Lilies and Asthma…


Being an asthmatic is very often a pain in the neck. Sorry about the pun, but it is. So many things I cannot do or experience for fear of being unable to breathe.

I cannot wear perfume or use scented products. This includes most washing powders and air fresheners too. I have to use baby talcum powder, so usually smell like an infant. Steam and cooking smells can start me off, so my love of cooking has turned into a source of frustration.

I hate supermarkets, cinemas or public gatherings, for there will always be somebody wearing perfume or aftershave that will literally bring me to my knees.

I haven’t always been an asthmatic. Something happened during a general anaesthetic in my twenties, which triggered it, and even though I hoped it would go the way it came, it never has.


Someone bought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers last week, and they were lovely, ivory roses and white lilies. The roses were fine, hardly scented at all, but the lilies were something else. I knew from past experience that their wonderful perfume would gradually take over the whole house and become unbearable for me.

Somehow, I couldn’t put them in the dustbin, so I took them outside and put them in the first thing to hand. This happened to be a large green watering can.

I can see these beautiful and ethereal flowers from my kitchen window, and they have lasted longer than the roses…


It made me think how sometimes we are forced to look at things from a very different point of view, especially if you are a writer.  I have learned not to dismiss any possibility or idea, as “what if” can lead you into some very weird places!

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