Monday, March 24, 2008

Well Fancy That!

Right so! I'm back in the saddle, here's something light to ease in.

Some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their
yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were
starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide
the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when
getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man
of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the
other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the
babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in
it. Hence the saying, 'Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.'

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no
wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all
the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When
it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and
fall off the roof. Hence the saying 'It's raining cats and dogs.'

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the
house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings
could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a
sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came
into existence. The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other
than dirt. Hence the saying 'dirt poor.' The wealthy had slate floors that
would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on
the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they
added more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping
outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the
saying a 'thresh hold.'

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big
kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and
added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much
meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot
to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew
had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme,
'Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.' Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite
special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon
to show it off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could 'bring home the
bacon.' They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high
acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing
lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for
the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt
bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or
'upper crust.'

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination
would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone
walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for
burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the
family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they
would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a 'wake.'
England is old and small and the local folks started running
out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take
the bones to a 'bone-house' and reuse the grave. When reopening these
coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on
the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So
they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the
coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to
sit out in the graveyard all night (the 'graveyard shift') to listen for
the bell; thus, someone could be 'saved by the bell' or was considered a 'dead ringer.'

And that's the truth.

1 comment:

noticias said...

Corrupción política del perú -Gerry- Pederásta y Pedófilo Caso Maddie