Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Worst Jobs in History

One of the programs I try to catch whenever it airs is Worst Jobs in History airing on the History Channel. Host Tony Robinson learns and teaches us about worst jobs through the ages.

I get a big kick out of Tony Robinson and his reaction to some of these jobs. He can't hide his revulsion to some of the things he is doing and he has an imitable way with words. That is what caught my ear this morning. His way with words.

This morning they were talking about Elizabethan jobs. They discussed being a pin maker, and showed how those fanciful Elizabethan ruffs were held together by a myriad of straight pins. (The ancient Mycenaean version of the safety pin had long been forgotten by Europe.) He talked about being an actor who played female roles in Elizabethan times (it was illegal for a female to act on stage). And they showed how a woad dyer dyed with woad.

What caught my ear was Tony's description of woad dying being incredibly smelly. He said (loosely quoted) it smelled like rotten cabbages and fermenting sewage and noted that there were laws in place to make dyeing happen outside the city.

It occurred to me this morning just how much I learn from this show about dyeing and fulling and how to handle wool. Without even thinking about it, I could picture the episode he featured the purple makers, and the absolutely unforgettable episode he demonstrated fulling. I know there are more bits and pieces of dyers lore.

If you are looking for a fun show, and wouldn't mind the side benefit of learning some things about our fibery world, look for 'Worst Jobs in History' For more of the inimitable Tony Robinson, look for 'Tony's Law', a look at the evolution of law through 2000 years of British history.

This guy makes the dullest stuff interesting.

PS. The new bed is lovely. So lovely that all night I kept waking up thinking, 'man this is nice.' I'll sleep better tonite.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

I also love "Dirty Jobs" on Discovery, for a look at current jobs that aren't so great.
And Mike Rowe is very nice to look at...