Five things I have discovered since last week:
1. The expression "How's your belly off for spots?" is a Northern greeting equivalent to "how are you?" to someone with whom you are on familiar terms. A comprehensive answer
referring to the belly in question is not required or expected.
2. You can't catch Shingles - it is actually "The Return of The Chicken Pox Virus". It sits in your nervous system after you have chicken pox for 60 or 70 years and then suddenly decides to re-emerge as an unwelcome episode of shingles. It only affects one side of the body.
3. You can catch chicken pox from shingles if you come into direct contact with the spots (which contain the Varicella Zoster virus, named after the gravel voice sexpot radio presenter). Pregnant women have to avoid such direct contact at all costs as Chicken Pox can affect their foetus.
4. There is an effective vaccine against Shingles which is offered to anyone over 70. In the USA it is more widely offered to those aged 60 and above. You can be vaccinated in the UK at any age privately for £100-£200.
5. It can be relieved by the taking of prescription anti-viral drugs which were largely developed in response to the Aids epidemic of the 1980's. It's very itchy at night.