Friday, 1 April 2016

Spring Violets and Chemotherapy four.

I'm very late posting today - I've spent the day at Charing Cross Hospital (I was there yesterday too) having my fourth dose of Chemotherapy.

I was lucky, the last two times I've gone into anaphylactic shock which is no fun at all and quite dangerous too.

The nurses even threatened "Three times and you're out", so today was quite important for me.

We took it really slowly and I had an array of pre-meds.......and it turned out OK in the end. Which is just as well even though I think Dr Feelgood would have carried on with the treatment.

On the way out I noticed these violets in the garden;

It's hard to imagine that these little flowers were a part of a major industry from the early 19th century until the second world war.

With the coming of the railways it became profitable to farm these tiny flowers, particularly in Devon, where an army of downtrodden women and children picked the flowers for hardly any money.

By the next morning they would be being hawked as little posies of "Devon Violets" on the streets of London - all possible only with the coming of steam power.

They don't live for very long but in an age without many fragrances, cleaning materials or deodorants this was the first scent of spring.

Later, as the distribution system broke down, the flowers were used to distil essential oils for the perfume industry.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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