The Auntie Doris Years: 1903

imageIn 1903, my Grandfather started to earn sufficient money to be able to add cheese to the diet of his family. This meant that in addition to bread and dripping, and bread and jam, my mother could have bread and cheese. On her eleventh birthday, as a special treat she actually had a cheese and jam sandwich, which became a favourite of hers throughout her life. Apart from when my father was watching, as he thought that such a sandwich was a “sinful extravagance.” Mind you, nearly everything was a sinful extravagance in his ruddy book.
Another good thing about cheese, was that it opened up the world of cheese on toast. Or at least it did in winter when there was a fire going in the house. My mother and her sisters used to get as close to it as they dared, holding their bread and cheese on a long fork and waiting for the magic to happen. Grandmother used to let them do it, but only on the condition that they didn’t come running to her if they dropped any in the fire. Unfortunately they sometimes did drop a bit, but they shared out what was left. That’s what sisters are for.
The big cheesy event of 1903 was the discovery of Cheddar Man, the remains of a 9,000 year old man found by archaeologists in Somerset.
Apparently, when they discovered the skeleton, they noticed that he had a hole in his skull, which was similar to some of the holes found in old fashioned cheeses. Further tests suggested that his body may have been composed of a mixture of flesh, blood and cheese, hence the name Cheddar Man. It was widely believed amongst the scientific community at the time, that at some point in the distant past, the evolution of man split from the evolution of cheese, milk and other dairy produce, and Cheddar man was the last example of a being who had characteristics of both.
They were so excited by the discovery that they re named the area where he was found in his honour, and from that day forward it has been known as “Cheddar Gorge”
Scientific reconstructions of the Cheddar man’s face and hair have shown that he may have looked like the American Singer “Meatloaf” only with a beard. This is said to be due to the fact that recent DNA testing of Meatloaf has shown him to be a direct descendant of the 75,000 year old “Hamburger Man,” who was discovered in Germany in 1908. Maybe everyone looked like that in the olden days. Apart from the Ancestors of the current Prime Minister, David Cameron, who was recently shown to be descended from “Salt and Vinegar Man” who was discovered by archaeologists excavating the remains of the Tudor Crisp factory in Sunderland.
Auntie Doris’s pop Pick of 1903: “Down at the Old Bull and Bush” by Florrie Forde. Bless old Florrie. She kept going for years she did. She was an Australian lass, like that Kylie Minogue that they all go for these days. Its a funny pub name, “Bull and Bush” I wouldn’t want a bull anywhere near my bush. It might decide to gore it and tear it to ruddy ribbons!

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