Tag Archives: Fish & Chips

Doesn’t Bode Well For The Future…

27 Feb

I have signed up to Twitter. There has been a lot of publicity this week about British MPs signing up and I thought well, if they can use it, so can I, as technept as I am. It doesn’t bode well, however, that a lot of the publicity has been about Twitter identities being hijacked. Nor does it bode well for me that I told my family I had signed up to ‘Tweeter’. They thought I had become a birdwatcher. Or is that ‘twitcher’? Tweeters are usually paired up with woofers in a Not The Nine O’Clock News sketch, aren’t they? This online stuff is complicated.

My Twitter name is laughwife because I couldn’t fit the whole of ‘thelaughinghousewife’ in. I am a little concerned that my new name makes me sound like a crazy fishwife. My first tweet probably didn’t help: Is there anyone in America who owns an electric kettle? I haven’t had any replies yet so if you are reading this; live in the States; have important information pertaining to kitchen appliances; and nothing better to do, please tell me.

This question is still bugging me. I think the answer is ‘no’ because a look at blogs discussing similar topics turned up a raft of Americans now living abroad who rave about the wonders of their newly-discovered electric kettles. There are even posts dedicated to instructions on how to use them properly. I wouldn’t have thought you could say much beyond, ‘Fill with water. Switch on. Wait,’ but you’d be surprised at the detail these kettle converts go into. I’m not going to mock because I remember my Mother’s wonder at her first automatic washing machine after years of slaving over a twin tub; and my own astonishment, when we first went out to South Africa, at the miracle that is the sandwich toaster.

Do you think John Hawkins, Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh felt the same way about the potato? Bet they never foresaw the invention of the chip pan or the deep fat fryer. I wonder if they have those in America? Probably not: tea and chips are very English habits; though, of course, we didn’t invent either of them – Belgium invented chips, according to my Asterix the Gaul books.

Here’s an interesting fact about kettles that I came across when I was researching the potato:

1891
Electric Kettle Crompton and Company developed the electric kettle in England. The earliest examples of electric kettles all had the element in a separate chamber underneath similar to traditional vessels which boiled water and had the fire underneath the pot.

From: http://www.open2.net/historyandthearts/history/food_timeline_html.html

It has just occurred to me that my non-Brit readers might not know the term ‘fishwife’. It is a derogatory term for a woman, meaning one who swears loud and long in public. It originally referred only to women who sold fish but was made notorious by the women of Billingsgate fish market in the Nineteenth Century. Now, of course, it seems like every female in Britain, from two to ninety-two, swears like a fishwife and gives the first fishwives a bad name.

I’m starting to feel hungry for some reason; I am suddenly in the mood for fish and chips and a mug of tea. Must be the hard work of writing trivia that only I could possibly be interested in.  It makes me feel a bit of a twit, which doesn’t bode well for the future of this blog….

PS Did you know (from the same source; or ibid, for my Latin friends) that ‘by the early 1900s there [were] more than 30,000 chippies in Britain’?  Me neither.

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