Saturday, March 18, 2006

INTERESTING HISTORY LESSON

I recieved this in an email and just had to share it. Like Chris and I, there are moments in reading this that you will go AHHHH that's where that came from! LOL......ENJOY!

The next time you are washing your hands or complain because thewater temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how thingsused to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:Most people got married in June because they took their yearlybath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they werestarting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide thebody odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when gettingmarried.

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

"Houses had thatched roofs - thick straw piled high, with no woodunderneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all thecats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When itrained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and offthe 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 droppingscould mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and asheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy bedscame into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other thandirt. Hence the saying "dirt poor."

The wealthy had slate floors thatwould get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw)on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they addedmore thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slippingoutside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the sayinga "thresh hold."

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

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 addedthings to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get muchmeat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the potto get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stewhad 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 ninedays old."

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quitespecial. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to showoff. 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 sitaround and "chew the fat."

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acidcontent caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing leadpoisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burntbottom 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 combinationwould sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someonewalking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them forburial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days andthe family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see ifthey would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake."

England is old and small and the local folks started running outof places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would takethe bones to a "bone-house" and reuse the grave. When reopening thesecoffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on theinside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So theywould tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it throughthe coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the "graveyardshift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by thebell" or was considered a "dead ringer."

And that's the truth... Now, whoever said that History was boring ! ! !

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Hehe - I study Modern History - wish I'd done Medieval (but I'd have had to go to another college). Being from England, thats funny. Nice little blog you have here :D (Found it through blogexplosion, in case you were wondering)