and they kept their handkerchiefs in cardboard boxes

Grace has a snuffly cold. It's come on very suddenly, just this morning she said, mummy, I've got a snotty nose. There have been lots of requests for face washings and cream under her nose. As in zinc nappy cream, why? Possibly because of the no blood, no bandaid rule we've instituted. There's also been hankies. She hasn't quite mastered blowing or wiping her nose with a handkerchief, but this winter I reckon.

We've also started reading When We Were Very Young, by AA Milne, 1924, in a nice hardback reissue with the original drawings but coloured rather than the black and white line drawings we had as a child. Not original but it's so nicely done, I think it's an improvement. I loved this book as a child and I still remember lots of the words. And there's handkerchief carrying foxes.


Once upon a time there were three little foxes
Who didn't wear stockings, and they didn't wear sockses,
But they all had handkerchiefs to blow their noses,
And they kept their handkerchiefs in cardboard boxes.

Anyway, at playgroup today, as I whipped out the hankie to wipe Grace's nose and go through the teaching process, one of the other mothers gave me one of those looks. The OMG she's using a hankie, oh how disgusting, eeew, look. I know that look, as a hankie lover I've seen it many times. But can I just say this, if you wash a used handkerchief in laundry detergent in the washing machine, dry them in the sun and then if you're feeling really houswifely, iron them, there's not a germ that would survive. Truly. And they are so much more pleasant on the nose, or eyes if you're crying, than tissues. Really.


  1. Oh Im absolutely with you on hankies. Not only are they much more gentle on the nose when you have a cold, but they are more environmentally friendly. I have a nice stash of liberty lawn hankies (not to be shared with the boys however!).

  2. Ironing the family's handkerchiefs was my job when I was a little girl.

  3. I inherited most of my hankies from my Grandma. They have her hostel room number written on them in the corner so they're not as lovely as they used to be. But then, no one ever inherited a box of tissues and kept them as a constant reminder for a decade.
    I also have a few that were a gift from my sister out law, she embroidered little pictures on them. There's a butterfly, a UFO and a martini glass with olive.