We have survived the first week of the new school year. Ten million Brownie points to us. We are all knackered, slightly fractious and fed up with officious looking letters already. I am impressed that all uniform remains intact as even at this early stage, something usually goes walkabout. It is the way of our people.
In other news, Tilly has a stinking cold, and I’m not far behind her. Oscar has a headache, which may turn into a cold. Tallulah, touching all wood, is fine. She has to be fine. She has to go and sing to people tomorrow in a tent. After that she can be as ill as she wants.
I have made soup. Soup will solve everything. It is one of my deep and abiding beliefs that home made soup is good for what ails ya.
I am not, as you may have ascertained by now, a domestic goddess. I am not even a demi-goddess. I’d struggle to best Samantha from Bewitched and she wasn’t that handy with a duster, despite being able to wiggle her nose. Mostly I try to avoid being competent at home making, in the sure and certain knowledge that anything you profess competency at, people give you more of to do. I do however, have a few tenets of domestic life, particularly in relation to health, which see us right. For lack of anything better to say, due to brain fuddlement, ear ache and a headache of my own, it will suffice in lieu of a proper blog post.
So yes. Soup. Soup of the evening, beeyoutiful soup, pea green or otherwise, is just the job if you’re feeling under the weather.
Ditto, a really good curry. Particularly if you need your sinuses exploding or to sweat out a fever.
You can never drink enough, water or tea. Either way, the minute a child starts to complain about something, I suggest they have a glass of water. They hate me. I’m hoping that one day they’ll take the hint, not bother to tell me, and just go straight to the tap.
The kettle in this house is also on a constant, rolling boil. We destroy a kettle on average once every two years. I’d have been a brilliant midwife on Call the Midwife. Boiling duties are GO.
Hot water bottles will see you right. No home can have enough of them. I believe I have been unduly influenced in this by the character of Walter Hottle Bottle, a strange, magical hot water bottle from the comics of my childhood. Subliminal marketing at its deepest.
Tea tree oil is brilliant for any bites, stings, lumps, bumps, abrasions or piercings. It also works a treat on nits. You smell like a sheep dip, but it’s a small price to pay, frankly. Nobody’s going mouldy on my watch.
Lavender oil is great for burns, also headaches, and relaxing (probably – I wouldn’t know. I’m either awake and stressed, or asleep and stressed). You smell like an old lady’s knicker drawer (as we know), but again, better than frizzling up like a bit of bacon.
Cider vinegar is fantastic for itchy skin, and itchy nether regions. Half a cup in a warm bath will do wonders. This time, you smell like a chip shop, mind you.
Arnica will sort out every other kind of lump, bump and bruise.
This, along with a job lot of headache tablets and an emergency bottle of gin, is my first aid kit.
Oh yes, and moaning. A good, hearty moan. Better out than in is what my granny used to say. She’s not wrong.
You can probably see now why we don’t do a lot of entertaining at home. We all stink to high heaven, but we are, for the most part (except me, who thanks to being a woman is always on the Chaise Longue of Death, swooning) very healthy. It’s just a shame nobody can get near us enough to appreciate it.
Having said that, my unorthodox methods beat my mother’s hands down. A few of her favourites include:
Putting a hot bread poultice on it (this is most things, possibly including tax returns, my dad, the window cleaner).
Scrubbing it with Vim or any other abrasive. Vim for preference. The more it smarts, the better.
Hitting it (whatever it is) with the family bible.
Adopting wholesale my grandad’s cure for chilblains: ‘Thrash them with holly leaves and then piddle on them.’
Putting butter on whatever you’ve not put Vim on.
These are all methods I have assigned to the family bin of history. Although one can never go far wrong with the family motto:
‘It it wiv an ‘ammer’.
Job’s a good un.