Wednesday, 18 September 2013
When I was a child there were two ointments in our house that I can recall with absolute clarity: Germolene and Zam-Buk. There were also two anti-septics, in addition to iodine: TCP and Dettol.
I have been an advocator and user of Germolene for as long as I have been a lover of Marmite ie for as long as I can remember.
Germolene and Zam-Buk both came in a tin and each had a very distinctive smell.
Zam-Buk seemed to disappear many years ago until about a decade ago I saw it advertised in our local pharmacy as a nostalgic product. That it certainly was. There is something wonderfully comforting about things from our childhood that we perceived to have been soothing and good for us.
I bought some but apart from opening the tin in order to savour its aroma I don't think I ever used it and it's no longer in my medicine kit.
Then some years ago Germolene ointment was joined by Germolene cream. It is a pale imitation both in colour, substance and smell of the real thing and I have never developed a liking for it.
A few weeks ago I went into a pharmacy in Glasgow to get a tube of Germolene ointment. There was none on the shelf and the assistant looked puzzled and said that she'd have to get some from the stock. The pharmacist then intervened to say that there were production problems with the ointment and it wasn't available at the moment. Disaster. Finding Germolene ointment became a quest over the next few days. Life without it is unthinkable. Various pharmacies just said thy must be waiting for it to come in but one said that it was no longer in production because people didn't use ointment any more they preferred creams. I don't! Boots said it was still available on prescription. So every time I saw a pharmacy I popped in and eventually found a few odd tubes left on shelves. I'm ok for a year or three.
Then I was back on Lewis and in Stornoway the shelf of a local pharmacy was full of the ointment. Had there been a problem? Apparently not and on looking up the computer it's still available for ordering. So I'm a happy bunny again. It's the most useful product I know of. Whatever external part of the body has a problem Germolene Ointment will solve it. Believe me!