Sleeping fitfully on the youth hostel floor with baby Melissa at my side. She’s burning up – and coughing woefully. Like a pitiful kitten. I rest a paternal hand on her back as Amy and I try nonetheless to get some sleep.
Suddenly, a scream, a jolt. She’s shaking, jerking. I jump up and turn on the light.
“What…?” asks Amy, blurrily.
Melissa’s eyes are rolling back inside her head, and her back arches with involuntary spasms. She’s almost on fire. I grab her from the floor and stumble to the basin in the corner. Splash on water with cupped hand, grasping her writhing form under my other arm.
“That guy’s a doctor! The goose fat guy – the cassoulet guy!” Amy is pulling on her shoes. “I’m going to call 999.” She rushes out.
Where’s the doctor guy? At 3am, anyone’s guess. My only reference point is my mother’s room, so I go, just go. A naked man running down the corridors with a naked, fitting, baby girl.
The youth hostel is pretty much in uproar now – doors banging, the doctor summoned, lights on, on every floor. Amy, having failed with the public phone, is flagging down a lorry in her pyjamas in the snow. The young female warden appears from her room, sees me, and screams.
As doctor friend administers Calpol and confirms cooling with water had been right (although “a bit extreme”) I figure it may be time to go and find some clothes.