Tag Archives: health

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

Gosh, yet another ‘challenging’ week after I’ve been acutely ill as well as chronically ill and have basically felt like grumbling about EVERYTHING. So,  here’s a go at some positivity.

  1. Having lost my voice for most of this week, it is just beginning to return, which is good.

2. I was having a quick look at Petticoats and Promises to see if I could work out its position on the Amazon lists (I couldn’t), and discovered that it has some really, really nice reviews, which was encouraging.

3. Not being able to sleep has had a positive effect on The Sisterhood, and I’ve written about 5000 words in the last four days. The end appears to get further and further away, unfortunately: it is going to be a longer novel than I anticipated, but if I can get a grip of it, it might be a better novel, too. IF…

4. Manchester United managed to go top of the league this week (very temporarily), which considering that they’ve not exactly been setting the world alight is quite impressive. And they managed to win mid-week, too.

5. Talking of football, tomorrow Splendid Child and I are off to watch Charlton Athletic, using our Season tickets (which I managed to win unexpectedly) for the first time. I don’t think Charlton are likely to win, and I’m certainly not going to be yelling them on (see #1) – but one always hopes!

6. And continuing with the sports theme (look, what can I say? It hasn’t been a good week), I’ve been enjoying the Rugby World Cup matches. The less said about England the better, but it turns out that I enjoy watching even when my team aren’t doing well.

Friday Fiction (Article Snippet)

Again, this  is my most current article for Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine. I’m writing about ‘Cranks, Quacks and Miracles’ – alternative health treatments in the Regency.

Jane Austen shows a number of hypochondriacs in her stories (Mr Woodhouse in Emma, with his gruel and his soft-boiled eggs, and Mary Musgrove in Persuasion with her tendency towards ill health whenever she felt herself neglected come to mind) but it is in her unfinished novel Sanditon that she particularly concentrates on medicine – looking at both conventional and experimental (to put it mildly!) treatments. Indeed, Jane Austen specifically uses the phrase “quack medicine” in describing the Parker sisters, saying that they had “an unfortunate turn for medicine, especially quack medicine”. Mr Parker, their brother, is first introduced to the heroine, Charlotte Heywood, when he sustains a carriage accident, trying to find a doctor for the village of Sanditon. (As an aside, I was fascinated when I first read the book that he had seen a notice in the ‘Kentish Gazette’ – a local newspaper I grew up reading, and which is still in print.) His sisters’ alleged poor health had encouraged him to look for the doctor, though it turns out, when Diana Parker writes to her brother, that she has for the moment eschewed conventional medicine, saying:

“[P]ray never run into peril again in looking for an apothecary on our account… We have entirely done with the whole medical tribe. We have consulted physician after physician in vain, till we are quite convinced that they can do nothing for us and that we must trust to our own knowledge of our own wretched constitutions for any relief.”

Of course, this is a decision not dissimilar to ones made by many people today, who find themselves dissatisfied with the results of conventional medicine – though perhaps, given the limits of medical knowledge in the Regency, Miss Parker had more reason for her suspicions!