A letter plops on to the mat from keen Hooting Yardist Roland Clare:
Dear Frank, he writes, In view of Hooting Yard’s present, thoroughly understandable, preoccupation with slobbering, now may be the right time to recall a pleasingly Keyesque passage in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando:
â€œ… the doctors were hardly wiser then than they are now, and after prescribing rest and exercise, starvation and nourishment, society and solitude, that he should lie in bed all day and ride forty miles between lunch and dinner, together with the usual sedatives and irritants, diversified, as the fancy took them, with possets of newt’s slobber on rising, and draughts of peacock’s gall on going to bed, they left him to himself …â€ (p48 of the 2000 Penguin Modern Classics edition).
Many thanks to Mr Clare for that. Inexplicably, it may be the first appearance of the word posset on this website. I suspect it will not be the last.