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|02-12-2009, 11:12 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bethlehem, PA.
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.. 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 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
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 entrance way.
Hence the saying a 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 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 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 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 the
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.
|02-12-2009, 01:13 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Old & Sober Member of AA
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Nursing Home in Brick, New Jersey
I've always been fascinated with this type of history and folklore. Very interesting material, BTSO...and, it all makes perfect sense. Thanks again.
He's coming to town... ...via the Polar Express!!!
|02-14-2009, 02:01 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Western N.Y.
Thank you Jersey for bumping back to square one's post, It was a great piece, reminding me of when I was very young hearing the story tellers passing on the history and rituals of their ancestors so they wouldn't be forgotten.
|02-14-2009, 02:53 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Mexico
Blog Entries: 5
Gee, what a laugh riot life was in the 1500's, huh??!!! Famine, Pestilence, wars that lasted for generations,beheadings, burnings, etc. No wonder the english hit the gin so hard! Thanks- a fasinating (sic), read.
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