We all tend to take our hands and feet for granted, and it’s only when something goes wrong that we come to appreciate how they function.
This was brought home to me in 2014, while writing my first novel which featured a serial killer, that caused me to have a nightmare in which I kicked out at a shadowy attacker, hitting the bedroom wall and breaking a big toe in my fury.
Our hands really are one of the key tools of our trade as writers. I take care of mine, manicuring the nails and rubbing in moisturising skin cream regularly.
All the same, it’s still possible to pick up the occasional injury to the fingers. One of the most painful is a burn, usually from cooking activities or clumsiness with the kettle. Immersing the wounded digit in cold water is a well-known and effective remedy, but in the absence of cooling water, try this: simply press your burnt finger to an earlobe – preferably your own!
This trick was taught to me by an ex-girlfriend, who was a Cordon Bleu trained chef. Gripping your earlobe with the fingertips that you’ve burnt helps to draw the heat away, limiting damage without harming the ear itself. There are a lot of tiny blood capillaries in the ear, as anyone who’s had an ear pierced knows, and they help to disperse the heat.
Try it, by carefully pressing a finger to a hot mug of tea or coffee, then giving your ear a fright!