This was the word and definition found in my daily diary on Saturday:
Gwethall. Household stuff. The word is used to denote an entire collection, like “bag and baggage”. From Welsh gweddill, remnants. (G.C. Lewis’ Glossary of Provinical Words Used in Herefordshire 1839). It commemorated a February day in 1719 when an ‘odd Amercian custon known as ‘Shift Mariage’, which absolved a widow of any previous debts incurred by her dead husband, was carefully observed at a certain crossroad’.
As I read this I was eating breakfast and contemplating packing to move house this week.
The diary entry seemed very apposite and, although a largely rational being, I did wonder about the coincidence.
Then I recalled that at another recent and significant time a couple of days previously, the ‘Forgotten English’ word was ‘gardyloo’, which bore no relation to my situation whatsoever.
So just coincidence after all – an insignificant event 300 years ago had nothing whatever to do with my particular circumstances. Naturally.
Interesting, though, how comforting it was to consider – however inaccurately and briefly – that life was not completely random! That way madness lies.
Must go and pack…