In a recent issue of Writing Magazine I read that one way to make money from writing is by writing letters - in particular, letters to magazines. Well, recently I was given a pile of old magazines and, purely in the interest of research, I read some of them.
Even in the women's magazines that I used to buy, the letters were all about reality shows and the love lives of TV personalities. There were photos of hen parties and/or animals in silly costumes, and not one letter worth reading, so I won't be making my fortune that way.

But in a sixty-year-old cook-book I found a newspaper cutting of a letter sent to the Times that did make me chuckle.

I can't decide if it was written tongue-in-cheek or not - what do you think?

The old flat-iron
I sympathise with your correspondent who wrote about the flat-iron cure (this page last week).  In case he gets a return of his lumbar pains, he may like to know that a really hot iron is not necessary.
  What is needed is an iron that feels comfortably warming through a blanket, and for the operator to wriggle the point of the iron well into the muscles.
  This, if done for about 10 minutes, will be found to produce a most comforting and lasting cure.
From Lord Sandhurst, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk


  1. Sounds like a great cure to me - an early heat treatment. Mum mum uses heat pads on her back but this would be much cheaper!
    People used to iron their hair didn't they to straighten it?

  2. I think I'll stick to a soak in the bath!

  3. It sounds authentic. I have an electrically heated pad for my back. Before the days of electric blankets we used to find hotwater bottles (earthenware!!!) good for aching bones & chill feet.

  4. Great post, Lizy!

    I remember my grandmother saying her and her sisters used to plait their long hair after it was washed, then wrap it in a towel and iron it. They cam out with very wavy hair, apparently!

  5. That letter is so funny, but reminds me of the more modern method I use. I have one of those grain-filled thingies I heat up in the microwave oven and then stuff behind my lower back (or across my aching shoulders after too many hours at the computer).


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