I’ve been syringing my own ears again. I can’t help it. What used to be once-a-decade clear out by a doctor who smelt of cigars has now become a guilty habit. The slightest twinge of ear trouble and I’m digging out the Otex and the pocket syringe that came with it. It looks like a tiny whoopee cushion but it works like magic. I just love the ‘paper ears’ sensation and the slight giddiness that comes from all that swooshing.
In a recent episode of the BBC’s Digging For Britain, Dr Alice Roberts was grumbling that the “dark ages” is a misnomer for a period where the Anglo-Saxons produced dazzling, intricate bejewelled swords. It’s called the dark ages because there’s little more you need to know about people who named places after female genitalia and called their wives Smell #1, Smell #2 and Smell #3. They would cut anyone in half at the merest hint that perhaps it’s best not to keep cleaving people in two or years from now it will be known as the dark ages.
In fact we do know a lot more about the Anglo-Saxons than we think in the UK, we just prefer to ignore it. Counties like Kent, Norfolk and Wiltshire have remained unchanged since the dark ages. Even the industrial revolution failed to cause a ripple in these counties. There’s never been an influx of foreigners, the borders remain unchanged and bacon is still very much the staple diet.
As readers will know, I’m moving house soon. In the mess of packing tape and boxes that’s my hallway, the stairs have become a sort of filing cupboard. There’s the mobile phone step, the post step, the key step, the scissors step and so on up to the top where you’ll find my ear syringe, a short piece of rubber hose and a bunsen burner.