Saturday, March 12, 2016

Just a cough to the left, a splutter to the right

It’s been fabulous weather in Sydney and to be honest there are few places to beat Sydney Harbour when the sun is shining.  


February is often the hottest month of the year, coinciding helpfully as it does with school going back, but this year summer is continuing to excel itself well into March.  Sydney is in the middle of a record breaking run, 37 days in a row where the temperature has been 26 oC or over and 21 nights where it has been 20 oC – (for my Fahrenheit readers that’s a daily temperature of 79 oF or over and a lot of the time it has been well over, we are not talking warm here, we are talking days that are candle melting hot, and a nightly temperature that hasn’t dropped below 68 oF).  Basically safe to say jolly consistently hot, no matter what temperature gauge you are using.

I went to see La Boheme at Sydney Opera House on Friday– please note the way I slipped that in, culture vulture that I am – the reality is I am complete operatic philistine and were it not for subtitles I would not have a clue about what is going on in any given opera.  However I loved La Boheme and was mesmerised by the music, energy generated by the performers and the set.  The heroine, Mimi dies of consumption at the end – as in all operas in my limited experience, death seems to feature pretty majorly.  As she coughed her way to her last, I reflected upon the fact that despite the type of weather than induces heat exhaustion rather than a constant hacking, coughs are pretty much theme of the day in my household.

Based on past history a visit to my hairdresser is often fraught with drama – over the past year the monthly snip has been interrupted in one instance by a tow man towing my week old, brand new car out of the underground car park where it had given up the ghost, many of the locals still dine out on the story of the maniac woman with her hair in foils and wearing a black smock, who was directing traffic (and swearing a lot) during that incident.  Then there was the phone call I received, also whilst clad in a becoming black gown, to say my brother had been knocked down by a cyclist and was in an ambulance on his way to one of the major Sydney hospitals – fortunately he was okay after a few stitches and a couple of days rest, and equally fortunately (being totally self-centred as I am) Roger had finished cutting my hair before the phone call came and I belted out of the saloon at high speed.  As a result of these and other incidents, Roger and I both approach the cut as a time-trial before fresh drama breaks out.  So when my phone buzzed this time and I saw it was a text from Drama Queen No. 2 who has just started at university in Melbourne, approximately 876km from home, my heart sank.  Her text read, “ What do I have, a dry irritating cough or a chesty one?” – difficult to call that one from a distance I felt, but I was touched by her faith in my diagnostic powers on the cough front. 

However her chest ailments pale into insignificance next to those of Husband who is marooned in the grey and cold of a UK March, and who claims that he thinks he has got Legionnaire’s disease – there is an potential outbreak in Sydney at the moment and the source is thought to be close to his office here – so technically he could be afflicted, particularly as he assures me the incubation period is up to 10 days (he looked it up). 


In the great operatic tradition I feel I could be conducting my own cough symphony quite soon, waving in the hypochondriac section, and then cuing the student splutters, so that we finish in a combined family coughing fit of which Mimi would be proud.  Meanwhile I'm hoping we make 40 days in a row of great weather.

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