Thursday, 27 February 2014

Chemical Warfare

One of the reasons I don't tend to post as often as I would like is that, when tired, I grow inarticulate, and start to talk nonsense. A bit like normal people do when drunk.
But then I looked over some of my old posts, and thought, it's not like anyone's likely to notice the difference.
So here I am, with something that's meant to be short and sweet, but I often think that..... And then it grows arms. And legs. And tentacles.  Onna stick.
What's that got to do with the title of the post, do I hear you ask ?  No ?  Oh well. Let's pretend I did, anyway.  Heard someone ask, at any rate.  Well, you see.... We use a lot of chemicals nowadays, don't we ?  And yes, I know that "chemicals" is a very vague term, and that, really, everything is composed of chemicals.  What I mean, I suppose - what I guess most people mean when they talk about "chemicals" in household cleaners, toiletries, instant food - is potentially harmful chemicals.  Sometimes, but not always, that means man-made, synthetic.  Not always - well, lead is naturally occurring, as is arsenic. Doesn't make them good for you.  Just like "herbal" is used to mean something positive and good for you - well, belladonna is a herb.  You could make oleander tea - if you wanted to poison your guests.
Tentacles, I tell ya.
My point is. Point is.... That just like Victorians used arsenic to colour their wallpaper, and lead to paint their kids' toys, having no clue how much damage they are causing - neither do we really know what many of the things we ingest, or rub into our skins, or spray over food preparation surfaces  really do to us.  Sure, if the effect is immediate, the stuff will not be licensed for human consumption.... But what if the effect is cumulative over a period of years ?  Or ever so subtle that a snowflake's chance on hell vastly outweighs our chances of ever putting two and two together and coming up with anything even approaching five ?  Sorry, I mean four.  Of course I mean four.
Er, yeah.
Or - and this is a good one - what if they only affect certain people ?  Or affect different people in a different way ?  How can you ever make sure that your IBS, or your ME, or your fibro, are not caused by what you eat, or moisturise with, or clean your floors with, or wash your clothes in, or....
I mean, where do you even start ? 
Maybe the only way you could ever come to something even approaching understanding is by using yourself as a guinea pig, and cutting out as much of the chemical warfare (see, we got there in the end) as you possibly can out of your life.
So, baby steps and all that - I mentioned I while back that I do most of my cleaning with a spray bottle of white vinegar.  Trouble is, when you use vinegar, your house smells like a chip shop.  It wears off after a while, of course it does.... But I do miss the sharp citrusy smells emerging from the shop-bought spray bottles of cleaning liquids.
So I made Elaine's citrus enzyme cleaner.  That's pretty good stuff, but there are still some jobs - a fair few, in fact - that I prefer vinegar for.
And then I came across the instructions for citrus vinegar cleaner.  Basically, you fill a jar with citrus peel, top it up with vinegar, stick in a cupboard, and a couple of weeks later you have citrus-smelling vinegar. 
As luck would have it, I'd just bought a bag of satsumas that turned out to be pretty much unpealable, so no one was eating them - I halved the little beggars, juiced them, stuck the rinds in the jar, topped up with white vinegar.... I still have a week to go, but I am hopeful. 


  1. A great idea for some unwanted satsumas, I'll be interested to see how it turns out. I was just thinking something similar about chemicals this morning. So much cancer in our western world that doesn't exist in communities where people live simple natural lives. Food for thought.

    1. You should hear my mother holding forth on the subject.... ;o)