Lip service.

There are many, many things in the world I love; Getting back into bed on the weekend when it's still warm under the covers, drinking a punchy glass of quality shiraz, reading something that makes tears come to my eyes, cracking an off-the-cuff stupid joke with a friend, being held by someone who loves me, watching somebody have some sort of unforeseen collision with something and not being badly hurt - just surprised (think Funniest Home Videos), a huge bunch of fresh flowers, realising that i'm OK, my favourite jeans, vermillion...

I think I have discovered what's pretty close to the top of the list, or at least in the top five. It's getting your damn lips back after suffering through a horrendous, pox-like, the-size-of-Texas-and-damn-yukky cold sore. You mustn't modify the pox in any way when it is festering, lest the risk of a terrible scar and further pox. You have to endure feeling like you have a huge mouldy piece of flesh on your mouth that everyone is staring straight at, finding themselves unable to maintain conversation without showering pity upon the poor plague victim. The most frustrating thing about that is not knowing whether to point and announce the pox's existence up front, or just wait for the inevitable "Did you burn your lip?" question, or the worst, avoidance of the issue. I can't really visualise just how yukky the real-life Black Plague must have been, if everyone was literally covered in boiling pustules of poxiness.

But now, me ol' full, tender, rosy (if somewhat battered from previous pox history) lips have re-emerged like the proverbial phoenix.

The agony and the ecstasy.