Sunday, February 7, 2010

Persil will do me just fine.

Can I do this please?

I tried a few remedies which were mildly successful - but appear to have largely solved my arthritis problem with Schuessler Salts. I was directed to these by Rozalin and - Stone the Crows - they work a treat. On Thursday I was limping around Wien wondering if I was going to need a walking stick - and after taking my salts I am not exactly leaping and bounding but no longer walking like Amy Winehouse coming up (or down) the front steps.

I do not subscribe to ‘alternative medicines’ generally but I am a firm believer that that natural vitamins and minerals can’t be bad for you. And so it has proved to be in this particular instance.

Schuessler Salts

But - I have had a terrible cold for some days now and it has laid me low. I have spent and inordinate amount of time sleeping and am only just starting to emerge from this enforced hibernation. Unfortunately – Cate has also succumbed to this and has had to tough it out and go to Istanbul for the week. She left sniffily yesterday afternoon.

Cate has said that the cats and I cannot be bad when she is away. This probably means I can’t try the rooftop ski jump with Sissi and she will be really disappointed about this. She has been watching the jumping all weekend and I said she could have a go.

I had fashioned skis out of paddle pop sticks and painted Rossignol on them so she would feel like the real deal.

On Friday we went to pick up our new residency permits and negotiated our way once more through the seething mass of humanity in the Immigration Office.

We did not have the pleasure on this occasion of seeing Frau Gumpendorfer. She may have been on a training course on how to deliver punishing uppercuts to the jaws of hopeful Eastern European immigrants. Or perhaps at home tearing the wings off live pigeons and feeding them to her one-eyed cat Quasimodo.

We instead saw a nice young man who gave us our new cards – not unwillingly – and while there was no smile there was at least no snarling and baring of fangs – a particularly unattractive trait of Frau Gumpendorfer - whose teeth saw service on the Eastern Front in 1944.

The snow was coming down in droves on Sunday. I have been worried for the last week as there have been some old, tired lumps of snow on our window sills and these looked very lonely – but just refused to go back to those snowmakers in the sky. Now the new snow has joined the old hands who will show them the ropes and how to lie around looking beautiful.

Someone told me once that each snowflake was fashioned by an Angel who let it go whence it fluttered down to earth. I have since realised that this – like most other things I was told when I was young – is rubbish.

I have done a random sampling of snowflakes per square meter and sure – they are beautifully made – but there simply cannot be that many angels up there given how many flakes are falling at any given time. And anyway – they would all be on the East Coast of America at the moment where they have snow up to their eyeballs. These angels would all have bad cases of RSI before 10 centimeters hit the ground.

Speaking of which – I have noticed that Austrian housewives are just as pleased with clean washing as Australian housewives. They start off looking grim at their washing – compared with the blinding whiteness of the washing from the house next door. This can be illustrated graphically by having little Hans (the grub) standing next to little Johannes (the sunbeam).

Sadly, little Hans, though freshly dressed, will look like he has been mud wrestling hogs. Johannes will be dressed blindingly in the colours of the rainbow and – just like his mother – he will sparkle.

This will prompt a rapid rethink of washing powder for Hans’ mother and - once she changes to new Schneeblister she and Hans are happy as clams and flaunt their new bright clothes for all and sundry to admire. (Hans no longer has to go to school covered in a glad bag).

These types of advertisements make me want to chunder. But they must work because they have never changed in the last 100 years. Of course these days they occasionally have a token man who helps with the washing – incompetently of course – just to demonstrate finally that the people who work in the agencies really are sexist misogynists. I mean – can you imagine Llama or Cate falling for this rubbish?

Well it doesn’t work on me either. I go to BIPA and I buy what is on sale (usually Persil) and for which I get the most points. I can usually get my washing powder for half price at BIPA – and there are never any complaints about my washing (well there are actually but I ignore them).

But I did see this terrible advertisement the other day on UK TV. This poor woman was using washing powder and her machine got totally clogged up and expired. It cost her nearly 500 quid for a new one. Bloody Hell!

This frightened the life out of me. Apparently I am not supposed to use powder but should be buying little blocks of blue washing powder. These will not clog up the machine – and have the added advantage of making clothes so white you need to wear your Ray Bans when you take them out of the machine.

Well – I have done a cost benefit analysis on this and have taken into account the age of our machine, the cost of powder versus blue blocks, the number of washes per week and the expected clag date - and I reckon it is still cost effective to use the powder until the machine clags out completely. I am running an excel spreadsheet and will let you know how I go.

I am not going to stop buying Persil until they put a skull and crossbones on it.


  1. Jim buys whatever detergent is on sale at Costco, does most of the laundry and then when the dryer is taking to long to dry the clothes, climbs up on the roof and pulls a bunch of fluffy stuff out of a silver vent. I do all the cooking. It works.

  2. Back when she was around 30, after a particularly late-night dinner party, my Mum kicked her toe on the back step.
    Now, 30 years later, she has an arthritic big toe.
    She too is looking for something that will allow her to walk normally without dragging her foot behind her like Quasimodo.
    I shall tell her about the Schuessler salts, but I'm a bit confused.
    Which ones exactly do you take?

  3. Pulling fluffy stuff out of a silver vent is certainly a mans job.

    freefalling - your mum should ask the pharmacist or health food store who sells the salts. There are apparently 27 different types and I had to describe my symptoms so that they could give me the correct ones.

  4. We buy something called Omo. It gets the clothes clean but, deep down, I don't trust it.

  5. I shall have to buy Persil.
    Badger's using it.
    Why not me?

    Are there Type-P or Type-O personalities?
    Does Type-A use Ariel?

  6. I don't bother with fancy washing powders either. The only stuff I make a point of buying is this 'black magic' fabric conditioner, which really does stop jeans from fading. I'm glad you mentioned awful ads - my shopping habits are also governed by what I like to call the GAWBR - the Gratuitously Awful Werbung Boycott Rule - according to which I avoid the products which have been the subject of Durchfall-inducing advertising campaigns. The worst offenders: 'Oh, it's a Feh' (er, whoop-dee-f**king-doo!?), and that bloody awful Spar budget talking purse.