As I am sure you all know by now, my recent illness means that I have no longer got a Driving Licence. It is one thing choosing not to go out in the car and quite another not being able to go out in the car.
If there is a day (thankfully there are very few) when I see no-one and don't get out at all, I am quite depressed by nightfall. My answer is to go on as long a walk as I can manage - out into the countryside around the farm, round the fields, down the lane, across to my friend's house in the village; anything to get out of the house and -hopefully - to see someone to speak to. (that bit, of course, can always be remedied by a phone call). And various friends, as well as the farmer, know how much I get cabin fever and are very good at calling to take me for a drive if they are going somewhere.
In a way I see it as 'taking the cure', because the fresh air, the scenery, the plant life, the bird life, the whole ambience of 'outdoors' is still a cure to me. It always makes me feel better.
Time was, of course, when it was the only 'cure' - and rarely successful at that. I vividly remember as a child going past the Sanatorium at Branston in Lincolnshire(or the 'san' as it was known, and spoken about with a doom-laden voice)and seeing all the beds out on the verandah in the open air where the consumptives were given their best chance of a cure. And I also remember that most families in our village had lost at lease one member to T.B. - or consumption as it was commonly known. Some families had lost all their children to the terrible disease.
And there were all those literary consumptives - the best known being the Brontes who died off one by one like flies with what was often called 'galloping consumption'. Branwell died first, in 1848 but no sooner was he buried than the health of the girls began to fail. If you have ever been to The Parsonage in Howarth, you will know that there is a hard, unforgiving sofa in the sitting room, with a sign on it saying that on this sofa Eimly Bronte died, refusing a doctor to the last. In fact on the day she died she got up, got dressed and sat sewing on the sofa.
Anne Bronte shortly afterwards decided she would take the fresh air cure at Scarborough in an effort to stop the terrible disease but she had only been away from home for four days before she died - and then poor Charlotte too.
It is hard for us to take in the enormity of the threat of TB in these days of anti biotics, isn't it? I am old enough to remember them coming in during the war I think - as I remember it the first ones were called M and B tablets and were seen by us all as a magic cure-all (if I am wrong, i am sure someone will correct me).
Now, I suppose, doctors no longer recommend fresh air as a cure but it certainly cures me of that 'down in the dumps' feeling - and when the Spring comes, as it most surely will before long, I shall be able to go out into the fields, find a sheltered spot to sit and drink in that wonderful Yorkshire air laced with the fragrant scent of primroses, hazel catkins, grass growing ..........need I go on? I am sure that I have set the scene for you.
today's aros: the tiny white spears of the snowdrops are pushing their way steadily through the grass.