Thursday, 26 August 2010

How we used to eat

Poor George Borrow is stuck in a meagre hotel in Pentraeth, Ynys Môn, in 1862. They don't get 'proper' meat very often, and so he's stuck with Box Harry:
Those whose employers were in a small way of business, or allowed them insufficient salaries, frequently used to 'box Harry', that is, have a beef-steak, or mutton-chop, or perhaps bacon and eggs, as I am going to have, along with tea and ale instead of the regular dinner of a commercial gentleman, namely, fish, hot joint and fowl, pint of sherry, tart, ale and cheese, and bottle of old port, at the end of all'. (Wild Wales, 203)
And that's what travelling salesmen got to eat. I'm going home to do something miserable with a leek. So much for progress…

I probably won't be online tomorrow - my Northern Irish and French chums Gareth and Stéphanie are paying a visit. Gareth, as a good loyalist, will no doubt exercise his right to march through my living room while I protest powerlessly from the bathroom.

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