top of page
Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Snake Oil or Crystals

25, Polmarth Close

St Austell

1st September 2021

Dear Reader,

Just an observation.

When I was a little boy (maybe 7 or 8) I had a calendar on my bedroom wall. It had a picture of two Scottie dogs, one white one and one black one. It had a Robert Owen quote printed on it. I remember it as “All the world’s a little queer save me and thee and even thee's a little queer". However the actual quote is “All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer. I prefer the first version but that’s not the point. Queer is a word I grew up with that had no other meaning than strange or odd. Gay is another word that had a different meaning. I suppose it would be difficult to find a calendar suitable for a child’s room with that Robert Owen quote now. Language is an evolving thing but I must be old when I realise I’m more likely to hear the “C" word on the telly than the “N" word. I remember my mum selling N***** Brown wool in her shop. How times change. See, I didn’t even write n***** for fear of offending someone.

Another thing of my youth.......hippies. Where did they all go? The Somerset ones seem to be in Glastonbury, the ones in Devon appear to have congregated in Totnes but where are the Cornish ones? Another mystery I’ve yet to resolve. Why? You may ask. Well I’ve not been offered too many alternative cures for my disorder. Turmeric, there’s a popular one. Black pepper has been mentioned. No one’s even suggested to me the healing power of crystals. But just lately I notice a new “cure all" gaining traction. CBD oil. CBD is a compound derived from the cannabis plant containing cannabinoids, which harness hemps natural properties in the form of cannabidiol (CBD). It’s the boring part of cannabis as opposed to THC which is the fun part, or so I’m led to believe.

Anyway CBD is a wonder substance. Apparently it’s good for the following ailments, or so I’m given to understand. Chronic pain, arthritis or joint pain, anxiety and depression, sleep disorder, migraine, cluster and other headaches, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), nausea, cancer, allergies or asthma, epilepsy and other seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis (MS), lung conditions, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Howdens malady.

So I thought I’d get some. Got to be cheaper than getting some more of that darned platinum based drug stuff. Anyway that hurts my feet!

I dug around on the internet and found an almost identical wonder drug, it may even be better.

Doc Mitchell’s Snake Oil, 101 Proof, Cure All and Linament. I might give it a go. This one’s good for headaches, neuralgia, coughs, colds, sneezing, hiccups, gout, gonorrhoea, diphtheria, damplung, mumps, measles, whooping cough, tuberculosis and Howdens malady.

Apparently it’s not very effective for blindness, for that Rattlesnake Oil is recommended.

Wait a minute. I’ve just had a look at Macmillan Cancer Support. now I've read that, I won’t be bothering with any alternatives thank you!

Now, I have a confession. When I write these posts I sometimes dig something out of the memory banks, sometimes I mention my health situation. Occasionally it’s something observational, sometimes it’s the irritating that gets a mention. What I don’t do is expect anyone to mistakenly read anything between the lines. There’s no subliminal messaging or coded information intended. So if I’ve mistakenly said something that touches a nerve it’s not my objective. I also know some readers are uncomfortable with my dark humour. Well that’s just plain unlucky. I’m not too bothered if I make the occasional person squirm. I call it “playing the cancer card" think the “Benny” in Euchre.

Here’s my latest cancer card story; I recently bent my glasses and remembering they were my only pair thought perhaps another pair would be useful. I bent them by falling asleep whilst wearing them I think. Now I’m not an optician snob, my optician is called Asda. Tricia popped into Asda to book an appointment for me to have my glasses adjusted and asked for an appointment for an eye test. “Early December” was the reply. She played the cancer card to no avail. I went to my glasses adjustment appointment following which I enquired about having another pair of glasses made to the same prescription. Apparently my prescription is out of date and I need an eye test. “When can I get an eye test?” I enquire. “Early December” was the response. Oh never mind but that might be too late. Then I played the cancer card. I was offered an appointment next week. Sometimes it’s just gotta be done. Or should I have gone to Specsavers?

I’ve been pushing myself lately. Getting up to go with Tricia for her sunrise swim. I’m just a spectator it can’t do any harm, can it?. Whatever possessed me to think I could manage that without any detrimental effects? So, stupidly, I did it two days running. As Terry Wogan would have said “What an eejit”. It has actually made me feel proper rubbish so I’m not going again until early December when sunrise is about 8am, much more civilised. Not that there’s any guarantee I’ll be able to go then, I might even be pushing up daisies.

What about coffee?

I’ve decided this week to meet here, tomorrow, at home, as mentioned in my previous post. Drop in if you can. Plenty of parking. Normal time. Normal coffee. Idiosyncratic company.

Your faithful blogger


161 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Another weekend of lockdown 4/4/20

Good morning Facebook chums Another weekend of lockdown Something I've noticed, we've suddenly arrived at the second weekend of lockdown. I'm not quite sure how that happened so fast. It might be a co

And so it continues 3/4/20

Good morning Facebook chums And so it continues So, did you clap again last night? We did but we also stopped and listened. Wow! We could hear it for miles. Almost an emotional experience. Instead of

No title 2/4/20

Good morning Facebook chums You know some mornings you wake up with ideas in your head and you think " let's get up and get going". Or in my case let's find something that I might write about. Some mo


Sep 06, 2021

Thank you Alice. Not only have you solved my mystery, you've reminded me to celebrate those around me. N xxx


Alice Johnston
Alice Johnston
Sep 02, 2021

Well Neil , I came to Cornwall probably as one of the original hippies . My dream was to have a VW camper van and sit on a beach selling jewellery I'd made whilst Alan surfed and occasionally me too . Not that far from now eh. I then traveled overland via Turkey , Iran , Afghanistan , Through the Kyber Pass in a van with tribal people into LandiKotal (no mans land) and on to Pakistan and through Wagha to Amritsar and India . Still to some extent behaving similarly . So yes , hippies or transformations of them still around . Peace and love man Be here now Still doing Transcendental mediation now as a siddha 46 years later add…

bottom of page