On high tide line, little critters with small blue balloons go crackle and pop if you dare tread on them. And watch out! An attached length of 'string' will inflict pain on contact with your skin and will send a surfer to seek first aid. I have never been keen to test whether the power to sting remains in these beached specimens. A number of remedies existed and wonder what the latest is?
Bluebottles have another quirky name: Portuguese man o'war ! A flock will drift into a surfing areas from time to time.
Once upon a time when washing day was a big deal, a blue pellet was added to the rinsing water to brighten the clothes. At one stage, I think, Reckits blue was known as a remedy for the bluebottle sting - a treatment since discredited.
Towards the end of a long morning in the laundry, compleate with a wood fired copper, I have assisted my mother by preparing the starch. White granuels of chalky starch where disolved in a basin of boiling water and certain items of cotton clothing were dunked in the hot slimey liquid then wrung out again. After drying - on a clothes line - came the dampening down when water was sprinkled on the clothes and they were rolled up ready for ironing day.