Wayfarer Column- We feed off the tales that make us different characters

If you accept life as it is, then you will begin to realise just how amazing it really is.

Nature provides us with everything we need to sustain us, even down to the mites that feed on and clear up the mess we tend to leave behind.

These smaller mites provide food for the larger mites and in turn the insects who the provide food for the birds and other creatures all of whom seem to have a purpose in life. We ourselves have a purpose in life, nature has provided us with the ability to appreciate beauty which is all around us; and it has given us different characters because if we were all the same life would be boring.

We feed on the tales that come out of those differences.

One such tale is about Susanna, Countess of Eglinton (1690- 1780) who when well into her 80s was considered very beautiful.

When asked for her secret she confided that she washed her face regularly with sow’s milk, a panacea I think that was used by Cleopatra who was a noted beauty so it must have been effective.

The sow’s milk kept the Countess beautiful but did not explain her unusual hobby, when in her later years living at Auchens in Ayrshire she maintained rats who kept out of sight until she called them to be fed, then they retired at her word of command.

There are of course many other eccentricities, but remember that which may seem to be eccentric to some may not be to others.

Thomas Clark of Dundee, who in the late 1700s was so prudent, or mean if you prefer it, that he lived his life on oatmeal stirred in boiling water, but not only that he even begged the boiling water from a neighbour.

Clark was once prescribed a dose of castor oil as a remedy for a complaint, but decided that by swallowing a lump of soap it would have the same effect and be cheaper.

Perhaps he had a point, who knows? But certainly it would not appear odd to him.

The coming of computers and the popularity of e-mails as a form of communication has caused the postal service problems.

However one remedy to be considered was supplied by David Pole, a letter carrier or postman, in Montrose who had a limp and always walked on tiptoes so as to save the soles of his post office issue boots.

Well there you are , there are always ways of being prudent and saving funds, so if you are brave enough you could perhaps suggest this to your local postman when next he calls to deliver your mail. See you next week.