I dragged myself awake on New Year's Day to find Hubby already awake beside me.
"We've missed breakfast," he said, blowing his nose. If possible, he looked even worse today. Had I looked that bad when I was in the throes of illness? Egad . . . . .
"What time is it?" I asked.
"After ten. Are you hungry? You haven't eaten much in the past two days."
I took stock. "Nope. Not hungry. You?"
"No, but juice would be nice."
I got out of bed and padded over to the desk, where we had shoved a bottle of juice into an ice bucket the night before. It was still moderately cool and so I poured a glass each for Hubby and myself. "Here," I said, handing him his glass. "You'd better take your cold medicine, too."
"There's hardly any left."
"What?" I picked up the bottle of cough and cold syrup from the nightstand and shook it. It was almost empty. "Did you have friends in last night?"
"I needed it. I was sick."
"You're supposed to take two tablespoons at a time, not half the bottle. We've still got the pills, so take those and I'll get you some more syrup when I go out."
"Out? Where are you going? Aren't you still sick?"
"If we were at home I'd be in bed, moaning and calling for a doctor. But as I'm in Bath, I'm going to the Fashion Museum."
"You're nuts. Stay in bed."
"Don't tempt me."
On my way out, I met the owners of Duke's Hotel, Chris and Carol Cameron. Neither had been in the hospitality business before, but had just weeks ago purchased the hotel and moved to Bath with their two daughters. They are the epitome of good innkeepers - helpful, warm, welcoming and full of concern for myself and Hubby. Upon hearing that Hubby was now down with the cholera, both assured me that we need only to ask for anything and they would provide it, no matter what time of day or night.
Thus assured, I went out the door and into the sunlight. Yes, it was mildly sunny, a nice change from grey skies and pouring rain. You'll see that I was feeling a bit better by the fact that I actually took photos. Here's one of Great Pulteney Street.
I even took an interest in the service areas, a particular favourite of mine. The area above had its very own mailbox and a cupboard - maybe for deliveries?
Looking down the next side street, I saw the sun shining over a green field. It was such a welcome sight that I took a picture for posterity.
Before long, I came to this set of stairs.
I'm sorry now that I didn't take them down to the River, but at the time I simply wasn't up to the task. I continued over the Bridge and into town, where it became obvious that nothing, and I mean nothing, would be open today, it being New Year's Day. I had done my homework and so knew that the Fashion Museum was open, but I hadn't counted on the rest of the City being shut up tight. I walked to Boot's Pharmacy (closed) and finally found a sort of discount store a few shops up that sold a little bit of everything. In their pharmacy section, I found something called Bells Cough Linctus, "For relief of colds, sore throats, irritating and chesty coughs."
I handed it across to the girl at the register. "Is this stuff any good? I asked.
She peered at the label. "Don't know, but I can't see it doing any harm."
With that ringing endorsement, I paid for the medicine and shoved it into my bag. It was only after we returned home that I went online to investigate it's contents further. This is what I found - do try not to laugh when you bear in mind that I fed this muck to Hubby: Ammonium chloride (a white crystalline salt found on burning coal clumps due to condensation of coal derived gases), sodium citrate (sometimes used as an emulsifier for oils when making cheese), menthol, extract of horehound (popular as a cough and cold remedy; used by the ancient Egyptians as well as modern health providers. As an expectorant, it will promote mucus and ease the pain of a dry, non-productive or hacking cough. Horehound treats painful, chesty, non-productive coughs, colds, croup, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, earaches, glandular problems and infectious diseases. Horehound is a well known lung and throat remedy), tolu tincture (The resin is still used in certain cough syrup formulas. However its main use in the modern era is in perfumes, where it is valued for its warm, mellow yet somewhat spicy scent), squill tincture (In ancient Greece, Egypt and Arabia physicians used the squill bulb as the base of an expectorant, diuretic and remedy for cough. They were also aware of the fact that extra consumption of the chemicals contained in the squill bulb was harmful and led to rigorous vomiting), extract of tussilago (commonly known as coltsfoot, coltsfoot has been used for thousands of years as an herbal remedy in ancient Chinese medicine. It was primarily used as a cough suppressant. One recipe for a cough syrup involved mixing coltsfoot with brown sugar and water and boiling until it was half the original volume. A spoonful was consumed three or four times a day for two or three days to treat colds and headaches. To relieve other respiratory ailments such as shortness of breath, asthma and bronchitis, old folk recipes called for inhaling the vapors of fresh or dried coltsfoot leaves or flowers boiled in water).
Oblivious to my connection to Dr. Crippen, I headed uphill to the Fashion Museum and the day went downhill from there.
Part Two Coming Soon!
Labels: A Couple in England