32 HEALTH & BEAUTY Spring awakening Health & beauty advice from Rowena Kitchen

forgotten. Those halcyon days when one changed one’s curtains to herald Spring and Autumn are long gone for most of us. The frenzy of a good spring clean could and did include taking feathers out of pillows, washing them then sewing them back in. Ditto for eiderdowns. Rugs had the heck beaten out of them. Swinging heavily from a sagging line. All cup- boards emptied, washed with hot soapy water/baking soda then the paper linings carefully replaced. Believe me, choosing your lining paper was a very important decision. Wardrobes and chests would be emptied and cleaned, scented drawer liners and moth balls replaced and bags of lavender hung or tucked into corners. Dresses would have their hems taken down, laundered then folded carefully in tissue paper and stored out of the light ready for next year. Those gurus of house cleaning would have a fit as they tell us that if you have not worn something for a year (or 6 months if they are hard liners) then Goodbye!. Make three piles they tell us gaily. One for charity,


one for recycling one for keeping. Now full disclo- sure here: I have clothes that have been with me for DECADES. Not been worn that often but treasured and good times remembered. It is imperative to keep your

think we may be seeing Spring approaching. The seasons are so interchangeable these days that many seasonal activities have become blurred or

favourite clothes as fashions come around on a regular basis. I feel a sense of triumph when I can dig through an old chest and find a jacket that is as near as damn it the very one sashaying down a catwalk near you. Even if it no longer fits you it will fit a child or grand-

The intro- duction of bacte-

ria is the scourge of the beauty world so how can you mini- mise this state of affairs?

child etc who will be thrilled to have ‘vintage’. Thank goodness nobody has decided to give clothes and jewels a ‘use by date’ but I fear it’s on the way! Use by dates are considered important for food de- spite the fact that, in years gone by, we ‘used’ our intelligence and our senses to know when food had gone past its best. I imagine that millions of pounds worth of consumable products are thrown away each year because the ‘date’ told us to. I still make my own call and refuse to be bossed around by the powers that be. There are loads of web sites that tell you how to check if food is still usable if you are unsure. Spices in particular seem to have a poor time of it as

you never get through that jar of turmeric or cayenne before it suddenly seems you have had it for the last three years gathering dust just out of sight. Of course this leads us neatly to beauty products.

Your fingers and light are the mortal enemies of lotions and potions. The introduction of bacteria is the scourge of the beauty world so how can you minimise this state of affairs? Use the tiny plastic spatula that comes with the product or buy your own. You can find them in most chemists in multipacks. Wash the spat-

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