Thanks to Tom Cotton for reminding me/us of the delightful verse from Punch during the winter of 1947. My own memories are of being in bed with a second attack of pneumonia, of the collection of penicillin bottles on my windowsill, one left by the doctor after each injection, and of looking out enviously at my fit young friends and neighbours throwing snowballs in the south Dublin street.
By the way, when I had my first bout of pneumonia penicillin was not available in Ireland, and my parents spent anxious days while I was in a delirium. By 1947 penicillin was administered by injection into the posterior. Not too painful, and revolutionary in its effect.
Another memory is of a breakfast cereal from the USA called Kix. The packets were printed with items that built up into a cut-out model railway, and I instructed my long-suffering mother which packets to buy. Just the job for a convalescent 10 year old.
Back to the Latin verses. Emanuel Shinwell (line 6) was the Minister of Power at the time.
I imagine that, like me, you have vivid memories of the 1947 winter. Do you know this, from Punch, by FC Geary? It may go well on the ARLT blog in present circumstances.
Utinam in Timbuctu fatum me locasset
Vel me Rex in Africam secum invitasset,
Nec in frigidario sic incarceratus
Horream, Apollinis quaeritans afflatus.
Dum de caelo Jupiter gelat, stridet, ningit,
In terris Emanuel foculos exstinguit :
Nil agunt artifices, feriati gratis,
Ob deficientiam electricitatis.
Ut in bello per vias imus enigratas
Vel tabernas visimus vix illuminatas,
Dum redintegrant minas anti-cyclonales
Cessat campis Arsenal sphaeram propulsare,
cessat ersatz leporem canis agitare,
Cessat Ritz-Kinematum genialis flamma,
Cessat lumen Vesperis, tertium programma.
Verbis Februarium insectati diris,
Imitemur habitus hibernantis gliris
Amphorisque fervidis lectos oneremus,
Ut ad veris tepidos soles dormitemus.
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