History As Taught in School Was Horribly Boring!

History at school was all about the Stone Age...mostly about how Stone Age men sloped about carrying dinosaur bones to bonk each other over the head...and don't bother to point out that's all wrong...when you are small, you swallow practically everything you're told. Either the teacher honestly didn't know...or maybe she knew and didn't care. It kept us quiet until Secondary school anyway when history leapt forward to Henry V111...and now it was time to begin learning dates.

It seemed to be all that mattered actually...learning dates by rote so when your name was called you could stand up and recite a long list of totally meaningless numbers. As it was Henry V111 we also had to remember which wife he kept the longest and which ones he had beheaded...we were never told the reasons why...just that he grew fatter and fatter and more and more mean.

I would have liked to know what he ate and if he wore underpants and did he wear his crown all day...

And when the women had babies, how did they breast feed them when their frocks were so tight across their bosoms and did the men really have such huge willies they had to put them into those enormous cod-pieces...

I didn't ask...would have rather stuck pins in my eyes or played an extra game of hockey than ask a male teacher questions like that...

So we all sort of blundered along and decided history was horribly boring while Mr Owens lent against the radiator and read the Daily Mirror...he smoked a pipe so always kept the bottom bit of the window open, sending an icy draught round our feet.

It wasn't until I had the time...time to read exhaustively and spend hours in libraries...time to explore ancient places and really take an interest in whatever the guide was saying and learnt they loved it if you asked questions...it wasn't until then that history began to take it's hold on me.

Didn't much matter what it was...from discovering those who sailed on the Mayflower and the ships who came after her deliberately infected the Native Americans with smallpox...and dug up their graves to steal the corn buried there...to the fascinating fact that prostitutes in the 1500/1600's shaved their pubic hair off to prevent lice and replaced that hair with a sort of pubic wig called a Murkin.

Books and the internet...talking to people...listening to the neighbours...and checking and rechecking the facts.

After a while I began to be slightly more selective and now I tend to concentrate on what is generally coined the Middle Ages...

Some of the articles I write on here pertain only to the west of Ireland...I remember someone on a social net- working site being very cross because I once wrote about the electricity being connected here in the '60's...he said it was the 1940's...but he'd lived in Wicklow you see...on the other side of the country. Things are done differently here in the west...

I did feel hesitant you know, about writing on here...but I'd be pretty useless at advice and I can never remember a joke...then it dawned on me that maybe you'd quite like to read something which is unconnected to illness and disability.

So I write about what I know, whether that is the Faeire or putting down bacon on cabbage...or putting horseshoes on doors upside down so that witches can't use them as boats...it's my way of contributing to the vast amount of help and the kindnesses you all show...

By the way...should you quite fancy the idea of wearing a Murkin...even if you aren't infested with pubic lice...they are apparently all the fashion among some. Google them and you'll see...but not for those easily offended!

17 Replies

  • How to recognise a British Lung Foundationer.......Offcuts hat from Al and Di's on the head and a murkin elsewhere!

    Thanks to both of you for making me laugh

  • I have a question. How did it stay there? The murkin I mean. He he

    love Dozy x

  • You can laugh...was a serious business being a lady of ill repute in those days...lol...you tied your Murkin on with a bit of ribbon round your waist...you'd have hitched your skirts up you see so the client never saw that the hair was a falsie...if he knew you had hair then he thought you free of lice...thought you'd have known that!

    They were made from cat and fox fur...just in case you were wondering....!

  • Choke giggle. Of course I knew that but a few trillion brain cells upped sticks and left home taking that vital piece of information with them.

    Love Dozy x

  • Well Vashita you certainly do contribute and very entertaining it is, you always lift the spirits, and give us the most enjoyable little stories to read.........I for one look forward to them, as I'm sure many others do...keep them coming.

    Now you see you learn something new every day......Murkin is a new one on me.....now you see you never know when that bit of information might come in useful....lol...honestly..!!!!


  • Be a good word for when playing Scrabble with the vicar...lol

  • Interesting as usual vashti thanks.

  • Thank you Vashti..I read your stories every day & love them

  • Were it not the murkins in the wizard of Oz ;)

  • I'm sure you're thinking of 'Munchkins', but I'm sure one or two 'Ladies of the Night' in the little folk probably wore them; in which case they would be "Munchkin Murkins"

  • Munchkins? Did the Munchkins have Ladies of the night...heaven forbid...whatever next!

  • I love your stories so much vashti keep them coming please. Off to google murkin :d x

  • Morning Vashti, I wouldn't be surprised if Goggle crashes today with everyone looking up murkin, so, so wonderful as usual, like others really look forward to your posts, you are correct when you say that it is good to read something not connected with illness , regards Bulpit

  • Might have helped if I'd spelled it correctly...lol...it's Merkin rather than Murkin...!

  • You have done it again Vashti, so interesting and funny.

    polly xx

  • Thanks Vashti!

  • True history is about humans, not dates, unless it's Henry's date with the new queen!!! This is fascinating indeed! I like the bit about your teacher smoking his pipe and opening teh window a bit!

    I was born in Brussels. I had to check the ancient walls. I photographed some old tower. When I came to this country, people who knew a bit about Brussels where pele who passed by to go to Germany of France!

    gone are the old towers. There are tunnels to tlet the cars ignore Brussels and speed away from it as soon as possible

    where can you buy the...? ah well!

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