Sunday, 21 September 2008

We Are What We Eat. A change in diet can reverse former problems.

Having been nurtured on anything that resembled food, mostly that which would be either fattening, unpalatable or poisonous to the system, I feel blessed having the choice of food that is now available in the society in which I now live.

This is where the post was hijacked by blogger

I have just lost an hours work thanks to blogger, I have tried to retrieve it nothing happened, auto saving gone wrong, trying to recap what one has written previously is nigh impossible. No I haven't smashed the place up in anger, screamed or kicked the dog, I am just more than slightly 'Cheesed off'. I shall resume hoping I'll pick up the threads. Saving as I go.


Back into the early 1930s The average person knew little about nutrition, if I am wrong and my parents and foster parents are looking down from above in wonder, my statement is not intended to be hurtful. However, my ideal breakfast now in its simplest form would read 'Banquet' compared to the offerings I had as a toddler, like last Tuesdays bread slapped over with a lashing of mutton dripping or pork if my Jewish grandma wasn't around.
Things changed dramatically when I was fostered out to a family who lived in a little village in the country; far away from the noise and smoke of London where I had acquired most of the ailments a child could pick up including life threatening diphtheria.
Settling down in the country required getting used to bee stings, nettles and living without plumbing or electricity,but the water was clean and pumped from a well and not delivered through lead pipes as was the case in those days in modern housing, however the food was nicer and more plentiful. My first taste of chicken was Christmas 32 where I was offered the 'Parsons nose'.
In those days there were few cars on the road to belch out the leaded exhaust fumes we are still getting today, we had fresh veggies straight from the garden or from storage in winter, ie bottled fruit etc, but we also had a deadly unseen thing lurking in most country houses.
Before myxomatosis came about many years after, the wild rabbit was a source of sustenance for the middle class down to the lower order within the country areas, they were acquired several ways by trapping shooting or bludgeoning at harvest time, the 1st and 3rd method was the most favoured.
Most of the village kitchens were similar to ours, which contained a large black oven and stove fueled by anything combustible,the stove would be cleaned with a black lead polish when cool. it took pride of place in most houses where we would use its warmth for comfort besides the cooking. Most villagers would at some time have a lucky rabbits foot, I could never work that one out as the rabbit had four and was the one going into the pot. I suppose bunny would get his revenge each time he was eaten.
The main culprit in the kitchen was the stove, where fine lead particles would infiltrate cooking utensils, also near where the man of the house would drink his ale from a lead based pewter jug. after a winter shoot the bigwigs of the village would offer rabbits to anyone who were hard up or unwise. Having cooked the bunny in the pot with veggies and miscellaneous other bits and pieces and getting into it, it would be quite common to find a dozen or more pieces of lead shot which would be surreptitiously removed as if nothing more than a small bone.
Through unfortunate circumstances I had to leave this Idyllic place that I loved. My education had suffered, which is hardly surprising having been fed a supplementary diet of lead and I suspect the educators were partially to blame.
During the next eighteen months I was fostered by another family whose ideals were far removed from my previous carers, but my education was given a boost and when I left I was accepted in a nautical preparatory school seven months prior to normal acceptance, but of course that is another story.
It is a pity that I didn't save a bit of that lead for my pencil, so I have been told by my nearest and dearest.

Follows, yet another excerpt from my memoirs.

I truly loved this house; it was a place of comfort to me. The interior of Number 11 started at the panelled front door with its brass letterbox, the letters of which would fall onto the reddish brown tiles of the hall floor and be put on the oak table beneath the carpeted staircase leading to the bedrooms. The pungent odour of wet coats hanging in the hall; or the smell of cooking would occasionally greet you when you opened the front door. The stuffed fox head above a full-length mirror grinned down at you as you entered the hall. On the first landing of the stairs was a portrait of Lord Kitchener with an inscription informing you that he died when the HMS Hampshire sank in 1916.
The bedroom I shared with my brother, Christopher was the first on the left on the top landing. It was a large, beautiful, sunny room with a small window facing the east and a larger one facing south. There was a small hole in the wall plaster, which got larger with our constant picking. Underneath the eaves of the house, the swallows would nest in the summer. Their droppings would fertilize the hollyhocks and the bright array of summer flowers growing below. The wonderful fragrance would waft upwards to our bedroom, hiding the smell from the chamber pot under the bed, which we frequently forgot to empty.
The spacious, eat-in kitchen with blue walls contained a large black cast iron stove and oven that was fuelled by coal or wood and cleaned with ‘Zebo’ brand black lead polish. (Primus kerosene stoves were the other cooking alternative.) Above, on the high mantelpiece, were the candlesticks used to guide our ascent to the bedrooms as well as the jars of silver paper from empty cigarette packets that were saved for charity. Hanging on the walls were the tools to administer the working of the fire and the lucky rabbit’s foot, which had belonged to an unlucky rabbit that was bludgeoned to death by my elder brother and then eaten by the family.
Two kerosene-powered Aladdin lamps with their distinctive white fragile mantles formed the centrepiece of the lounge room. There was also an open-hearth fireplace. Close to a window nearby, our radio, powered by an accumulator and high-tension battery, entertained us with shows, the news, and music from the BBC.
The hallway of Number 11 held great significance for me. It was the spot from where I would leave in torment and later return feeling joyful. Although the reasonably new house was lacking in facilities, it was a place where I would always feel welcome, loved and happy. So far in my travels, there had been nothing to better it.

