Sniffs, snuffles and the restorative powers of Mister Knightley……



an afternoons foraging

This past week I’ve been all sniffs and snuffles, a bad head cold has left me feeling like I’ve got a head ful of cottonwool, I’ve felt so absolutely and utterly wretched and I’ve ended up taking comfort in making myself a poorly bed on the sofa where I’m surrounded by tissues, salves for my nose (which is so red I look like I’m auditioning to pull Santa’s sleigh) satsuma peelings, my favourite Austen heroes and cups of hot cordials to help ease my throat…..

hedgerow syrups for winter throats

I’m so thankful I made all the hedgerow syrups back in the Autumn, the elderberry and haw syrup is best taken cold like a cough mixture (it’s a bit too much like hot Ribenna for my tastes otherwise) but the amber coloured syrup made from rosehips, haws and crab apples is delicious stirred into a cup of hot water….just the thought of all those sun ripened berries in such glorious jewel like colours does me the world of good, and I’m happy to drink it even when I’m not feeling poorly, and I’m not sure how much this really helps but drinking it out of the prettiest cup when I’m feeling all snuffly and woollen headed makes it taste that much nicer too.

unwaxed lemons

Over the years I’ve found that when I get a cold I need to just let it run it’s course,  fruit teas and honey and lemon elixirs, steam inhalations, oil scented tissues help me get better gently …it’s not an over night  24 hour fix it but in the long run it seems to suit my system better.

ground almonds and sweet almond oil

I seem to spend half the day with my head over a bowl of steamy water which helps my ears from popping,  I’m a great believer in using essential oils and make a sniffs and snuffles synergistic blend of equal parts of eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree to use when I’m under the weather, then I use one drop of this in a steam bath, add a couple of drops in an oil diffuser, use it with a carrier oil as a chest and back rub or dropped onto tissues…it’s a nice soothing scent which doesn’t over whelm me….there’s a faint reminder of Vicks inhalers about it….

As well as home made remedies for feeling better I also tend to use only the gentlest home made beauty preparations too, anything too scented or scratchy makes my poor nose feel wretched and I find washing my face with a tea spoon or so of porridge oats in a little warm water to be very soothing, if I need to use anything a bit more lively then I make a scrub made from almond oil and a tea spoon of ground almonds, it doesn’t seem to irritate my delicate inflamed nose and helps exholifate away any sore patches that are peeling (man, I’m a right catch when I get a cold.)

Actually when I hold my head over the steam bath breathing in the “sniffs and snuffles” blend, I massage my face before hand-with a drop or so of a face oil I make up with rose and geranium rose essential oils, almond oil, jojoba oil, rosehip and argan oil.  Normally I just use this at night before bed or on a Sunday when I’m not going out anywhere, but when I have a cold it’s an extra treat for skin that’s all sore and dehydrated, it seems to helpstop  me looking a complete fright and at least feels a but like a pamper.

bernard on a blanket

The rest of the time I’m bundled under a blanket with my furry poppet never very far away, a bowl of Heinz tomato soup (yeah I could make a nicer home made one soup, but when I’m feeling really, really poorly this is what I want…no other brand, no other flavour…I don’t really care for it any other time) favourite books are close to hand and maybe some very easy peasy knitting…and when I can’t concentrate on reading or knitting then it’s box set time…having a cold and being confined to a poorly bed on the sofa is what they were made for…perhaps watching Colin Firth as Mister Darcey or Jonny Lee Miller as Mister Knightly would make me feel a little bit better……



13 thoughts on “Sniffs, snuffles and the restorative powers of Mister Knightley……

  1. Hope you are recovering. Re Mr Knightly…..I am listening to a libravox recording of Emma currently. It’s a 3 volume audio download….. Very good indeed. Best wishes to you and Bernard.

    1. Simon Prebble who reads the audio version of “Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell” is my absolute favourite at reading books and I wish so much someone whould get him to read all the Austen books….listening to him is bliss.
      Doctor Bernard is doing his best at looking after me, apparently I need to be poked and sat on while he washes his lower parts x

  2. I hope you feel better soon. All those home remedies sound so soothing and gentle rather than harsh chemicals. I think it’s time I started to use essential oils, my skin needs all the help it can get!

    1. About the only over the counter medicine I use for colds is Potter’s Balm of Gilead, it’s black and sticky, and looks more like tar….when I get chesty then I buy that. Neal’s Yard used to sell a very good Balm of Gilead syrup and also soothing lemon throat pastilles but they’ve not sold either for more years now than I care to remember….when I’ve used stronger, more immediately effective medicines I end up getting sick again with in a few weeks…gentle healing seems to keep me well for longer.
      I first started using essential oils over 20 years ago, my favourite book for recipes is called The Fragrant Pharmacy by Valerie Ann Worwood which I think is a really good first book (my copy is falling apart now and is all sellotaped together), and second would be Make Your Own Cosmetics by Neals Yard though that may be out of print now. My favourite beauty oil is Rose Absolute and also Geranium Rose is very nice…I buy my oils from Baldwins in London, their mail order is really good and the quality of their oils is exceptional. In The Fragrant Pharmacy there is a section where the author lists 10 basic oils which you can use for all sorts of things, first aid and beauty and healing and house cleaning…Whenever i move house I always pack this in my “princess me” box* so I know it will be immediately to hand and I don’t have to spend an age looking for it.
      *there was a time when it seemed like I was moving house every year, and on the advice of a friend, I packed a box that would have everything in it to make me feel comforted and less stressed that first night in my new home…so in went something nice to put in the bath, a scented candle, clean drawers and nightie, enya cd/cassette, a new cup for tea or coffee, chocolate biscuits, The Fragrant Pharmacy and my essential oils…..

      1. Aagh I keep forgetting you’re moving so far away, is it a permanent move or for just a few years?
        A “Princess me” or maybe a “home” box sounds really needed….just an idea, maybe you could do a “home” box with everyone who is going to move getting to pop something that is” home” for them in a box or bag you get to have on your person if possible, that way your first night there you’ll each have something special, whether it’s a box of favourite tea bags, favourite soap, favourite sweets or lucky pants….it’s that connection to the familiar that grounds us…for me it’s always things that really appeal to my senses like smell and taste …x

      2. What a super suggestion, thank you. We don’t know how long we are going for, it all depends on jobs, houses, schools etc and us of course. I am taking my wool with me, I think I will need the distraction of knitting and crochet and I find it very soothing too. We go on the 19th April and have so much to do before then, it’s scary!

      3. I can imagine, it’s bad enugh when you move house in the same town let alone a whole different country. What part of Canada are you moving too? It always looks like a really amazing place to live whenever I’ve seen it in films., and friends have told me you can get huge bottles of maple syryp in the shops (I live with a maple syrup fiend so that would be a plus sign in his book) x

      4. ohhhh it looks amazing there, did you used to watch Due South? I’m keeping my fingers crossed all the RCMP look like Constble Benton Fraser. Boyfriend is the maple syrup monster here , though I’m partial to a little on homemade vanilla ice cream x

    1. Thank you…my nose seems to be working as I can smell Bernards musical bottom…..the syrups were one of the best things I made last year, I was worried I’d made too many but I seem to be getting through them pretty quickly.

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