steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Death of the Chilblain

I'm just reading Carrie's War, in which "everybody has chilblains". Like a madeleine going down the wrong way, this sentence took me back to being a Very Small Steepholm, standing in front of the three-bar electric fire at home with my cold fingers still damp from snow, and being told by my mother to move my fingers from the heat, "Lest you get chilblains."

Did I ever get chilblains? I can't even remember, now. Perhaps her timely admonition always did the trick. But the word was certainly much bandied in our house, circa 1968. Yet today I never hear them mentioned. Do I move in the wrong circles? Have they been wiped out, like smallpox? Have they changed their name to something more in keeping with the modern era? Or is it something to do with central heating, which also spelled the end of Jack Frost's amusing artwork on the inside of my bedroom window?
Tags: maunderings, real life
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