Tuesday, January 17, 2017

These sayings from the past show us the future

It is interesting to learn where the terms we use in everyday life come from. Before we get into that a little digression - now, we live in a tiny house - that is 2 adults, a nine and two year old, a dog and cat. In a very tiny house. I often think of my mother in the Catlins living 10 people to a house probably only double the size of our little tiny house.

I believe I am future proofing my children to think outside the square and be able to do what others can only contemplate. It becomes interesting when I consider that I am future proofing them to be able to live in the world that has past and is coming again.

Change is coming - within our lifetimes things are going to get very, very different. When the combined effects of climate change, peak oil, nutter political leaders, obscene widening of the wealth gap, increasing poverty, hardship and homelessness. The lessons of these well known (western) sayings will become a new reality.

“They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot. Once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery.If you had to do this to survive, you were ‘piss poor.’But worse than that were the really poor folks who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot. They ‘didn’t have a pot to piss in’ and were considered the lowest of the low.” 
“Houses had thatched roofs with thick straw-piled high and 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 term, ‘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 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.’” 
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.’” 
“In old, small villages, 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.’
Well there we go - recognise those sayings? - now you know the past they came from and the future they promise - don't worry there will be smiles and laughter and happiness as well as simplicity. 

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