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#84471 - 10/29/02 06:03 AM Re: pea-souper
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
pea-soupers were fairly specifically thick fogs mixed with smoke from thousands of (old) coal fires

Not to mention the small chunks of ham floating about through the air.


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#84472 - 10/29/02 07:28 AM Re: pea-souper
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
In reply to:

Not to mention the small chunks of ham floating about through the
air.


Faldage, you've become such a ham!


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#84473 - 10/29/02 08:03 AM Re: pea-souper
RhubarbCommando Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2204
small chunks of ham floating about through the air.

- which is how East ham (in the East-end of London) got its name of course!

The "pea-souper", to which shona refers, was also know, in the C19, as "a London particular." It is a phrase whose originas I've never managed to unravel - I s'pose I'll have to LIU [ sigh ]

Certainly, the term "pea-souper" was common when I was at school, because we were sent home early when one occurred. I have been out in london fog where you could barely see your hand at the end of your outstretched arm - literally, "you couldn't see your hand in front of your face!" as the common expressionn had it. Crossing the road was an adventure and it was very easy to lose your way, even on familiar territory. Driving a motor vehiclae was a nightmare.
Then came the Clean Air Act, in the late '50s, I think, and within five years, thick fogs of that sort just did not happen.


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#84474 - 10/31/02 04:37 AM Re: pea-souper
consuelo Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 2636
Loc: Caribbean
The coolest fog I remember being in was in Honey, Hidalgo, Mexico. Honey is a small town in the mountains near Tulancingo, Hidalgo, founded by a group of British ex-pats. It has the feel of an English village, sorta. The groves of pines looked particularly eerie at dusk with the fog rolling through. Fortunately we weren't far from our vehicle when the fog surrounded us and reduced visibility to about one foot. Come to think of it, Mexico City and all it's air pollution is not that far from there. Hmmmmm. I wonder how much effect it had on that fog?


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#84475 - 10/31/02 06:44 AM Re: pea-souper
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
Certainly, the term "pea-souper" was common when I was at school

Those last pea-soupers in London in the ‘50s! I had forgotten them until reading your post Rhuby, then it all came back. I recall in the early 1950s that there were evenings (late afternoon really – but it was dark by 3.30 anyway) in winter when we had to be escorted home by the teachers and on each intersection there were large, greasy black Aladdin’s lamp type of oil lamps set down on the pavement with a flaring oily flame coming out of the spout. These were not to help pedestrians but to assist the bus drivers; the buses crawled along the kerb with the conductor walking in front shouting instructions to the driver who literally could not see the kerb or the electric street lamps overhead. It all seemed exciting then, the groups of us children all well wrapped up with scarves over our mouths, heading off in different directions into the gloom shouting and chattering, seeing the orange glow of an oil lamp in front of us and being upon it practically before we knew we were there; your group diminished in size as kids gradually reached their homes and were dropped off. On the way vehicles would appear from the murk, usually with drivers who were lost and asking directions – I hope, but doubt, that our multiple and varied responses were of help!

Incidentally an expression on rain from those days was “Its raining stair-rods” for that heavy vertical rain that comes down in straight lines. You don’t hear that now, but then you don’t see stair-rods now either.



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#84476 - 10/31/02 08:03 AM Re: pea-souper
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
you don’t see stair-rods now either.

dxb, what is a stair-rod? Is it the vertical supports for the hand-railing, or the railing itself? Or something else entirely?


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#84477 - 10/31/02 09:11 AM Re: stair-rods
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
that heavy vertical rain that comes down in straight lines

Which reminds me of the quote from the on-the-scene reporter at a hurricane a year or two ago, "The rain is coming down horizontally."


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#84478 - 10/31/02 09:39 AM Re: pea-souper
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
dxb, what is a stair-rod?

A stair rod was a thin rod, sometimes of quarter inch (6mm) diameter brass with a little knob on each end to finish it off nicely, sometimes wooden (in which case it had a right angled isosceles triangle cross section and was rather stouter, say 20mm a side, and varnished) that went across the stair at the bottom of each riser to hold the stair carpet in place. The rod itself was held in place with metal eyes, one at each end of the rod, that were screwed to the tread and riser of each step.

These days it is usual to hold the carpet with metal grippers that run across the stair screwed to the tread and riser of each step behind the carpet, hence you can't see them.

Hope that's clear.


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#84479 - 10/31/02 09:40 AM Re: stair-rods
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
The rain is coming down horizontally

I know it sounds illogical but that is the normal state of affairs in Newfoundland, especially for snow. Once in a while you get a snowstorm occurring somehow in the absence of wind, and you look outside to see the snow coming straight down, and you think to yourself - "My, doesn't that look odd? What is it? I can't quite put my finger on it". Then you realize that you just aren't used to snow or rain falling vertically!


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#84480 - 10/31/02 09:42 AM Re: pea-souper
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
Hope that's clear.

Why, yes it is. I've seen stair rods before, especially in old historic buildings, but I never would have known what they are called. Thanks!


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