Saturday, 4 July 2009

I've lost my ankles

I've lost my ankles. Where did they go?

They were there a few years ago when I was about 55 and went into hospital and had my gall bladder out. The nurses had to put tights on me to ensure my circulation was OK while I was lying down and more than one nurse admired my leg shape and said they wished they had ankles like mine. But someone's stolen them.

For the first time in ages the weather has been so hot that I've worn shorts. So instead of my lower legs being hidden by trousers they are exposed for all to see (and mock). Having lost a knee cap when I was a teenager my knees are not a pretty sight at the best of times but at least they used to be compensated for by my ankles. Now, because of heart problems, it's just a straight line from knee to foot. I want my ankles back!

A question for my readers from abroad. Do you have the same sort of corned beef tins as in the UK? Ours have a separate key which is detached and slotted onto a flap.

The key is then wound and the flap unrolls around the tin, opening it. The idea comes from the days of the Boer War when cans of bully beef were sent out for the troops. Why do we still have them? Tradition? Whatever the reason I suspect they will disappear one day so I decided to photograph one for posterity.

Whilst photographing tins may seem a weird sort of pastime it may one day help with folk who want a blast from the past. There are a few things from the fifties and sixties that I wish I had photographed but which were so ordinary it would never have occurred to me. Things that we just don't see nowadays like toilet cisterns with chains, policemen directing traffic from a little box in the middle of the road, men with umbrellas and bowler hats, and my ankles....



  1. I too have lost the shapely ankles I had a few years ago...sad isn't it? but in my case it isn't just ankles, waist, hips, arms, you name it, they are just not the shape they were.
    Good idea of yours to photograph the corned beef tin, you will be famous one day, when this photo is Googled up, when someone types in "what is a corned beef tin?"
    Love it with some nice fresh bread and pickle.
    Are the invites out yet, or am I too late?
    Love Granny

  2. I think there is a similar type of meat in the US (and probably in the UK too, given that is it where Monty Python hails from), which I've only heard of (so it's more of a mythical creature, like a unicorn or the yeti) called "Spam". I know it comes in a tin, but know nothing of its opening mechanism. But I do know sardine tins in France have a key!

    All this to say that I have no idea what corned-beef tins look like in the US.

  3. In the US we call what you seem to have developed as cankles. (The calf invades what used to belong to the ankle.) All that's left is a foot and a calf. Where do they meet? At the cankle.

    Sorry for you loss. ;-)


  4. Yes, Granny, invites are out and you are amng them. There are pickled onions and gherkins as well!
    Archduchess, thank you - I had forgotten all about sardine tins for the simple reason that they don't have keys any more over here. They did at one time. (French ones are also keyless now if the ones GB brought back from France last year are anything to go by).
    Nice one , Don!

  5. P.S. meant to say, Archduchess, that spam comes in boring ordinary tins!

  6. You're lucky to be able to see your ankles, or anything else below the navel. The old cans are on the way out Spam and that peculiar heart shaped ham have ring pulls now so you only just got there in time.

  7. Great idea. Our corned beef is vacuum packed in heavy plastic. And as Archduchess said, I've only seen Spam in tins on this side of the pond.

  8. I remember those kinds of tins with keys, but I'm not sure if we still have them. I can't remember when I last bought meat in a tin. On tuna and mackerel tins there is usually a ring nowadays.

    You shock me - aren't there any toilet cisterns with chains in England any more? It makes me realize I haven't actually been to England since the early 70's. In my mind, England still looks like it did back then, the plumbing included. We used to stay in small country inns and hotels that all looked very much like Fawlty Towers.

  9. Sorry, Dawn Treader, even England has moved on a bit since the 70s. Not that we have got around to Air Conditioning yet! Hopefully that'll arrive one day - I could do with it at the moment even though the heat is nothing compared to parts of the US.

  10. When my family was all home (pre-vegetarian days...) I would buy a ham in a "ham-shaped" can that had a key like that. It is something of a novelty...NOT a good thing if the line of metal breaks off of the key before you've completed the spin! (It takes a good pair of pliers and a strong hand, then!) Don't know if they still exist or not.
    When I was in England in 1975, they still had the chains in the loo...they shall be missed. ;^) ;^) :^) ;^) ;^0
    I am so thankful for air-conditioning today! It is already 100 degrees out and it is just now noon! I stood out under the shade of a tree, chatting with my brother for about 30 minutes and came inside soaked through! (Nice chat, though...brothers are good that way.) ;^) ;^) :^)

  11. I once nearly bled to death (!!) on a corned beef can!
    My ankles too are sadly not what they were. I miss of my few assets!

  12. Sorry to hear about the disappearing ankles!! My waistline may be with them - please let me know if you find it.
    Yes, we have the same sort of corned beef tin over here - I always break the key and have often cut myself on the edge trying to wrench the tin the rest of the way open. Love corned beef fried with yesterday's potatoes, some onion and whatever else I can find - with HP sauce on the side.

  13. Yes CG and Pondside, that's why I think the corned beef tin is destined for a change. In this safety conscious age there are too many off us that have bled copiously when they attacked us.
    So many missing ankles (and a now a waist) - it must be something to do with the creature that pinches one sock from the washing!

  14. yes! here in America we have the same tin. Always have a little can of spam in the pantry. Some days is just comes in handy when you can't think of anything to prepare for a meal!


Hello - thanks for dropping by to leave a comment. Your comments are much appreciated even if I don't always reply. They will appear as soon as they have been moderated.

Blog Archive