Frozen remedy takes the heat out of a very painful dilemma

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THE curative powers of frozen chicken dinosaurs cannot be overstated, I discovered last week.

Don’t tell Jamie Oliver or the rest of the food police, but we always keep a packet in the freezer should the grandchildren require sustenance, and I must confess I do quite enjoy finishing off the left overs once they have departed.

However, it was these mini terrible lizards in their uncooked state which proved a lifesaver for me the other day, when I was foolish enough to allow myself to be kicked on the shin by a horse in my role as amateur ostler.

I was standing in the wrong place when a flailing hoof whipped my legs out from under me, and cast me to the ground, where another hoof cracked against my shin.

I leapt to my feet instantly, but had to support myself on the door of an adjacent box - where one of the resident ponies mistook my orange-gloved finger for a carrot, and crunched on it with great enthusiasm.

I managed to drive home without too many problems, with my leg tender rather than agonising, and was able to go about my business for several hours without difficulty.

But that evening, several hours after the kick had occurred, I was out putting something in the bin when I felt a sudden tightening of the skin round the affected area.

I went back in, rolled up my trouser leg, and noted with some alarm my lower right limb had turned into a sort of hairy Zeppelin. I could see the skin rising and swelling by the second, and was half-expecting it to explode in a messy mish-mash of blood and entrails.

I turned to my personal medical consultant Mrs Hextol, who is all knowing on matters of the flesh, and she recommended that I should immediately see the doctor.

I was amazed, given her unfortunate experiences only a couple of months ago at the emergency hospital at Cramlington, but she was not referring to that centre of eternal waiting times, but to a re-run of that Cornish classic Doc Martin on the television.

She declared: “It’s no good trailing halfway across the county and sitting in a blood-stained waiting room for countless hours when all the doctor would tell you to do is put ice on it anyway.

“I don’t think it’s broken, because you’ve been walking on it for hours. So just put your feet up on the settee, and I’ll strap some frozen peas to your leg to reduce the swelling.”

Alas, the supply of frozen peas in the Hextol Towers freezer was extremely modest , and there were beads of perspiration on Captain Birdseye’s beard as the heat from my throbbing shin soon had them almost cooked anyway.

So back into the depths of the freezer Mrs Hextol plunged, emerging with the aforementioned herd of chicken dinosaurs, which sizzled a bit when making contact with my leg, but soon started cooling my swollen extremity.

And after an hour of watching the irascible Doc and the mad folk of Portwenn going about their entertaining business, I removed the tea towel securing the chicken dinosaurs in place and saw that the shin has receded to almost normal proportions. It was still a bit sore, and I felt sure I would be unable to cope with the rigours of equine ordure evacuation the next day, but after a good night’s sleep, the leg was in reasonable working order, and I was able to put in a full shift.

While Mrs Hextol has no formal medical training, she is a wonder when it comes to repairing broken bodies with remedies that you cannot always get on prescription. Not long after we were married, I had rather a nasty motor cycle accident which left both my legs a mushy mess.

I was given bandages soaked in some messy unguent which had to be heated before being applied three times a day. They were not a success, and my legs continued to suppurate pungently until with an exasperated sigh, Mrs Hextol threw away all the medicated bandages, and gave my legs a liberal dusting with her favourite cure-all, Johnson’s Baby Powder.

My legs dried up and healed within two days, much to the sniffy disapproval of the district nurse whose job it had been to apply the bandages.

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