On Saturday I took a bath. No reason, just thought it was time. Well, maybe there was a reason: I had to go to work and it's good to smell fresh.

And I soaked in the tub and rested my head upon the bottom.

When I was done I towel dried my head and popped my ears. Or rather, my ear - only one. The other one refused to pop. And so, certain that it will pop soon I head out to work.

I can't hear a thing in it. And whatever I do hear - through my right ear - balances itself out, so that it sounds like I'm listening to someone shouting at me from the bottom of a swimming pool.

I'm going to work, though, and I can imagine this newfound deafness might not be a bad thing. Now after dinner at work I explain that I can't hear so my coworkers will be extra patient with me. They've all got various cures. The bosses nephew runs out and kindly gets me a syringe, telling me I should fill it with warm water and gently jet the debris out of my ear.

Other people recommend Q-Tips, jumping on one leg, banging my head with my hand, bad ear towards the floor. I try them all, and a few of my own. But there's no helping it, my ear is well and truly blocked.

The shift passes - well, quieter than normal. In a good way - when customers speak to me I give them my undivided attention, cocking my good ear towards them. And I'm already contemplating the fashionable ear-trumpet I'll get, something by way of an antique gramophone, Her Majesties Voice, that will bring the world into focus.

I'll sleep on it and see what happens.

Sunday morning and there's no change. All of Sunday, not a word, not a whisper, radio turned up to double volume...

And today, today has passed the same. I can't hear a thing. Occasionally I hear a distant hiss - like you might hear in a sea shell, but it passes. There was a moment where it felt - briefly, a ticklish trickle ("Has the bubble finally burst?" I wonder, but no, an auditory illusion.)

It will pop, it has to sooner or later. This has happened - not exactly this, but a similar effect, about 16 years ago. I fell victim to the fashionable New Age "Ear Candling", and having tried it myself found myself deafened with a large chunk of beeswax stuck in my ear. I was a victim of propoganda that informed me of the many things I could hope to get out of my ears this way - crickets, tennis balls, corn husks, .... Embarrassed, I lived with the deafness for about 4 days before checking into a clinic. The only thing I got out of it in the end was a good scolding by my doctor.

This will pass, I'm sure, I'll light tea lights under it and ensure I sleep with that ear on the pillow, eventually it has to pass. In the meantime I'm slightly discombobulated, adjusting - by degrees, to this quiet life under the sea.