I used to suffer asthma as a child. Dust and mold would set me off, especially this time of year.

I used to do a lot of casual agency labouring, The deal was any work had to be paid for a minimum of 4 hours. I was often sent to places that had almost no work, but they would rather sign off a full day than admit to their own bureaucrats that they had not needed the already agreed budget.

When I was sent somewhere that had no work I was never happy pretending. If I have set myself for work I would rather work than not.

Having no washing machine to plumb in I decided to do cleaning that had not been done for decades.

I moved the bed head, of the bed I sleep in, away from the wall. I then vacuumed the floor and wall (the ancestral home of generations of spiders were destroyed) then mopped the wall and ceiling with detergent and bleach.

It did not take many hours, but I was wheezing by the end. Not asthma wheezing, more like a daytime tv American comedy show wheeze, but a wheeze never-the-less. I took sloe gin, and sloe brandy, and wine, and that seemed to work.

I also helped ma to start salting the brisket on the bone (6 Ilbs) and small blade of shoulder of lamb I bought at John Kearns in Shipley. It takes half a pound of salt, same of dark brown sugar (I got that yesterday at the same time as the Chinese take-away) with a teaspoon of saltpetre (which is vital if the meat is to keep its colour) mixed up and then rubbed into the meat. I mixed them in the big plastic box ma has then ground the meats against the mix. You then add just a cup full of water to the box and put a heavy weight on top of the meat. I washed a brick and put it inside a big tin baking thing.