Norwich South MP Simon Wright steps in while I recover from horrid virus

Apologies for last week's unauthorised absence, although I hear that MP Simon Wright filled my slot, as it were, and they say a change is as good as a rest.

I had intended to write my column, but was overtaken by a dreadful ague, the type that everyone else dismisses as a 'cold', but which I felt at some points was akin to the virus in 28 Days Later.

As I type, I am only just recovering from this devastating blow to my immune system and the ability to mutter or think anything other than self-pitying claptrap about my fight for survival.

I did consider writing an entire column where I repeated the same sentence ('Please.

Send. Help') over and over again, but Simon Wright trumped me with plentiful stories about his constituency work.

On that note, I must thank so many of you for asking me, nay begging me, to come back.

It is with heavy heart, therefore, and still the remains of a heavy head cold, that I must break the news that I am about to desert you yet again.

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Unusually, my illness occurred just before my holiday, rather than on the first day of it (of course, let's not count any chickens – I can, and probably will, still pull something infectious out of the bag, probably attached to a stack of grimy Match Attax trading cards) and so you're just going to have to cope without me for a week.

I shall be enjoying the one week in the year when no one can look at my clothes, inspired by this year's autumn/winter SAS Night Operations Collection, and say: 'Halloween's over, love'.

If I come trick or treating at your door, my sweet of choice is sweet peanuts. Stock up.

•This article was original published on October 24, 2011