'As long as I gaze on Waterloo sunset I am in paradise.'
Water is the theme of this week's HOT (we shall visit the loo later). I am writing this on a TGV high speed train heading across France. Looking
out of the window, the effects of the drought currently plaguing Europe
Parched brown fields, acres of dead drooping sunflowers, and scrawny
We live on a planet whose surface is two thirds covered in water. Funnily enough, this is the same proportion of water that makes up the human body, and the brain is even soggier - 85% water. The National Mineral Water Information Service reckons that only 10% of us drink as much water as health experts recommend. They couldn't possibly have a vested interest in that could they? No, I'm obviously dehydrated; even a 2% loss in bodily fluids can cause a 20% reduction in mental and physical performance1.
Phew, I need a drink. At the moment I'm still in France so I could possibly acquire Eau de Vie2, an incredibly potent spirit, often home produced and sold by the rural roadside. But I shall resist and turn to our good friend Mr Boothby3.
The late Wm. Remsen of the The Union Club, New York, introduced a beverage to that swell organisation which has since taken his name to become known as the Remsen Cooler.
'Pare a lemon (a lime will not answer the purpose) as you would an apple, so that the peel will resemble a corkscrew, place the rind in a long thin glass and pour over it a jigger of Old Tom cordial gin; with a bar-spoon now press the peel and stir it thoroughly, so the liquor will be well flavoured with the essence of the skin and fill the glass with plain soda off the ice. English club soda is highly recommended for this drink. Be sure the soda is cold.'
Cold, what a wonderful word. I travelled with a thermos of ice cubes and was thus able to provide myself with a satisfying cold drink en-route. The chink of ice into a real glass caused a couple of heads to turn. This is far superior to over priced, under dispensed rubbish in a plastic cup. And I can get a refill whenever I want. [This is the way to travel. I usually take to the railways with my own bathtub gin, but I have to retire to the guard's van to get at the bathtub and drink it alas. - spim]
The Home of Today4 addresses the issue of water, cold or otherwise, thus:
Types of Gas Operated Refrigerator
'The smallest model is air cooled; the other sizes are water cooled. In some districts an extra charge is made for water and this charge varies
throughout the country. The Metropolitan Water Board in London has reduced this rate for the smallest water cooled model to 10 shillings a year. It is probably that this lead will be followed by other water boards and companies.'
I wonder what London charges for its water these days. [I doubt Thames Water in North London has reduced their charge despite the fact that they've run out of the stuff. I used to live in North London but don't blame me as I have as little to do with water as possible. - spim] In view of this maybe the Home of Today has the right advice yet again:
'A waterless cooker has been devised which makes it possible to cook meat, one or two vegetables and a pudding at one time, entirely without water. Not only is considerable economy effected by this method of cooking but the food is much more palatable and digestible. It is an ideal cooker for the woman who has little time to spend preparing meals.'
[Well it would be more palatable and digestible without being drowned in half a gallon of water.
'Where's my dinner?!'
'Coming dearest, I'm just hosing down the roast beef and wringing out the spotted dick.' - spim]
Talking of Dick brings us nicely to Enid Blyton5.
Find them and underline those you must not eat.
- If the snowdrifts thaw, surely we shall have floods?
- Play your drum with a rumpti-tum!
- Here comes a wicked knight! Sh! A demand for money is on his lips!
- Let Philip rivet that broken jug for you.
- You may drink from this fountain all ye who come this way.
- I will row and you can steer.
- With one hand on your hip, stand at ease.
- There are two thrushes - the song thrush and the mistle. To each is given a beautiful song.
Here's another Enid treat, just because you've been good. A little poem, and you can supply the last word. Special prize awarded.
He stood beside the little pond
His golden trumpet showing
Spring was dancing just beyond
Where primroses were growing
She tiptoed near; the herald blew
A fanfare, gay and shrill;
Spring knew the herald - so do you
The golden - - - - - - - -