I awoke to a most unsympathetic witticism from my beloved daughter Becky. She has, for some years now, inexplicably been obsessed with what she sees as a likeness between me and Jon Pertwee’s portrayal of Worzel Gummidge. I can’t see it myself. Never missing an opportunity to offer this public humiliation, she appended a quartet of mug shots to the Facebook link of yesterday’s post. And Danni just had to join in. I must have erred in the respect and discipline department.
Undeterred, the inhalation treatment continued today. The source of the eucalyptus ingredient is Vick’s Vapour Rub. Apart from melting this waxy substance in a bowl of hot water and holding the victim’s face firmly in place under a towel and over it, Vick’s can be rubbed on chests to relieve all manner of respiratory complaints. Whilst undergoing the torture, to which I might add one could become addicted, this morning I allowed my mind to wander over this and other similar remedies. Well, it gets boring otherwise.
A traditional preventive or curative application certainly still in use in the nineteenth century in England was goose fat. In those days ailments like TB which are rare or largely eradicated today, were dreaded. Even ordinary chest infections were likely to prove fatal. Goose fat was the poor person’s vapour rub. This product of the extremely oily farmyard fowl was in plentiful supply as there was always a huge amount drained off when one was roasted.
Generations of no doubt progressively rancid children lived, from November to May, sewn into cotton vests inside which were sheets of brown paper covering layers of the goose grease smeared onto scrawny pectorals. Pondering this, under my towelling turban, I asked Jackie to remind me about her old friend Mrs. Hooper. A nonagenarian when Jackie knew her, this woman would have been about 140 were she alive today. As a little girl she had been subjected to the preventative casing, and loved to describe it and many other aspects of a bygone childhood. Without this testimony one might imagine some exaggeration in the tale.
It had been 13th October last year, and therefore a little early for autumn colour, when I first walked the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive. This afternoon Jackie drove us to Bolderwood from where we leapfrogged along the drive. This took the form of Jackie driving us a bit; stopping and letting me out; me walking on a little more; her catching me up after an agreed time; me riding until the next likely photoshoot possibility; then repeating the process.
After this we needed petrol. There aren’t too many petrol stations in the vicinity, but travelling to Bashley for fuel seemed a little bit out of our way, until Jackie pointed out that Milford on Sea wasn’t far away. So we just had to have a look at the coastline and The Needles opposite. On the beach beneath the cliff stands a row of beach huts I hadn’t noticed before. Looking down on them I remembered photographing the hang gliding further along the coast at Barton when in July I had been so engrossed I almost walked off the edge.
This evening pumpkin pie followed chilli con carne with a mix of wild and perfectly calm savoury basmati rice. Feeling the positive effects of my various treatments I was able to drink a couple of glasses of Marques de Montino rioja reserva 2008.