Saturday, 5 December 2015

Health at the Hearth.

I was pruning my young apple and pear trees today when a branch flew off and hit me in the eye. It came at such speed that I didn’t even have time to blink, so the eyeball got it. I bathed it in salt water because I was brought up to believe that salt water cures everything from mouth ulcers to leprosy to syphilis. (Actually, I can’t honestly say I remember any mention of syphilis, but I was certainly left in no doubt that salt water is the ultimate panacea.) And I used water from the kettle because I was further persuaded that using boiled water obviates the need for amputation if ever you fall over and cut your knee.

*I was aged around eleven when I slashed my hand rather badly on some rusty barbed wire. My stepfather mocked any silly talk about anti-tetanus jabs and stitches, and bound the wound with a bandage which he tied off with a neat bow. Meanwhile, my mother walked back along the route I’d taken home, cleaning up the blood which had dripped onto the pavement. Housewives in those days took personal responsibility for the state of the neighbourhood, you see, and my mother was a great believer in doing her social duty. Nevertheless, I still find her action so bizarre that I’ve often wondered whether I dreamt it in a state of delirium. I’m sure I didn’t because I wasn’t delirious; I was more interested in the way my stepfather cut the end of the bandage lengthways in order to tie it off. Things like that impressed me.*

My eye is still sore and not focusing properly.

And I am trying to get back into writing this blog. I am.

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