Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Have your cake and eat it too

These past couple of weeks I've been indulging in a little bit of etymology...as well as doing other fun stuff.

The cake in question is a Chocolate and Guinness Cake (happily) baked for Mitch's birthday. The title of this post is of course refering to the famous phrase about someone having the best of both worlds. It was first used in the mid 1500s and although the saying has been corrupted thoughout the centuries the meaning remains the same.

Also in my etymology search I also found the French and Italian equivalents:

vouloir le beurre et l'argent du beurre (et le sourire de la crémière) 
wanting the butter and the money for the butter (and the smile of the female butter-maker)

vuoi la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca
you want your bottle full of wine and your wife drunk

I quite like how the English one is about cake.

Aside from eating cake (and going to the pub), we also celebrated Mitch's birthday by spending a day at Thorpe Park (cue several awful ride photos of me looking like a man with a loose toupee). But, despite the weather and the uncool pictures it was an awesome day. After going on most rides (but not Samurai - I don't think I'll have the guts to) I felt suitably shaken up and exhaused. Running about, eating burger king and being quite damp (damn those water rides and the english weather) you could've mistaken me for my 14 year old self (save better dress sense and a decent haircut). The rollercoasters - Stealth, Saw and Colossus - are my favourites.

The earliest Rollercoasters can be attributed to the thrill seeking and inovative Russians during the 15th century, at which time they were called 'Russian Mountains'. These 'mountains' were specifically built from snow and ice, reinforced by a wooden structure, which riders would slide down on something that resembled a sledge. 'Russian Mountains' still remains the term for rollercoasters in several languages including Spanish.

This was wedding number 3, a lovely affair in a renovated barn just outside of Basingstoke. They had a three tiered cake (each one was different) and provided chips and sausages for us guests who were a little worse for wear later in the evening - v.good idea.

'Wedding' comes from the anlgo-saxon word 'wed' refering to two things: 1) a man vowing to marry a woman. 2) the money/bartering process between the groom and the bride's father. Hmmm, romantic. Hence the tradition of the father of the bride 'giving away' his daughter. Nice.

Lastly I went to see the Glee Live tour at the o2 arena which was fabulous, made extra special by appearances from The Warblers and...Holly Holliday (aka gweny paltrow)! This was also my first trip to the o2 arena. It is gargantuan, not to mention terrifying. Our seats were three rows from the back and it took me nearly the entire show to muster the courage to stand up.

Last little fact: in a Latin sense the word 'arena' meant sand. In classical amphitheatres, sand was used in the central 'stage' area in order to soak up the blood of competitors taking part in contests. And so, by extension, the arena became the term for a central area in an enclosed performance space.

Class dismissed :)

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