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where there's muck, there's money

updated sat 24 may 03


Janet Kaiser on fri 23 may 03

Strangely enough, it was a muck heap which really affected my health when I
was 17-18 years old. The farmer next door (and downwind) went into battery
chicken egg production and from the very start I suffered reoccurring
tonsillitis every six-eight weeks. The "authorities" had no inclination to
either prove or disprove it was the muck-heap of chicken manure to blame,
so my tonsils were taken out. I still would complain of very sore throats
and runny eyes and started suffering from bouts of bronchitis which I had
never had before.

But then we moved house and I underwent an instant, "miracle cure". Could
have been that I was just super-sensitive to ammonia, but it certainly
affected my health badly. It also affected my whole life, because all that
happened during my A-level years... Not a good time to miss whole weeks and
months of secondary education. I did very well to get 3 passable A levels,
but it was a far cry from the five "A"s and the Oxbridge education I was
aiming for as a Grammar School educated "high flyer".

And because I had developed a susceptibility to chestiness, any career in
the civil service, the armed forces or any other safe career was out. Even
living in certain countries and climates would not be possible henceforth
as a summer in Montreal proved! Indeed I also found that working in some
media as an artist would be impossible... A week in the printing room at
college had me prostrated! But I did not resent that... More time for clay
that way!


Janet Kaiser


>"A pile of manure has never killed a farmer,
>otherwise we would not be here",

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