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daily parcels * tied up in string *

daily musings of a vintage addict * I am totally obsessed with all things vintage * trying to keep up with my past...and sometimes ordinary everyday life

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Location: Culburra Beach , NSW, Australia

I live in Australia, my ancestry is in Cornwall. a Celt. a hedgewitch of sorts. I am an Earth Healer. I wear upcycled clothes, patchouli oil and Redback boots. A gypsy. An eccentric. a mystic. I am a searcher, a seeker, a pilgrim on Earth. I serve my guests, tea from an old silver teapot. I love Vervain, yarrow, chamomile & mint. I love to dream, to walk and to wonder

Plan ahead and dream of all the beautiful things that life has to offer

May 16, 2006

vintage hygiene


"Loke thyne hondis be wasshe clene, That no fylthe on thy nayles be sene. "
(The Little Children's Little Book, circa 1480)

handwashing - is it a thing of the past? As a child, I was always told to wash my hands before each meal and always, always after using the bathroom. My nan would wash my hands immediately after returning from a trip to the shops and my mum was forever washing my hands after an icecream or a lolly. Wash your hands after using a tissue or hanky was another. Whenever we went out, my mum would have a little plastic bag with a face washer in it - much nicer than those horrid 'wet ones'. But, lately I have been noticing while out shopping that people are not washing there hands very much at all, even after a visit to the bathroom. huh? do parents not teach there children the basic hygiene rules? or are people lazy? ooh not nice at all and I have become obsessive - trying to 'hold on' til I get home. I don't want to touch the door handles and I don't want to touch the key pads at the teller machines nor do I want to hold on the escalator.
as I do, I looked handwashing up on the internet and it was a lovely vintage ritual in days gone by - sweet smelling waters were available always - some with homemade herbs, others with essential oils - some in jugs to pour into a bowl accompanied by piles of fresh individual towels and others having individual bowls with fresh flowers floating in the water.
A little different to those awful finger bowls that accompany prawn dishes - one for the whole table - not nice after a few have used it.
"To make water for washing hands at table: Boil sage, then strain the water and cool it until it is a little more than lukewarm. Or use chamomile, marjoram, or rosemary boiled with orange peel. Bay leaves are also good."
-- Le Menagier de Paris

hand waters

11 Comments:

Blogger Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

Oooooooooo I love this post!! This is my pet peeve! People tell me I am germ paranoid!! HAH! I am a nice young lady is what I am! My mother taught me to wash my hands! Definitely not a crime! (Sorry, I'll stop ranting now.)

10:54 am  
Blogger Colette said...

So true. I also carry a little bottle of gel hand cleaner in my bag. Soap and water is better apparently, but not always available when you're out there... I am new to your blog and enjoy it so much!

Thank you.

11:35 am  
Blogger dolly said...

oh great post, I am the same! I wash my hands at least twice after using a public toilet and I open the door without touching it and use the latch with a piece of tissue to avoid touching it with my skin....euuuuhh some people are gross, the first thing I do when I get in from being out is wash my hands. it's been proved that if you regularly, with obsessively wash your hands, you are less prone to illness and picking up the commom ailments...lets start a wash your hands campaign!! lol!

xoxo

doll

5:15 pm  
Blogger Nicole said...

Ugh! I know! Some people should be ashamed of themselves.... did you know that there is a dose of staf going around again, and not just in hospitals, but noted in Brisbane schools of all places! What if you found out that you were a contributer to someone getting staf and falling desperately ill, or worse. There should be ads on television reminding people of the consequences of not being properly hygienic.... and this means not just dangling your hands under running water either, but using a good dose of lathered sudsy soap... I'll get off my soap box now lol get it? soap box lol

7:16 pm  
Blogger Connie and Rob said...

My mother was the ultimate hand washer...to this day she will ask all her children when we are visiting if we washed our hands before we make a drink or whatever.

I don't know when hygene stopped being taught. We even had a course on it in grade school. It is all rather disturbing.

This is a good post.

Lots of hugs,
Connie

8:49 pm  
Blogger VintagePretty said...

Here here! I am a big fan of washing with soap and water, I don't personally like all of these handwashes with nasty chemicals in them, especially with antibacterial agents (when was soap not good enough?!) - we do have a bottle of the stuff in the house, which gets pulled out on only the most dire of occasions!

Mind you, nowadays, one does wonder what some parents teach their children. My point in case is a child not knowing where a carrot came from (their answer: a tree) or that milk came from an animal (their answer: the supermarket)! I don't know about you, but I firmly believe that the best, and most essential life skills, tend to come from the home. But I'll unmount my soapbox now and wash my hands - with 'proper' soap and water ;-) hehe

9:05 pm  
Blogger BrocanteHome said...

What a lovely,lovely post Miss Robyn!

9:42 pm  
Blogger gena said...

Excellent post!! at my youngest daughters school,(7) the viral infections go around like I dont know what and I am convinced it is a basic lack of hygiene,I have mentioned it but they already think I am nuts,after I asked the rather icky question as to why they let children run around with yucky runny noses,if they are too small to wipe their own why cant the teachers help them? it turns my stomach!sorry to lower the tone of your post with that little rant!

5:36 am  
Blogger Gina E. said...

Oh, hot topic, Ms Robyn! I agree with everyone here as usual (great minds think alike) and it certainly worries me that people are not as hygiene conscious as they used to be years ago. I rarely buy food at takeaway joints, and even eating out at restaurants concerns me these days. I will never forget going into a sandwich bar in the city (about 30 years ago) and watching the middle-aged woman behind the counter, making a sandwich for someone. She had a cigarette hanging from her mouth and...get this: some ash fell on to the buttered bread. She just carried on making up the sandwich!!!! EEEWW - I walked out without buying anything and NEVER went back.

11:04 pm  
Blogger clarice said...

I sadly confess I am a bad non-hand washer !! But you have convinced me to change my ways. Plus I want to make some yummy handwater. Really truly I just never think about it. But maybe this will get me thinking. Clarice

11:36 pm  
Blogger Leanne said...

Drives me crazy that no one practices this simple little task anymore. I mean really, is the 2 minutes it takes to wash and dry your hands a big sacrifice compared to being laid up with a horrible illness caused by some errant bug you picked up? ARGH! Check out www.cleaning101.com for a cute thing on hand washing! :)

1:10 am  

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