That's the word I have to use to describe my first week back at work following the op. And if I'm allowed another four words they'd be: "Lots and lots of". I shouldn't be surprised, I suppose. When I went in to see my surgeon last Saturday and he asked how I was doing, I said, "My throat hurts."

"Oh," says he, looking a bit puzzled, "I wonder why that is."

There was a small pause, while I composed a benevolent expression on my be-stubbled features. "Because you cut a big chunk out of it. Remember?"

"Oh, so I did..."

I don't think he was going to give me any more pills till that point. Darn it. I've been eking out the happy-la-la medicine to make it last as long as possible, but it's all gone now. No more yellow brick road for me. Which is a shame, as the damn thing still stings like a bastard.

In an effort to self-medicate this evening, I'm sat in front of the computer with a Kitten stuffed up my jumper and a tin of Greenall's London Dry Gin Tonic. Given the fact I've barely been able to eat this week, and only just managed a Cup-A-Soup today, this should be a great plan. No booze for a fortnight and an empty stomach? Three sips and I should be giggling like a politician in a brothel for underage hippopotami, in gymslips. Instead of which it stings and burns on the way past the site of my surgery in eye-watering nastiness.

This is not good. If I can't consume alcohol, how am I going to cope with a visitation this weekend from She Who Must See Her Progenitors From Time To Time's parents? In-laws, while SOBER? What sort of a plan is that? All they'll want to do is watch soap operas and horse racing on the telly (She Who Must's Mum won't watch the Simpsons because they're a funny shade of plastic yellow -- I kid you not), read the Sunday Post, and hunt through Teletext for the Raith Rovers* score.

The way things are going I may not survive till Monday. Or they might not... but I'm in no position to destroy the evidence by eating the bodies right now. If I call for a last-minute barbecue party at my house, there's nothing suspicious about it, OK? I'll just happen to have a lot of meat that needs consumed**. Fifeburgers anyone?

* Let's see if mentioning them works again this week.

** Dear Lord, how rude does that sound?