Head of a Codfish: A podcast about modern working families

Explaining The Name

I have chosen a pretty obscure name for this podcast and I’m sure there is a rule somewhere that says if you have to explain the name of your podcast you should reconsider. I know people are probably rolling their eyes at the cutesy-ness of it (and don’t worry, part of me is in that camp with you!) but rules were made to be broken so here goes!

When my husband and I were travelling in Portugal many years ago (BC – before children) we did a free walking tour of the uber-trendy city of Lisbon. Apart from stuffing ourselves full of Pastéis de Nata in Belem, we had a fantastic guide who showed us the landmarks but also shared the Portuguese culture and identity

She introduced us to a delightful local Portuguese saying: ‘like the head of a codfish’. The Portuguese people are historically a seafaring culture and this is reflected in the inclusion of ‘codfish’ as a dish of significance to its people. ‘Codfish’ is a deep sea fish that is found some distance away from land. To transport it over the large distance back to land, the fishes head is cut off (and I assume the ‘innards’ removed?) and the fish is salted. As our tour guide tells it, many Portuguese people have eaten ‘codfish’ all their lives but have never actually laid eyes on the unfortunate creatures head! This lead to the saying ‘like the head of a codfish’ which means something that you know to be true without seeing it with your own eyes.

I think many people feel somewhat like this about their work/family/life balance, they believe there is another way of juggling their responsibilities that is better than what they are doing now, but they haven’t actually seen it in the flesh. I hope this podcast provides some families with some codfish heads that help them navigate the parenthood path. Maybe you will find a totally different codfish head to what you were expecting, or maybe you want to open the discussion within your family and hearing someone else describe their codfish head will give you ammunition for that discussion.

Note: I tried googling this saying to get verification that it is some form of recognised phrase, but I didn’t come up with a single reference! So it is either something that is lost in translation or it was a bit more ‘local’ than I realised! Either way, if anyone has ever heard this saying before please let me know.

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