Day 14 15/3/20
Good morning Facebook chums.
Woke up at a normal time, slept in a normal way, yesterday I had no painkillers, I seem to be getting back to normal. My innards seem to have settled down, my scar is looking OK. By and large I'm happy with my progress. However I mustn't forget I've had a biggish operation which has weakened me and the anaesthetic and other medication will still take ages to leave my system.
Today Tricia and I are looking forward to some time out with one of my brothers and his wife. I'm still not driving, nor is Tricia so this will be a pleasant distraction while we can (corona pox allowing).
I've got a lot to talk about. The benefits of owning a motorhome when needing to self isolate, having holidays cancelled and how chubby I was 18 months ago but none of these today. Today I'm going to talk about changing social mores.
It all starts in a thriving village in central Cornwall. The sort of village that had everything. Talk about self isolation the whole village could self isolate. My aunt owned a tiny wool/haberdashery/sewing type of shop (there were at least 2 in the village). Her little shop was attached to a butchers shop (there were 3 in the village). I remember as a very small boy spending time at my aunt's shop. I used to wander off a little way. Now the interesting bit here is where I used to go. As I said the little shop was attached to a butchers. Well this butcher used to kill his own meat. I have a few random memories of growing up in the village but one pretty vivid memory simply wouldn't happen now. I was allowed to watch the butcher butcher. The system was, as I remember, the cow (in this instance) was led into a metal contraption where it was held tight. There it was dispatched. Then by opening the side of the crate, the now dead cow was lowered to the floor. From there it was hauled into the air by attaching a chain to one leg. Then the butchering commenced. The cow was still twitching. It must have been a cool morning because when the butcher cut open the cow the guts spilled out onto the floor in a steaming heap. I don't remember much else. I had to watch out when the hooves were thrown in my direction. I must have wandered off looking for something more interesting. Now some of you, if you judge this event by today's standards, may be surprised that this happened at all. But this all happened in the early 60s. And the butcher, in his wisdom, sent me packing for the actual killing. After all I was only 4 or 5!
So...... what of the long term impact that that may have had on an impressionable young boy? Well I can think of 4 at least.
1. Later in life I was happy to dispatch my poultry when I kept some
2. I was not squeamish when I took a young goat to the butchers for butchering and then later enjoyed the meat.
3. I'm happy to talk about my own guts and
4. It's probably more interesting for a 4/5 year old now to look for newts and tadpoles in the nearby stream than watching a cow being butchered.
See you tomorrow.
Cheers and gone!