Friday, 5 August 2011

Bean feasts

Many cities have visible signs of earlier life, often of an industrial and commercial past. The first four photographs show such signs, all within 500 metres of my home. I like them because they are about the only reminder that the area used to be a big centre for the manufacture of furniture.

This sign caught my eye a few days ago. It is on the back of a building on Highgate Road, facing west onto Hampstead Heath. I wondered if the sign had been aimed at those enjoying the Heath and wishing they had brought a picnic. Certainly late on Tuesday afternoon there were great many people lazing in the sun who might in earlier times have been tempted. Unfortunately the shop below it is now just another restaurant.

With a hyphen, bean-feast is described thus: A bean-feast is primarily an annual dinner given by an employer to his workmen. By extension, colloquially, it describes any jollification. The word, and its shorter form "beano," are fairly common in Britain, less known in the United States. More here.

Without the hyphen, Wikipedia says: In Britain, Beanfeast is a vegetarian processed food made from soya. It is sold in dried form, in packets, to be mixed with water and boiled.

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