Mrs Shield's Pills

"The Four Generations"
top l to r: My Grandma, Phyllis and her mother B. Pearl, bottom l to r: My Aunty Pam and her great-Grandma, my great-great Grandma, Maryanne

I used to love looking at this photo when I was a little girl. I mean loooovvvvee. I would stare it out all the time, and marvel at how my Grandma, a young woman in this photo, looked like her Mother and Grandmother. I mean seriously, when I was a little girl she looked like her Grandma. Who was this young woman? Would I grow up to look like her? (It turns out, no!). Would I have a daughter who I could take a photo like this with? (It turns out, no! No kids, and obviously no longer the 4th generation is alive). How fascinating and wonderful the march of time and generations - I felt so close to them all when I looked at this photo. Like I belonged to a secret club that were these four women (I was, of course, always sad that my Mum wasn't in this photo - she came along much later, when my Grandma was 42! Don't know if she was quite expecting that!!).... I can't explain what I felt, it is hard to explain exactly what it was you felt as a young child with your adult 'glasses' on. Anyway, I am still amazed by it. I know, it is probably just me, because this is my family! But to have a photo of 4 generations of women in my family, and to go a little crazy looking at my Aunty Pam and Mum now, who bear the same resemblance as their predecessors - it makes me feel so many things... Loved is one of them. Part of something beautiful, life!, is another. Small and insignificant, and yet somehow special anyway is another...

This will be the cover of my book one day.

I didn't cook again this week! eek! Will you still love me? Did anyone make the Sultana Cake last week? 

This 'recipe' is in the back of the ledger, - it is totally fascinating and I would love to find more information about it, if anyone knows any...  I am scared of it! - it sounds like an old wives brew (yes, I am imagining a steamy cauldron) - I don't know exactly what for, - but I think it was a remedy for either constipation, menopause, or...erm... to make sure you got your period each month. Who knows exactly? The research I have done leads me to several conclusions!! But, maybe the secret lays?

I do wish those women up there could tell me what it was.. maybe I'll have to call and ask Aunty Pam and see if she knows what this crazy drink is!! (I love that you mix it with Gin!!)

Mrs Shield's Pills

1/4 oz Hiera Picra (meant to literally mean, Bitter Pill)
1/4 oz Jalop (Jalapa, from Mexico, a purgative??)
1/4 oz Rhubarb (great for hot flashes and heartburn)
1/4 oz Bitter Aloes (another purgative)
1/4 oz Ground Ginger (a cure for constipation...)
3 coconut (??? I think that is what it says??)

~ Mix with gin


  1. I also loved this photo, so much. Before evening reading your blog my soul was warmed by seeing this photo.

    As for Mrs Shield's Pills, I think it may be a homemade Pimms recipe. "The original Pimm's No 1 was made using gin, quinine and a secret mixture of herbs as an aid to digestion."

    You may just have discovered the secret mixture of herbs!!

  2. @JadeI thought it was some sort of gin cocktail too, and was gonna say we should all try it. Then I looked up all the ingredients, and especially the hiera picra freaked me out!!!

    I dare you to make it!

  3. I was going to make some smart arse comment, like "no, you make it" (the epitome of humour and wit) but we all know that I will, for some reason, do anything that my siblings dare me too. A bit like Marty McFly being called chicken.... so I will make it, probably drink it and let you all know how it goes..... if only I can figure out where to get the ingredients from, or what the ingredients are for that matter!

  4. @JadeReally? I had no idea that you can't help but take on dares.... hmmm! I must have never dared you before!

    look out!