Vistoria Hawkins' week

Don't you love good old-fashioned remedies for colds and coughs or even just old wives' preventives against the freezing weather to help keep your bits nice and warm.

Don't you love good old-fashioned remedies for colds and coughs or even just old wives' preventives against the freezing weather to help keep your bits nice and warm. Bread poultices front and back may have gone out with the end of the last world war but believe me there were plenty of other goodies out there.

While kids today don't even seem to have winter coats to wear on their way to school, we ladies of a certain age still have vague recollections of ghastly liberty bodices - horrible scratchy wool things with rubbery buttons as I remember. I wouldn't wear mine, it was second generation already as it was. Us Baby Boomers (yes, I just count) always had to have everything tucked in to everything else to keep warm but then there was frost on the inside of our bedroom windows, no central heating and chilblains were order of the day.

Come the Seventies, I then made my poor sons wear tights when they were small but please don't tell their friends.

When it comes to Mr H - a sickly chesty child - he remembers his ma taking him down to the old gasworks in Ipswich to stand at the gate and breathe in fumes from the smoke of the coal being turned into coke. Probably, he says, it was noxious gas at that but then she also had a habit of dragging him off to Felixstowe to stand near the sea and breathe in the ozone. Strange, he said, that he discovers decades later that true ozone is not only highly corrosive but also poisonous to most living organisms.


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As for a cold daring to break out anyway it was Wright's Coal Tar lamps, Vic on the chest (could be worse, I believe some people were actually lathered up in goose fat) and an old wool sock wrapped round his throat.

Anyway this brings me to a brand new old remedy. The newspaper up the jumper. This was a serious suggestion made by a fairly elderly and very hardy chap the other day when we were off walking up a mountain. It would keep us warm he said and keep out the biting wind. Just thought I'd mention it in case you wanted to wanted to get even more out of EA Week after you've finished with it - I reckon a fortnight's worth would probably make a great windbreak

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