Friday, 16 March 2018

Things I have found out recently!

According to my Spanish niece, here in Andalucía there is a relationship between the price of beer and the likelihood of your receiving free tapas. The more expensive the caña the less likely you are to get a freebie. Also according to my Spanish niece and her boyfriend it is far less common here than in Galicia for free food to arrive with your drink. They only know this from word of mouth and from stuff they have read and I do not have sufficient experience of bars around here to comment.

We went walkabout yesterday and stopped for coffee and homemade cake near the castle of El Puerto de Santa María, complete with stork’s nest on the tower. Photos will appear at some time soon, but maybe not until I return to England and have access to the computer. Unless, of course, I suddenly discover how to do it on my iPad.

When I first went to Galicia, lots of people went to great lengths to explain to me about “galerías”, the enclosed mini-balconies on the old traditional buildings. These act as insulation, keeping the building cool in summer and warm in winter. They always maintained this was a Galician specialty. Guess what? They have them on old buildings here as well. Once again, photos will appear at so e time in the near future.

This morning we woke to thunderstorms and a deluge. By 10.30 the sky was reasonably clear. We are going to eat out near the beach so we hope the clear skies will remain. Umbrellas in our handbags however.

Here is some odd stuff I found about certain English expressions:-

“They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & Sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor" 

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot......they "didn't have a pot to piss in" & were the lowest of the low 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 they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell . ...... . 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."

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: 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 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. 

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 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.”

Isn’t language interesting!

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