Small Beer

Yesterday I hit the wall.  Staggered around most of the morning feeling as if I were carrying a sack of cement or coming down with the flu.  We had been 8 days on the road and I am not used to the heat.  Most of the trip has been pretty mild but yesterday it hit the way upper 80’s and maybe into the low 90’s making walking around outside rough going.

Perked up a bit when we drove to Jack (formerly Stewart)(son of Jacks) Tingle and talked about such things as the nature of the universe and what is it that women want exactly. Carol filled us in on that a good bit.  Also about his band and music in general.  A good visit.

I concluded earlier in the day while reading about the Middle Ages that I am glad I did not live back then.  In fact I am amazed that the people of the Middle Ages managed to live through it.  Sometimes they had nothing to eat, and so ate tree bark and occasionally each other.  Also if you committed a crime or something offensive to the church they hanged you immediately or made you go on some hair raising pilgrimage like clear to Jerusalem and they didn’t have cars back then or even bicycles.  Whole families slept in the same bed that was infested with roaches, mites, lice, ticks, fleas, and rodents.

Perhaps because of the wretched conditions, they drank a great deal. Mostly small beer.  Henry 5 of England, in fact, allocated to the members of his court and other functionaries (even nuns) a full gallon of beer per day.  That’s a lot of beer per day even if small.  As the author of the book notes the intoxication levels must have been pretty high given the level of consumption because the people were small.  Your average male stood 5 foot three and tipped the scales at 135.

Clearly people have been self-medicating for some time.

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