Flu has reminded me of the altered states I have neglected in the panic of trying to find work during these last few months. The habit of constant movement, of generating things to do. Why? Why worry so much?
The evidence from the world of fuller employment than mine doesn't show work off to its best. Layers of people saw Asda's tasteless halloween costumes and no-one put their jobs on the line to challenge a boss. Then there's phone hacking and daily ethical dilemmas in hundreds of thousands of jobs that crop up and are quashed.
Fear of losing a job, fear of being the person who makes a fuss, fear of challenge and what challenge means, fear of being unpopular, of being out of step with the rest, of being branded 'aggy', 'arsey', 'a pain'…without the habit of trade unions, without the habit of asking questions, fear spreads like a cold from a sneeze.
And as the questions drop away, the power of bosses consolidates, rises, opportunities for abuse multiply.
I was looking at a beautiful photo from my last trip to South Africa of a group of women sitting on a pile of logs - in the middle, in the pink headscarf is one of Risenga's grandmothers. To her right is a daughter and grand-daughter, to her left another grand-daughter together with several great grand-children. These women live in Nwamatatane, a village in Limpopo that's been stripped of trees. It's hot and dusty. When we arrived in the village they were sitting on the logs chatting. When we left they were doing the same. These are hard-working women who do everything necessary to stay alive and keep large families alive, but they still have time to sit and chat. I was impressed.
In the fug of flu's daydreaming I have made the difficult journey back to idleness, however imperfectly, and as I recover my energy, I will be looking ahead to adding another manifesto to the cannon of doing nothing and asking more questions.