an ordinary allergic rash into a foul congregation of blisters. She gave me some aloe vera gel and I have promised to stay out of the sun for the rest of the day. I am very happy to stay out of the sun for the rest of the day, as I have some computer work to do, which I am about to start. The difficulty – although this, I hope, will be no reflection on the work – will be staying awake for the rest of the afternoon.
I managed about three hours of work, and two of sleep. Or vice versa.
Now to return to my legs, which I fear I must. If you would like to see pictorial evidence of my wholly unexaggerated claims, you are in luck. For I have a camera. And I’m not afraid to use it. In fact, I took it out onto the olive groves on the first morning and do you know what I did? … I lost it.
An hour or two later … I found it. It was in the olive groves.
Then I lost my Opinel knife with the curved blade. Which – sadly – is still in the olive groves. That knife was essential for cutting away the old wool-ties. Fortunately, Cyrus gave me another knife for my birthday just before I came away. It isn’t curved like the one I lost, and it isn’t very sharp, or new, or particularly pretty. But it was a gift, goddammit, and gifts are, by their very nature, beautiful things.
Speaking of beautiful things, let us put off the inevitable no longer…
It actually looks pretty tame, I know. I missed the worst of it I’m afraid. On the pus-side – I mean the plus-side, there are only seven or eight of these patches of intense irritation spread across both of my legs, and since I started wearing long pants in the fields, there is no evidence of new incidence.
Also, I just did a Google image search for leprosy. And now I am counting my blessings.