“Uncle Burton liked a drink or two, the women used to salt the whisky and rum they used in their fruit cakes and puddings, otherwise old Uncle would drink it. Apparently he was an arrogant man and when he finished a meal he would push his chair back and put his feet on the table – boots and all, this is how he died. One day after a heavy meal he did as usual and actually died with his boots on. I seem to think he was an older man than Aunty Burton, as they often were in those days. Mum seemed very fond of Aunty Burton and Tot and her children, I don’t recall her ever speaking ill of them. She did say Tot tended to coddle the children – she always had them rugged up in heavy woollens and always heavy socks and shoes. She was forever driving the 40 odd miles to the doctor with an ailing child in a horse and dray. One day the doctor told her to strip off their heavy clothing, socks and shoes and let them run around barefoot outside. Tot was horrified and said there was frost on the ground, and the doctor said, “Watch their toes turn pink, good for the circulation”! He also told Tot that when his boys, who were then in the higher grades had exams coming up, he would take away their books days before the exams, make them bare their feet and dig in the garden. This he said cleansed the brain and renewed their vigour. The bare earth enriched their bodies. (Uncle and Aunty Burton helped their daughter,r Tot, raise my mother and her siblings after they were orphaned.)
More of “History or Her Story” in the next issue.