Last night SWMBO wasn't very well with what was suspected to be a Norovirus attack.
I turned on the full "caring" gene that I possess to ensure that she went to bed; and even provided the obligatory bowl, a hot water bottle and cup of hot water to sip between bouts of vomiting.
This morning she is much recovered, has managed to drink another cup of hot water and is currently toying with a light breakfast of warm milk and a banana.
I can't for the life of me understand why I thought of the phrase ...
"Swinging the Lead."
The phrase is hundreds of years old and comes from the time when the depth of water under the keel of a ship was measured by a length of rope with a large lead weight on the end.
The lead had to be swung forward of the ship and released so that the weight descended to the bottom. The depth was then measured when the line was upright as the ship passed, the weight was recovered and the whole process started again.
Obviously, the work was arduous and occasionally the sailor would shout out the depth without actually measuring the depth. But to fool the Officer on the bridge he used to act as if he was actually swinging the lead
weight and releasing it into the water.
Hence the phrase "Swinging the Lead" was used to indicate someone who wasn't actually doing what they were supposed to be doing and that was then moved ashore to indicate someone who might not be as ill as they say they are.
I wonder why I thought of that this morning of all mornings?