Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A bit of maldod

Anyone who has seen La Traviata has an insight into life in our house today. Flora is ill and it's like the scene at the end. I'm half expecting her to ask me to come and stand by her bed so she can dictate her last letter.

Not that she's saying much. I'm big on communicating even when ill; everyone knows what I am thinking, how I got to the thought and what I'm thinking about what you are thinking. Even in the midst of a bad asthma attack, I'm trying to communicate in one way or another. I confidently predict my last words will be more a torrent of verbosity than a faintly whispered 'It was good'.

Not so Flora, who in her poorly state has turned into a silent, moody shadow of her former self, expecting me to intuit the location and severity of her illness from a series of tragic low moans, heavy sighs and baleful glances.

Short of putting an end to it all, a rather tempting option, there was only one thing for it - a bit of maldod. Maldod is a Welsh word used by my grandmother to describe what you give a sick person or a person who is feeling down or a bit sorry for themselves. It is a mildly perjorative term tbut true maldod is freely and happily given to the maldoden (she or he requiring the maldod) . I've looked this word up on the web and strictly it means 'indulgence, spoiling' which is how we use it.

Flora has received considerable maldod from me today. I've used one of my grandmother's failsafe maldod tools - the bottle of lemonade. Anyone who knows anything is aware that the nurse with the mostest should always have at her disposal the following: Germolene, Rennies, a bottle of lemonade (preferably flat), some plasters, a cup of strong tea and a plate of slightly burned toast.

With these cures at hand you can tackle any disease. Holidaying in a malarial district? Fear not, a dab of Germolene will do the job. Got botulism? Have a Rennie and some flat lemonade? The plague? Some burned toast and a hot cuppa will see you right. Stab wound? Put a plaster on it but not until you've used some Germolene.

Add to this a bit of maldod and everything will be fine - it 's worked for me. When I had measles I drank large quantities of flat lemonade and was made to wear a hat in the sun, a blue raffia one I recall, while I was saved from a terrible reaction to accidentally overdosing on some asthma drugs by eating my Nan's special burned toast. Yes maldod has made me the woman I am now so it's the least I can do to pass it on.

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