Interesting Trivia?!

When you’re finished reading, check out the new trivial posts: More Interesting Trivia and Even More Interesting Trivia.

Mum sent me this so it has to be true – right?

Here are some ‘facts’ about the 1500s:

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” and were the lowest of the low.

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good byJune. 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.”

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: 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 upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. 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!

Of course it is. My mum said so!

Don’t forget to check out the new trivial posts: More Interesting Trivia and Even More Interesting Trivia.


I’d like to preface this post with a brief apology. This is not the most brilliant piece of literature I have ever penned to paper (or pawed onto the iPad as circumstances would have it), but I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the good people at the Park Café on Chalmers Street.

You see, I have been sitting in the stands at Redfern Oval since 8ish this morning with my red Rabbitoh hoodie pulled over my head and silently regretting the decision to go for that short haircut last week. The clear blue skies and bright sunshine belie the fact that the temperature is struggling to get above eleven degrees and my shivering fingers are making it increasingly more difficult to type.

As the under sixes swarmed around the paddock in font of me, and the buffoon two rows down decided to argue with the ground staff over the placement of the rubbish bin, my grumbling gut delivered the message,

“I’m hungry! Time for breakfast.”

Now I have become something of a connoisseur of footy food, having spent the last four months sampling the finest fare from fields all over Sydney’s southeast. The BBQ put on by the Botany Rams at Booralee is absolutely brilliant, as is the pie and chips from Pioneers Park. For sheer indulgence though you cannot go past the Rover’s Special at Erskineville Oval. This elongated, yeasty extravaganza is crammed with crispy bacon, plump sausage, al dente onions and an egg that oozes a river of rich orange yoke down your forearm to dribble off your elbow. It is absolute drool fuel, unequalled anywhere outside of a five star resort.

So it was with mixed expectations that I decided to wander over to the Park Café on Chalmers Street to peruse the breakfast menu. Any apprehensions I had to the available victuals were quickly put to rest as I rounded the corner. The snap, crackle and pop of the pork fat and the sizzling of butter soaked albumen was second only to the wafting aroma of roasted Arabica beans. My esophagus concurred with my duodenum with its declaration of,

“Oh yeah baby!”

The morning munchies arrived in the form of a crusty focaccia filled with smokey bacon, swimming in barbecue sauce and topped off by a fat, fluffy egg. The golden goo exploded in my mouth eliciting rapturous applause from titillated taste buds before my stunned tongue was sent to ambrosial nirvana. Pan fried pig flesh peppered my senses with a salvo of savory scrumptiousness, delicately complimented by the herb encrusted Italian masterpiece.

Unfortunately it was over all to soon so, with my arteries suitably clogged, I headed back to the frosty stadium with a large cappuccino to warm my soul. As I sipped the second best brew in Sydney (number one being the All Press coffee shop in Epsom Road, Rosebery) I was grateful that my cholesterol check was not for another few weeks. Having said that I am resolved to return to the Park Café on Chalmers Street. Their tummy tempters would satisfy any hungry man and for the girls there is the chance you’ll catch a glimpse of League hunks such as Sam Burgess and Roy Asotasi 😉

Bon appetit.

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