Wednesday, 15 September 2010

All About My Nose

I blow my nose. A lot. This probably sounds like too much information, but I assure you it is not. I have umpteen allergies  from hay fever to furry animals--not such an easy job to avoid when you have to work closely with children and they are covered in pet hair. So I use one of these. A NETI POT. This is the best thing since sliced bread and has kept my nose clear and my head from exploding on more than one occasion I can tell you. Basically it looks like Aladdins lamp and you use it to pour warm, salty water through your nose until it comes out the other nostril. Grossed out yet? Dont be. This thing rocks. It washes away dirt, pollen, pet hair and GERMS. I have not had a sinus infection since 2002. Hand on heart, thats true. And anyone who knows me knows I used to get them many times a year. Once I had one that lasted  6 months when I was teaching in a classroom riddled with damp. So thats the first thing about my nose--or your nose for that matter. If you have sinus issues, get a NETI POT.

As I said I blow a lot. When I have a cold I use disposable tissues for hygiene sake, but on a normal every day pollen/pet hair issue, I use a cotton hankie to save some trees. My dear ole dad was big on hankies. That is one of  my most consistent childhood memories--me having some sort of allergic reaction and him quietly, calmly pulling out his white hankie and letting me blow, then folding it back over to a clean spot and re-pocketing it for my next sneeze. He was always easy to buy for at Christmas--he genuinely liked new socks and handkerchiefs. When he died I kept a few as a memento. I have bought some white hankies like the ones he used to carry and I keep one in my apron pocket. But Im not as good at keeping them sparkling white as we dont really have any white clothes as neither of us can keep white clean and I refuse to use bleach as it is really toxic. So my hankies have been washed in with the dark clothes for a while are a sad slightly grey shade. So what to do? I thought about getting some RIT dye and tie-dying them but then I read the packet and the warning labels for toxicity and decided that I didnt want to blow my nose on chemicals. Or wipe with chemicals for that matter. I am so crunchy I use cloth toilet paper (just for wee--dont go all mad and start freaking out here) made from an old flannel sheet  which has also faded a bit so I was planning to dye them with the hankies for a bit o colour. But clearly the big red poison symbol with the big X on it put me off. So they will stay as they are. But the hankies! A solution presented itself yesterday.

Hitchin is full of charity shops. Lots of good second hand bargains to be found. I popped  into the Save the Children Shop on my way home from school and there, for 20p each, were beautiful, coloured antique hankies. Like your granny would have used. Lovely pastel colours, some with a bit of flower embroidery others with a bit of faggoting. Stop sniggering --this is faggoting  and I picked up 5 for the princely sum of one quid. Ewwww, you say, I dont want to blow my nose on someone elses hankies no matter how purdy they are. Well you dont have to.  I washed them. I had to. Someone else had washed and pressed them but they REEKED like a detergent whorehouse. Why do people think that some artificial chemical smell that could knock you unconscious equals clean? Which brings me to my third thing about my nose.

I hate the way conventional detergents smell and make us break out in rashes. So we use these. Soapnuts. They grow on a tree and you can wash with them--how cool is that? And after 3 washes you can compost them. Even cooler. And the Amazing Spiderman has no more eczema  and I dont get an asthma attack from inhaling weird artificial scent. Bonus. The clothes come out smelling clean. A bit like rain. But not chemically in the least.

So wash your nose with a Neti Pot, blow your nose on a cotton hankie to save trees and trust your nose to know that artificial smell does not always equal clean. This is my advice. The nose knows.

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