Friday, 6 August 2010

Pills for all ills...



When 'Victorian Farm' was on the box, Mrs S and I immediately became addicts! We were glued to the screen at every calf born, pint brewed, field mown, and were as sad and miserable as the cast when it all folded up. Mrs S actually had to manhandle me away from watching the series for the third time, (which was actually an interesting, and enlightening experience - the manhandling that is, not missing the programme you understand...)!

So when 'Victorian Pharmacy', with the lovely Ruth Goodman in charge, was starting, we stopped the clocks, turned out the lights and silenced JRT with a juicy bone.

That was until it got into full swing. We keep going to sleep! The last one was a record as I'd started snoring by 10 past 9, and Mrs S followed soon afterwards!

It is so boring, and as John Crace says in The Grauniad, "So what we got was Victorian Pharmacy With 21st Century Health and Safety Regulations, which rather undermined the whole point of the programme."!

Not far from here, about 100 years ago, there was a Chemist just like the one they use at Blists Hill, and I have an advert which shows that he sold the following potentially dubious potions: -

Pridgeon's Moelline for the hair, Superior Old Lavender Water, Anti-tic Pills, drops for Deafness, Gout Pills, Chilblain lotion, and also a stock of other lozenges including Ipecacuanha, Tolu, Paregoric, Glycerine Jujubes, Pulmonic Wafers, etc etc...

He presumably died a happy man, and his shop is now a couple of private houses, and, judging by the average age of the inhabitants of the boneyard close by, he did a pretty good job back then!

But now we have NICE, and Elfun Saferty Brigade, Brussels rules and the Common Market (What? Ed.), and the remnants of a struggling NHS, totally mishandled by the last Labour bunch of misfits, (latterly run by an ex-work study gap year student, now after the leader's job for God's sake), and loads of foreign companies making squillions from people being ill.

Whether any of the above worry about their 'customers' getting better, presumably is not their problem. The NHS frontline staff do, but that's because they know what they're doing.

We've come a long way since chemists sold 'Woolley's Pectoral Candy', and 'Dr. Stolberg's Voice Lozenges', but don't hold your breath, as you may well need a course of 'Brown's Bronchial Trooches'.

Oh bugger; not that bloody man again...

18 comments:

lilith said...

Pass the Laudanum!

Scrobs... said...

Aww yes Lils!

When you think how nasty foxgloves, deadly nightshade, etc are, it's not surprising that some natural remedies had some kudos, except that nobody ever offered me a pint of Dr Collis Brown's...

Mrs S has never forgiven me for dropping a huge bottle of the stuff on the first day of a family holiday!

BTW, have you ever tried pickled radish?

Don't, they're disgusting.

Philipa said...

me too, i liked victorian farm and wrote to ruth with an idea. she didn't have the grace to reply, not even a standard response, so as far as i'm concerned she can shove her new found fame and money where the monkey shoved his nuts! i watched one episode of the pharmacy thing due to the poppets but we much prefer Horrible Histories locum doctor and Stupid Deaths.

Scrobs... said...

OK then Pips - what was your idea then?

Apart from that, did you have a good break, and did you like the ending of 'Identity', which has just finished?

Thud said...

Scrobs...life on Thud acres is pretty much like Victorian farm or at least untill the next years building work finishes...hence the decamping to California for a couple of months (cheaper than divorce!)

rvi said...

My old gran used to say "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" - to which I used to reply "I thought it was too much garlic in your cooking".... and then run like the clappers before I got a thick ear.

Blue Eyes said...

The scene in the recent Sherlock Holmes movie (the Jude Law one) in the chemistry lab was brilliant. The Victorians may not have known as much as we do about the human body but they weren't scared to experiment!

Electro-Kevin said...

A pharmacy without Gaviscon or Codeine is not worth watching.

Scrobs... said...

Thud, I couldn't really think of a project I'd like to do more than your Thud Acres scheme.

I reckon there's one more project in me/us, but it will be on a small scale - meaning I like building things, but enjoy the intricate work like putting in locks.

You should see the design and manufacture I've been working on to try and make the electric motor on my bike work...(this will be a post on its own when it's finished).

Scrobs... said...

That's why you were never allowed to be ill Reevers!

That apple mantra has some bearing actually, although I can't remember why...

Scrobs... said...

I haven't see the movie Blues, but it immediately takes me back to the chem lab at school, where there was a jar which had the most revolting stinking growth imaginable inside.

And nobody knew what it was either...

Scrobs... said...

Both of those are the equivalent of the quick setting compound you put in concrete Elecs.

HenryJ said...

Don't think they have stopped all these magic potions,all they have done is removed the illegal drugs from the potions and charge higher prices for sweets with eucalyptus oil in them,the cure for all ills,but don't try and by from Morrisons medicines shelves and go onto those do it yourself tills as you have to get the 12 year old shop assistant to give you permission,usually I like that type of programme but it was like watching paint dry so gave up.

Scrobs... said...

HJ - too true!

Just think of the giggles as they show you how to scan an industrial drum of Lanacane, three cwt of Exlax, a large tube of KY (for medicinal purposes only), a peculiar set of 'hair cutting' instruments shaped like a banana..., 24 pairs of rubber gloves, and a blow-up orthopaedic cushion...


And all on OAP's double points day!

Philipa said...

I think it was kinda like the Hugh Fernly Whittingstall thing - taking what they do and applying it in real life situations today. So they could look at the differences then and now and comment on relative poverty, both in financial terms and in information terms - in the middle ages people knew how to use the hedgerows to eat, they could look at farming common land and comment on the changes in the law that constrains people to a certain lifestyle. I think that would be interesting: chained to Tesco by law of the state.

Scrobs... said...

That seems to me to be a damn good idea Pips, with plenty of current comment and melded with a bit of history.

I'm sorry they just didn't bother though, that's bad manners.

Trouble may be that it won't mention fast food, even though in Tonbridge yesterday, I reckon I saw about 25 lbs of blackberries in one stretch about 50 ft long! I've never seen so many, but I was wearing a white shirt so they had to stay there...

Now what faster food can you get than blackberries?

rvi said...

Rocket?

I am now going to lie down and have a fit of the vapours, something I have not had for the past 150 years...

Scrobs... said...

It's taken me several minutes to understand your comment Reevers, and now I agree with you - Yes!!!

Ha ha ha!

I hope that where you are, the 'vapours' do not constitute an industrial menace...