Little sun-ray lamp of sunshine

Aside from attempting to increase my cholesterol by serving me egg ‘n’ chips every lunchtime throughout my school years, my mum was actually quite keen for me to remain healthy.

Being force-fed Virol and given a Haliborange tablet every day were staple additions to my diet.

I never realised just how powerful Haliborange tablets were until, realising I’d missed a day, once took two in one day; that was the day to have bought shares in Andrex.

However, living on the fourth floor (of eight) of our Balham block of flats, my vitamin D intake was minimal.  So, my mum invested in a sun-ray lamp. 

She had toyed with the idea of dangling me out of the window at certain times of the day when the sun came round, but could never get any rope strong enough; also she’d bunked of the lesson about knot-tying when she was a Brownie.

Instead, I had to endure several minutes, on a regular basis, in front of this powerful lamp (my mum got it cheap, as it had previously operated the North Foreland Lighthouse) wearing tiny black goggles whose string dug into my head.

So, what with the sun-ray lamp, mum drinking Rioja while preparing my egg ‘n’ chips, it was like being in Majorca in the mid-sixties.

Viva Franco – and other great summertime songs.

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