Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Two Interesting Facts

During my researches today I discovered a couple of interesting facts.

1. A freemartin is a sterile female cow. It arises because she shares a womb with a twin brother. The membranes that surround them fuse sometime during gestation and their blood supplies mix. This brings hormones and cells from the immune system in contact with each other so that the female becomes male; but not, interestingly, the other way around. They can also take each other's skin grafts.

2. Going 'on the wagon' meaning refraining from taking alcoholic drink arises from the last wagon ride made by condemned prisoners from the prison in Newgate to the gallows at Tyburn. By tradition the convicts were allowed into a tavern for a last drink while the driver stayed behind 'on the wagon' and was not invited to inside to partake.

There was something else too, but I can't remember what it is. This is happening more and more frequently. Hodmandod Senior says it is due to lack of sleep. I hope he's right.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course he's right! There've been a lot of demands on you lately and you haven't been getting enough real rest. I think you're pushing yourself too hard, Clare. It's time to take a couple of days just for you. No errands, no obligations. Just rest and relaxation.

Now, wouldn't "Freemartin" be an excellent surname for a 'liberated' female character?!

Thu May 22, 06:57:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Susan - to be honest though I think I have quite a laid-back life compared with most people. I shall take your advice to heart though...just as soon as I have finished this proposal.

And I agree about Freemartin. It is intself quite a powerful metaphor.

Thu May 22, 06:51:00 pm  
Blogger Kay Cooke said...

That's fascinating stuff ... and yet another scrabulous word for me!

Fri May 23, 08:11:00 am  
Blogger Jan said...

Hello Clare
Yes, forgetfulness often stems back to just plain silly old find a good juicy story and snuggle down with it somewhre REALLY comfy ( good oldfashioned motherly word, that!) for at least 1hr and you'll soon be remembering absolutely everything...
NOW: what on earth was I going to do next??

Fri May 23, 02:31:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CB: I hope you're better at scrabble than I am!

Jan: Yes, comfy is underused, I think. I hope the forgetfulness is just tiredness! It's really irritating me.

Fri May 23, 11:25:00 pm  
Blogger JL said...

In the US, the phrase 'on/off the wagon' is thought to have originated from units of the Salvation Army in 1900s New York City, who would prosletyise from horse-drawn wagons in tavern-infested areas.

They would invite their brethren to get on their wagon, to be transported to the church to be saved from demon drink.

Ergo, those 'on the wagon' were not drinking, those 'off the wagon', imbibers.

Or so it is, according to various sources here...

Sun May 25, 01:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, JL, yours sounds the more plausible explanation to me! The one I read is rather more depressing - all those poor people. All some of them had done was steal a few farthings.

Sun May 25, 03:48:00 pm  
Blogger krishna kashyap av said...

Very interesting and was
great stuff to read..
Thanks for sharing..
Work from home

Mon Oct 12, 03:43:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

My pleasure, Krishna!

Thu Oct 15, 10:22:00 pm  

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