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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Take those shoes off!

May - this is the month when we should all be out good and early, with our shoes off. Nothing is so good for the feet as the early morning dw on the grass. Well, that's what has always been said: a doctor writing in 1847 said that 'May dew is a very great dissolver of many things that willnot be dissolved any other way, which puts me in mind of the late Wm Gore of Clapton, who foir his gout walked in the dew with his feet bare, and found much benefit from it. This was the very method used to cure his bunions by Oliver Cromwell.' Dew was also considered a great cosmetic, anbd young people often went out very early in the morning during the month to gather the dew frio the grass, which preserved their faces from wrinkles, bloitches and 'the traces of old age'.  And as for dew from the hawthorn:
'The fair maid who, the first of May,
Goes to the fields at break of day
And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree
Will ever after handsome be.'
- and, in 1674, 'a party of young girls between the ages of eleven and eighteen were taken up by the watch for strolling quite naked in the fields beyond Hampstead, accompanied by a number of boys and young men in an equal state of nature; it being reported that while the young gentlemen were applying dew to the bodies of the young ladies, certain familiarities took place which while perhaps adding to their beauty were not altogether condusive to the sweetness of their reputations.'

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