Got Lurgi? Try Laudanum!
Hello! Life got busy and I went away and twittered a lot, and am now debating with myself whether and how to start blogging again. I'm starting to think I'd prefer to write about science under my real name, 'cos then I can claim it as Outreach and Writing For Lay Audiences and all that, but on the other hand I'd rather not attach my real name to too much swearing and pinko-commie-feminazi gubbins because we all know what nasty internet trollbags tend to do when they both disagree with you and know the email address of your employer. I'm sure anyone with ten minutes and a smidge of savvy could work out who I am, but I count on a. internet trollbags having short attention spans and b. my blog never getting very much traffic anyway, which has worked so far. (By Trollbag Logic, of course, writing pseudonymously is paranoid but writing under your real name is asking for trouble.)
Anyway, the lovely DrugMonkey asked for this picture a year ago. I'd only just got round to sending it to him when I also saw this post about historical attitudes to drugs, which reminded me that I had been meaning to blog it.
This is a page from my great-grandmother's cookery notebook. She was a cook in England in the late nineteenth century (yes, we have long generation times in my family). Elsewhere in the notebook she seems to be planning a menu for a visit by Lord Roberts of Kandahar, so her employers were clearly very, very posh. And, whenever they got a cold, very, very high.
Click pic for bigger. Here's a transcript (as best I can read it):
Hethys recipe for cough mixture
1 pennyworth of each
Tincture of opium
Oil of aniseed
Essence of peppermint
1/2lb best treacle
Well mix and make up to Pint with water
I'm rather snot-ridden myself at the moment - can anyone sell me a penn'orth of laudanum?