Apparently the disguise of mild-mannered librarian is working or I was sicker than I thought.
Had to wait for a prescription yesterday (thank heaven for Marie Curie and all her kind) so chose to wait at the dreaded Stitch 'n' Time. Hey, it's a wool shop 10 metres from the chemist, it was reasonable. Anyway, the little English woman was there on her own yesterday and serving a customer when I staggered in. I was cruising the bookshelf (2 Nicky Epstein - not the most recent, and a good book on felted knits) when the other customer left and our friendly assistant looked pleadingly at me and asked if I'd mind the shop while she popped out for a coffee.
For 3 minutes yesterday morning I reached Nirvana.
Thanks to all of you for your good wishes. The drugs are kicking in and I'm heading back to work today. Still snuffling and hacking, but am more awake.