So I promised you tales of my scabby finger. Are you sure there isn't something better you could be doing than reading this stuff? Re-arranging your wardrobe in date order? Colour coding your clothes pegs? Staring into space and drooling slightly? No? Huh. Okay then.
I have had slightly dry, scaly and frankly not that attractive skin on my hands for a while. It has got worse recently, to such an extent that my right hand had been christened by my charming sons: "The Scabby Finger of Doom". I sort of ignored it and thought it would sort itself out until whatever-it-was started to affect the nail bed on my right pinky, giving me a nail worthy of the wicked queen in the Snow White cartoon. (The ugly old version, not the glam version at the start. She had fabulous nails.)
So eventually I dragged myself off to see the doctor. Our old family doctor has now retired so I saw one of the new ones. He was approximately 7 feet tall and about, ooh, 12 or 13 years old I reckon. Slightly older than the local policemen but not by much. He took one look at my hand claw and declared "Pompholyx!"
Which, as well as being an excellent word to remember for Scrabble, is what I have. It's the official term for dry, horrid, sometimes weepy and scaly scabbiness. It is also, my children and dear Husband have decided, the new name for my right hand. They reckon it sounds like a previously unknown character from Asterix. I imagine him in the background in a big black cloak, shedding fingernails and skin cells all over the place.
On the plus side, I now have ointments and moisturisers and advice on taming the pompholyx. I also have confirmation that, as I suspected, I also have vitiligo on my hands. (This causes patchy white areas where my skin won't tan and is referred to by my sympathetic family as "giraffeyness"). Combine all that with my tendency to scald, burn and otherwise scar myself when I am cooking, and I reckon I have very little chance of a career as a hand model.
Which is why I don't mind wielding very sharp knives of a Sunday afternoon in order to preare props for my children before they go out guising (which is where they are now).
And to finish, a snap taken from outside our cottage first thing this morning. This is why we keep going back (and why we can't wait for the hacking off of plaster and re-damp proofing to be finished so we can move in properly.)