Renni (The girl who just joined) sent me this (For no reason, she just shares this stuff with anyone on her quick list):
The next time you are washing your hands and complain
because the water temperature isn’t just how you like
it, think about how things used to be.
Here are 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 20. However, they were starting to
smell so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide
the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when
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 dogs, 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. That posed a real problem in the bedroom
where bugs and other droppings could really 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 kept adding 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 the 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 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 around and “chew the fat.”
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 and 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 them 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 thought 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…
Now , whoever said that History was boring ! ! ! !
Share these facts with a friend… I just did :-)…
I’m not buying anything of this but I found it funny.