I made some mustard for the beef casserole yesterday and, at the end of the meal, LT observed that the Colman family would be doing well out of his efforts.
If you don’t know the saying, here it is in my great-grandfather’s words. “Mr Colman did not make his money out of the mustard that people ate. He made his money out of the mustard that people left on their plates.”
LT has a lot to put up with. Our families shared the same saying, but it took me on quite a journey, involving the age of my great-great-grandparents and how sayings spread about the country and whether they were now completely lost to anyone much younger than we are. He joins in patiently where he can, recognising that, actually, I’m blogging in spoken words rather than on the virtual page – but without any attempt to edit. Bonus for me, quite a lot to have to live with for him.
I’ve written before that my mother, because of the early death of her own mother when Mummy was only 18 months old, was brought up by two of her grandparents until she was 7. Her father, my Grandad, had to travel to work, back in the 1920s as a civil engineer, a small Wiltshire town couldn’t provide him with employment.
My mother referred to her grandfather being in his eighties – he was her mother’s father. Her parents were cousins; both widowed, her maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother, who were brother and sister, set up home together in their old age. Her mother was born at the end of the 19th century, the 9th of 10 children and her mother was then about 45 years old: her first child was born in about 1873. So I suspect her grandfather was born around 1840, give or take a year or two.
His name was John Farmer and he was a farmer in Melksham, Wiltshire. My mother loved him very dearly and used to describe his blue eyes which twinkled when he was telling one of his yarns. He called policemen “Peelers” and, if the hardy-gurdy man were heard playing, he’d send young Jane to “give him a penny to play in the next street.” If every job were done for the day, he’d have “finished the game of bowls and beaten the Spaniards too” – which Sir Francis Drake was supposed to have said was going to happen as the Spanish Armada approached as he was on the bowling green.
And Colman’s mustard came from Norfolk and this was Wiltshire and Tim lived in Bournemouth several decades later. So a meme went around long before the days of the internet.