This is my entry into today’s Three Things Challenge where the words today are; Couch, Foot and Helmet.
I think it is safe to say the weather today is what we in the country, at least those of us who live in the South East, call fxxxing cold. Just to clarify for my readers from north of Watford or those who live in the Arctic North of the Americas we had quite a severe frost this morning and I’m sure the temperature was below freezing. As southern softies this weather is quite severe to us!
Not only is this enough to trigger jokes along the lines of, “no breakfast this morning, Oates ran out,” and “I’m going outside, I may be some time,” but it causes many of us to cast our minds back to the heady days of summer where I seem to remember I was blogging about the sun beating down on my neck and extolling the virtues of a “sola topee.”
For those of you not familiar with the term a sola topee is otherwise known as a pith hat which was the sort of helmet worn by the gallant members of the British Army for example those at Rorkes Drift, a small outpost of some one hundred and fifty men who repelled an attack by three to four thousand Zulu warriors and in the process earned eleven Victoria Cross’s. How could these brave men have kept their cool in the heat of the battle were it not for wearing a pith helmet to keep the blazing sun from the backs of their necks.
As always when doing one of these challenges, one thing often triggers the lead to another and the reference to the Army was my prompt for the word foot.
I have written a play called Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori which was produced by The Wireless Theatre Company which told the tale of men in the First World War through letters written from the trenches. Due to the appalling conditions in the trenches foot rot was a common occurrence and the most frequently requested item by the troops was new socks.
How those men would have enjoyed a sit down on a sofa or couch as the American troops would have it and to remove their feet from the clinging wet mud in the trenches and to put on a pair of new dry socks.