14 comments:

Vest said...

It is of little wonder I am quite happy with my lot.

Aggie said...

Sounds like an eventful childhood Vest. The kids of today have no idea with it all been handed to them via Mummy and Daddy's guilt platter. I wouldn't change my adventurous upbringing for the TV/Ipod/Movies/Couch potato upbringing of the kids today. Too, too boring. Life was always meant to be an adventure. That is what makes us appreciate our lot later on.

amy...swansea. said...

vesty, If I email my address - how long will it take for delivery of your signed book, to Swansea NSW?.
You are close enough to deliver it personally, if you wish.

Vest said...

Aggie: I have never been short on adventure having lived at 31 different addresses worldwide at the last count.x. Seems like Amy is suddenly becoming adventurous too.

Hi Amy: I shall send info to you by email on receipt of the necessary.
I can call during the day to sign it and seal it with a kiss if helpful!

amy...swansea said...

Vestie, you may do as you wish, the only person at home during the day is my 64 year old mum, mum might be grateful for a bit of attention.HAHa.

tqmcintl said...

we are what we eat???

in that case
K is a hamburger

Vest is a potato
Rm a sausage

Wally a cabbage
Aggie an ice cream


me a Chicken

Vest said...

Amy: Your mum may be a good sort, however, I think the mail might be the better option

wally said...

Oi! tqmcinti who you calling a cabbage .. dead chicken brain.

Keshi said...

I had a NATURAL childhood. Kids today hog the TV, couch, iPods, PS and the PC. Sad!

Keshi.

rob leigh said...

Burglar arrested after sausage attack.

Police in California are giving a burglar a good grilling after he assaulted an occupant of the house he was breaking into with an eight-inch sausage.

Antonio Vasquez, alleged to have stolen money during the robbery, is also reported to have rubbed another man’s skin with spices he found in the victims' kitchen.

Fresno County Sheriff Lieutenant Ian Burrimond said Vasquez was discovered cowering in a field dressed only a T-shirt, boxer shorts and socks after leaving his wallet and ID behind after the assault with a tasty weapon.

Although unable to reveal the type of sausage used during the attack, Lt Burrimond did confirm that the meaty cosh had been eaten by a dog.

He said: "That's right, the dog ate the weapon. I tell you, this was one weird case."

So now criminals are resorting to fleshy cudgels to mash someone up before being disposing of the evidence by feeding to a pet? Sounds like a pack of porkies…
This should be taken with a pinch of salt.

tqmcintl said...

Oz bank staff refuse to train Indians



MELBOURNE: Upset at losing their jobs due to offshoring, IT workers in the St George Bank in Australia have refused to train their Indian replacements.

The employees of the bank were warned in September that they would lose their jobs and were told last Tuesday they would assist training new staff through a "buddy system", a TV channel reported Friday.

The bank has told 80 of its workers that their jobs will be moved to India.

"It was sickening that the bank was expecting them to do so," employees of the bank said. Around 60 employees further said that they didn’t have any problem with their replacements but were upset with the bank.

tqmcintl said...

One of the employees claimed that St. George Bank did not help find them other work.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Qantas defended its decision to sack 340 of its IT workers, and move the jobs offshore.

Qantas Chairman Margaret Jackson's told shareholders at the company's Annual General Meeting, that they had to sack the workers in order to remain competitive.

The Australian Services Union said the move would put passengers' security at risk, as IT deals with sensitive passenger and passport information.

Vest said...

In 95 One of our sons trained two grads from Sydney Uni for working in other company depts in different towns or locations. They were eventually employed at $30k each. One was sent off to another branch, and the other replaced our son who was on $52k at the time of his sacking.

Jimmy said...

$30K per annum
right?