The author’s daughter suffered from a chronic form of childhood eczema from the age of eighteen months. This article relates how the condition was treated and eventually cured leading to a healthy child by the age of five. Childhood eczema in its early stages can be recognized by red patches in the folds of skin behind arms and legs and easily confused with nappy rash. The condition makes the child scratch the affected area causing the infection to spread. Constant itching makes the child uncomfortable, miserable and in extreme cases very distressed. The condition is usually treated with a course of anti-bacterial creams and emollients to soften the skin. Eczema can continue into adulthood and lead to other symptoms such as hay fever and asthma. The author explains how he ignored the conventional advice of GP’s and other health professionals and brought in a more natural course of treatment. There are sections on diet, clothing, environment and medication. This is aimed at children but there is a lot of information here that might also be of use to adults who also suffer from skin complaints such as eczema or psoriasis.
John Barber was born in London at the height of the UK Post War baby boom. The Education Act of 1944 saw great changes in the way the nation was taught; the main one being that all children stayed at school until the age of 15 (later increased to 16). For the first time working class children were able to reach higher levels of academic study and the opportunity to gain further educational qualifications at University.
This explosion in education brought forth a new aspirational middle class; others remained true to their working class roots. The author belongs somewhere between the two. Many of the author’s main characters have their genesis in this educational revolution. Their dialogue though idiosyncratic can normally be understood but like all working class speech it is liberally sprinkled with strange boyhood phrases and a passing nod to cockney rhyming slang.
John Barber’s novels are set in fictional English towns where sexual intrigue and political in-fighting is rife beneath a pleasant, small town veneer of respectability.
They fall within the cozy, traditional British detective sections of mystery fiction.
He has been writing professionally since 1996 when he began to contribute articles to magazines on social and local history. His first published book in 2002 was a non-fiction work entitled The Camden Town Murder which investigated a famous murder mystery of 1907 and names the killer. This is still available in softback and as an ebook, although not available from Smashwords
John Barber had careers in Advertising, International Banking and the Wine Industry before becoming Town Centre Manager in his home town of Hertford. He is now retired and lives with his wife and two cats on an island in the middle of Hertford and spends his time between local community projects and writing further novels.read more