My little grand-daughter had a tonsillectomy last week. She has recovered well. It reminded me of my own experience when I was five.
After contracting the dreaded diphtheria when I was three (read about it in my book ‘ Gardening in Your Nineties’), I suffered from frequent bouts of tonsillitis. Our nearest doctor at Beenleigh advised my parents that I should have my enlarged tonsils removed.
Times were tough in 1933, and my father asked what the cost would be.
‘Five pounds,’ was the answer. Five pounds! When the average monthly cream cheque was ten shillings in those depression days, this meant ten months work...and what if my sister then had to have her tonsils out? My father did his calculations.

‘Would you consider operating on both of my daughters for the one fee?’ he asked the country doctor who replied, ‘Of course.’ So Joan, who had never had a sore throat, and I were taken to the little cottage hospital and our tonsils were guillotined off.

We were ill from the effects of the chloroform, and our throats were bleeding and painful. On the way home in the Chevvie tourer, we sucked chunks of ice knocked from a big block wrapped in a kerosene sack. There was no refrigeration, so the unaccustomed ice would not last long.

We recovered, but when I was sixteen it was necessary to have my tonsil remnants removed. Joan never ever had a sore throat!