Yesterday our guest Isobel Carr blogged in my place and today I’m taking Amanda’s place. Have we sufficiently confused you yet?? Maybe we’ve caught a fever and our brains are addled.
Yesterday was the anniversary of the Battle of Laon, an allied victory over Napoleon fought March 10, 1814.
When I think of the Napoleonic War, pre-Waterloo, I think of the battles fought in Spain, culminating in the Battle of Vitoria, where Joseph Bonaparte narrowly escaped and the British soldiers plundered the abandoned French wagons.
A few months after Vitoria, Napoleon’s forces lost Germany. By January of 1814 the Allied forces marched in to France. On this date, General Blücher’s Prussian army battled French forces at Laon. Blücher (whose army arrived in time to secure the victory at Waterloo) was ill with a fever the day of the battle, but his brain wasn’t addled. He ordered a bold outflanking maneuver that eventually won the day. Napoleon withdrew.
By April 11, Napoleon abdicated unconditionally.
During the Battle of Waterloo, though, Napoleon was ill, and some historians say his attack of hemorrhoids was a factor in him losing that battle. Of course, Blücher had been run over by his horse before Waterloo and he still marched his troops all day and arrived at Waterloo in the knick of time. Those Prussians were made of strong stuff.
There are certain things we do even if we are sick. I remember attending my Junior Prom with a fever of 102. The whole thing was a haze, but I couldn’t cancel the date because he’d spent a lot of money already. It just wasn’t fair.
What have you done when ill, just because you had to?
I once sang a performance of Alban Berg’s Lulu with a temperature of 101 because there was no understudy. I don’t remember much about it, but I received a few curtain calls so it must have been acceptable.
I had to sing a performance of Menotti’s The Telephone from the orchestra pit because the soprano lost her voice. I knew the role by heart, but had not practiced the blocking with the male lead. I was actually there running lights that night.
And I have gone to work at Walmart sick more times than I can count as their attendance policy is rather strict. It backfired on them a few years ago as I went to work sick for over a week and when I finally went to the doctor he gave me two options – a week in the hospital or ten days at home on complete bed rest. I had double pneumonia. I chose the latter because my books were easier to access at home and I had canine and feline nurses to look after me or at least to keep my feet warm!
Louisa, I can’t imagine working with double pneumonia! And your opera stories are priceless.
Congratulations, as well, for making the finals of the Marlene contest!!! I loved seeing your name on the list.
Day after I had my wisdom teeth out (major oral surgery), I had to take my ACT exam. Got up in the middle of the English section to go throw up, came back, finished the test.
Got a 31, much to my surprise.
I think your story trumps mine and even trumps Louisa’s.
I’m glad you did well. Made the effort worth it.