YOU will be pleased to hear that the man flu from which I suffered has been defeated.

(Mind, I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that it hasn't just been having a long weekend away and will arrive back on my doorstep with a suntan and a new variety of Spanish germ).

It was, in fact, my throat that was most severely attacked during my illness. I had to sleep sitting upright in bed like a stuffed owl so that I could breath and every cough was like having your tonsils tickled with a hot poker.

This didn't do my voice any good. At one time, I sounded as threatening as Don Corleone. This roughness has changed in the past week and gone through varying tones and huskiness until it is almost normal. This is something about which I am relieved. I was not happy for those two days when I sounded like Lauren Bacall (inset)) asking Humphrey Bogart to whistle.

But while the voice is improving, the cough has remained. It is persistent and annoying. It used to be explosively ferocious, a Vesuvius eruption of uncontrolled violence that had witnesses shaking their heads at my capacity to remain standing after such an attack, or running for the hills to avoid contamination.

Now it sounds affected, as if I'm doing it for attention. And I'm not. A small irritation is still there despite taking all medical remedies known to man.

Unfortunately, I think my wife and friends are beginning to develop the same attitude towards me, that I have towards the cough.

They now think I'm a small irritation.