Yesterday Anne invited me for lunch and to come see my “grand” niece, Nala. She has grown so much I hardly recognized her… but she was a little “under the weather” after just coming off some antibiotics… still beautiful and very loving, however!
As part of the meal Anne brought out her first-ever jar of homemade pickles she attempted making.They were really good…the perfect crunch…I ate mine all up!
Sometime during our lunch conversation Anne mentioned the struggle to mix cucumbers and the right amount of vinegar and brine… so that trying to make pickles had really gotten her “into a pickle” during the process.
We both started wondering about the origin and it turns out to be a good one…with lots of history! The expression originates from a famous naval battle during the Napoleonic War…called the Battle of Trafalgar .
During this fiercely fought naval battle (ending in victory for the British)…Admiral Horatio Nelson was fatally wounded by a musket ball and died on the deck during the battle.
Nelson’s Irish surgeon on board, Beatty, made a dramatic decision. He decided to “pickle” Admiral Nelson’s body to try to preserve it for the grand hero’s funeral … already being planned in London as part of the monumental victory celebration.
The quick-thinking Irish surgeon preserved it in a cask of brandy lashed to the deck of the ship. A hurricane was on the horizon and the mast has been shot off; so now there was no way to hang the sails that would get ship (and body) to England quickly.
(Beatty died wealthy—honored for his quick thinking in preserving the body and was later knighted. Today several liquor companies sell bottles of spiced rum named after the Admiral pickled in brandy. There are still pubs all across England called The Lord Nelson.)
This unique embalming only worked somewhat because they caught some of the sailors trying to steal brandy from the barrel (with the body) when no one was looking.
Dr. Beatty had to quickly wrap the decomposing body and get it in the casket asap before the processional…(finding himself in somewhat of a pickle) but he managed to do it all…none-the-wiser to the people of London and the royal family.
Today Nelson’s monument is located in Trafalgar Square, a 169-foot-tall column surrounded by larger-than-life brass lions. It is such a key British emblem that Hitler planned to take it back to Berlin as a trophy once he conquered London. (which thank goodness Hitler didn’t accomplish.)
Dr. Beatty was allowed to keep the “killer musket ball” as a good luck charm. He used it as a watch fob for the rest of his life. When he died in 1842, his family gave it to Queen Victoria. It’s in the grand vestibule of Windsor Castle.
So until tomorrow…The next time you get yourself “into a pickle” remember Admiral Horatio Nelson’s demise” and be content with your less dramatic situation. It can always be worse.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
Nala is now a free dog…allowed to roam the big beautiful back and side yards of Anne’s property. The new fence just went up…and adds so much to her beautiful outdoor areas. Nala is still adjusting to that much freedom…but getting braver every day!
The next Dingle Family (Walsh, Mollie, Rutledge, and Lachlan) left Sunday to rendevous with sister Chelsea, Mike, and Madeleine at Disney World. The cousins look like they are having a ball! 🙂