The last few days have been really weird, as I’ve lost my voice. Yes, I’ve had Laryngitis which has meant my normally booming voice has been reduced back to a whisper.
As I’ve never had this condition before, I decided I should look it up on the internet, only to discover Laryngitis is most often caused by a viral or by bacterial infection. Fungal laryngitis is often seen in the immunocompromised or those taking inhaled steroids. Other causes include smoking, various allergies, contact with physical or chemical irritants, reflux and straining the voice through singing or shouting. Eliminating all the unlikely options, I guess it’s either due to reflux (which I’ve had), a slight case of the flu or to an allergy to something, perhaps the plane trees in my street, which normally cause an allergy. Anyway, I’m actually feeling quite well, but I’ve had to restrict my usual verbose conversation pattern.
Which has been a shame, because I love to talk. I really love to talk. Perhaps this is God’s way of telling me to shut up for a while and listen to others.
It’s also a shame because Paul arrived from the UK this week. With student visa in hand, and going to get his working visa next week, this will be no short-term stay, unlike previous visits. He arrived first thing Thursday morning, and although a little jet-lagged, managed to get through most of the day before crashing mid-afternoon.
Feeling a little better by Thursday night, Paul, Michaela, Christian and I went for dinner at Cafe Sel et Poivre. As usual, the meal was excellent, and Paul was able to dazzle the staff (and the rest of us) with his French language skills. By the way, Michaela’s film, Footy Chicks was screened on SBS on Friday night.
It was a great night with great conversation. Unfortunately, though, my ill-health has restricted a few of things I’ve been able to do over the last few days. Subsequently, yesterday was limited to a catch-up beer with Damo at the Crown Hotel, and today to the South American Festival at Darling Harbour.
Earlier in the week, on Wednesday night, I also went to the opening of a new exhibition at the Powerhouse Musem, featuring art and crafts from China, focussing on the Great Wall. Not surprisingly, they asked Gough Whitlam, who was instrumental in Australian recognition of China, to open the exhibition. Now in his 90s, Gough gave the prepared speech (for the sake of translators) sitting down. Espousing his support for a “One China” policy (no recognition of Taiwan), he also gave Messrs Bush and Howard a serve, and noted the rise of anti-Islamic feeling in Australia.
And finally a two-word comment on the outcome of the NRL and AFL grand finals: “rednecks rule”.