Several thousand years ago Hippocrates, who is considered today to be the father of modern medicine, first developed the theory of each of us having four humours that were required to be equally balanced in our bodies for continuing good health. His four humours were blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm – lovely! These corresponded with the four elements – air, fire, earth, and water – or the seasons – spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
This theory was later expanded further to conclude that if someone naturally has an excess of one of these humours in their bodies, it sets their temperament. These four temperaments were Sanguine (too much blood), Choleric (too much yellow bile), Melancholic (too much black bile), and Phlegmatic (too much phlegm). And this basic categorisation continued to underpin medical understanding for centuries.
So for example when we watch period dramas on TV and someone has a fever and is bled from a cut in their arm into a bowl, or leeches are applied, this was done in the belief that their high temperature was linked to an excess of ‘hot’ blood, and reducing the amount of blood was the prescribed method used to recreate a balance in the humours within the body.
Drastic by today’s standards it may be, and these very non-scientific categories may well have no recognised place in today’s theories of physiological and psychological health, but to be honest I find the idea behind their holistic approach to treating the whole body/ mind continuum together as one entity refreshingly modern in thought.
And I would be the first to recognise myself as being a Melancholic person – I’m sensitive and creative and very much grounded temperamentally in the cold autumnal earth – even though I recognise my normal psychological state has absolutely nothing to do with my internal levels of bodily fluids and so a purgative of any kind is most definitely not a cure for my decidedly melancholic nature! 🙂
I just remembered a funny conversation that took place years ago, while I worked as a Floor Manager at McDonald’s – I was going round the customer seating area with the Lobby Hostess, and we were discussing toilet checks. She said she’d swept the floors and wiped down the hand dryers, and I reminded her (trying to be tactful in a public area where people were eating and we were going to be overheard) not to forget to check the porcelain was clean too. She stopped in her tracks, a lovely Glaswegian lass with a strong voice that belied her petite constitution and said ‘Whit? Aw aye, right – yous want me tae check the chanty’s nae boggin’!’ I guess from her perspective, my attempt at being discreet about a clean toilet bowl was nothing short of gobbledygook! 🙂
When people talk about stuff you don’t know about, and are not in the least bit interested in finding out about, it can sound like complete gobbledygook. Jargon words and acronyms and buzz-words can even make your own language sound like speaking in a foreign tongue 🙂
It’s Sunday, and here I am with my Stream of Consciousness Saturday post, a day late and a dollar short – yesterday just kinda ran away from me! This week Linda has asked us to take the name of the last movie we watched and write a post inspired by the title – sounds fun, except I haven’t really watched many moves lately. My TV watching has been in more bite-sized chunks.
Anyway, the last movie I watched that I can think of immediately is ‘The Secret Garden’ – it was one of my favourite books as a child, and although I’m not usually keen on films of books this particular 1993 adaptation has always hit just the right note for me. I hadn’t seen it for years, but it was on over the holiday period so I indulged myself with a trip down memory lane.
So onto my interpretation of today’s prompt… My new garden is proving to be a bit of a secret garden at the moment. We only moved in last October, so very much at the end of the growing season, and have no idea what’s under the soil waiting to surprise us. I know we have roses, and a fuchsia bush, and a very old, woody lavender. There’s a largish rhododendron (I recognise it from the leaves) and a couple of fruit trees, apple and plum. But other than that, it’s a bit of a mystery.
I’ve long ago tidied up the flower beds for winter, pruned stuff back and removed dead and dried foliage, but other than that have left it all pretty much alone, dormant for the duration. And here we are into a new year, and already I can see spring bulbs coming through in the front garden – no idea what they might turn out to be, so it’s going to be fun waiting to find out! 🙂
I have a little pale green jade rabbit pendant, bought for me when I was a child, to signify that according to the Chinese horoscope I was born in the Year of the Rabbit – or is it the Hare?
I also have a surprisingly chunky solid silver charm bracelet bought for me by my Godfather when I was born, and he sent me an additional tiny silver charm on my birthday every year (until I was about eight) to add to it – and the first charm was a tiny archer, to symbolise my Western horoscope sign of Sagittarius.
Sadly over the years many of the silver charms have gone missing, but for now my little jade rabbit and what’s left of my charm bracelet sit safe and sound in my jewellery box with all my other other special treasures 🙂
I may be experiencing a bit of a mid-life crisis – I bought myself some black girly Caterpillar boots today, with deep pink stitched logo and completely covered in tiny black blingy beads. I’ve always really loved big chunky boots, especially with thick tights and a short skirt. Even with my voluptuous curves – or maybe because of them. I don’t care if it’s no longer a fashinable look, even at 56 I still like it, and my new blingy boots should be a fun addition to my wardrobe 🙂
Me and falling over are old friends. It’s an embarrassing association, but there we are.
At home I try hard to work on my balance – when I focus clearly, I can stand on one leg for well over a minute each side, and I have a wobble board I stand on every now and again to improve my proprioception. But still, stick me outside on the street with people to talk to or other things to pay attention to rather than where I’m putting my feet and bam, before you know it I’ll trip up on fresh air and I’m flat on the floor, just when I least expect it.
I do have one leg slightly longer than the other, and a dodgy hip that is getting dodgier year by year, so I can only suppose my limbs no longer react as quickly or as efficiently as they used to? My still-sharp brain expects my body to behave exactly the same way it used to when I was younger, but my ageing body is a bit of a blunt instrument these days, my joints more seized and slowing than smoothly flowing.
My lastest brush with gravity occurred recently in the busy car park of our local DIY superstore, and as usual I have no idea what happened. One minute I was talking to my husband as we crossed the pavement side by side, and the next I was face-planting a muddy puddle that rushed up at me out of nowhere. There was nothing obvious to have caught my foot on, neither indented or raised. Just me in the mud, mad as hell at myself…
I hurt my knee and my wrist as I landed, and my bad hip pained me for a while afterwards, but other than that the only real damage was to my pride. It upsets me to be so clumsy, but it is what it is and I am what I am! 🙂