Thursday, May 31, 2007

Busy, Busy

Just trying to fit my weekend chores into the evenings so I can go here this weekend:
and play at medieval joust fan for a couple of days. You know, sometimes re-enacting is SO cool.........

To keep you going - here are a couple of excellent photos.......Si and Aginoth Jnr practising his swordplay

Si and LMD - do you see a pattern here with Si and children???

and, of course, someone has to do the chores, tend the fire etc......that would be me.........

Life's been a bit busy lately with re-enactment, but after the joust things should calm down a bit for the rest of June and then pick up again in July.

Anyway, as I'm going to be away, here's a little something to make you smile this new June weekend. Enjoy:


Monday, May 28, 2007

Questions Answered

Time to answer the questions asked by my visitors over the weekend here...

Karen said...
I got to looking at your Race for Life Cancer Research information.
How are you racing? Are you running? Walking? Cycling?
And what a FANTASTIC idea to emblazon the name of the blogger who donates the most money!!
Hi Karen.

I am walking, as I do have some old injuries, but I am hoping to start and finish running. In addition to the 'daily grind' I am doing about 8 miles a week at a smart walk in two four mile sessions.
Yep, Minerva on the back, Biggest Blogger on the front :-)

Barbara said...
Everything is purple!
Cancer research - a favorite cause of yours?
Hi Barbara.
Purple is my favourite colour - bar none!
Up until a couple of years ago it was a remote concern, not impacting on me at all really. But then I had a member of staff whose wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. I moved heaven and earth to ensure he could stay home with his wife, and tried to support them through surgery and radiation. Then I 'met' Minerva and decided to take part in the 2007 race and raise some money - to do my bit, as us English say!

Carmi said...
I like the smoking timer. See, I never started smoking because I feared I wouldn't have the courage to quit. I am thus in complete awe of anyone who has the guts to stop smoking.I admired you a lot before. I admire you even more now because courage is one of humanity's most admirable character traits.
Hey Carmi, my dear friend.
I wish I'd known how hard it was going to be when I started smoking, but then I started so young. Everyone in my peer group was smoking, especially as we hung out with older kids. Trying to kick a 30yr habit is hell. But then I kicked nail-biting after 30+yrs - so anything is possible.
I don't see myself as courageous. Perhaps stubborn, but not courageous - yeah, stubborn!

Panthergirl said...
How's the book?
Who are the missing people you mention?
Hiya Panthergirl.
The book is kind of 'cool education'. It's an excellent biography of Edward III. He's the King in my re-enactment period so it's good homework!
Alan Johnston was kidnapped in the Gaza. He is a highly regarded journalist for the BBC and we believe he is still alive, despite claims he has been executed.
Madeleine McCann is a little girl who was abducted from her bed on holiday in Portugal while her parents were at dinner. We would love to see her reunited with her family, but, to be honest, hopes are fading for her survival.

Judy said...
CQ, I read all the way down to where you said you hadn't smoked for 7 months. THAT'S GREAT! I am a recovering smoker too, I quit over 25 years ago, and I still want one now and then, and I dream that I am smoking.
It's good that you enjoy reenacting. The only history I'd want to do that with is ancient Egyptian!
Hi Judy.
See this post here about my dreams of smoking.....!
Ancient Egyptian re-enacting? Interesting choice, of course you could only do that in Egypt :-)Mrs Aginoth still reckons I'm gonna dump the 14C for the Tudors (MUCH nicer clothes!)

Pearl said...
Is the sidebar at the bottom for everyone or just from mac safari?
Hi Pearl.
Do I have a bottom sidebar? Do you mean this little symbol?
It's the symbol for eXTReMe Tracker - a tracker system Aginoth got me registered with in my early blogdays and is quite accurate!

Nikki-Ann said...
I could spent ages playing with George the cat in your sidebar (I'm easily entertained!).

What is the dragon icon?
Something to do with year of birth or star sign I'm guessing?
Hello Nikki-Ann.
Isn't he adorable? I've been trying to remember who got me into BunnyHero Labs - but I can't. And, of course, purple is my signature colour!
You are right about the dragon. The dragon is my birth sign in the Chinese horoscope, and the writing says 'dragon'. I am a wood dragon - which basically means I 'wear purple and walk barefoot in public fountains' - a child of impulse.

Hanulf said...
1. What is the Zeus Legends Ball?
2. How is that book?
3. I love George!
Hi Hanulf.Welcome to the Palace.
1. You can read about the Legends Ball here.
2. The book is actually rather good and easy to read. Mortimer has put all the annoying, but necessary, references and footnotes at the back so the reader can just cruise through.
3. Why, thank you. And George thanks you too. Quite a few of my regulars stop by to play with him!! :-)

Naomi said...
Is London July 7th the Cancer Run/Walk? And if not, what does it stand for?
Hi Naomi.
You're never too late, my dear!
My Race for Life is on Jun 16. The races are run all over the UK over the space of a couple of months.
London July the 7th is the sad anniversary of the day in 2005 when terrorists attacked public transport in London during rush hour and killed 52 innocent people on their way to work.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Something New

OK, time for a new perspective on this little bloggie of mine.

My sidebar is regularly updated and includes many items of interest to me - and potentially to others.

So for this weekend what I want visitors to do is to look down my sidebar and pick something there to comment on.

Or is there something on there you would like me to explain in more depth, please ask in the comments.

I will answer these comments and questions on Monday.

But, if you don't want to do that - then read on down for other 'stuff'....

Never accuse me of not responding to comments - although I liked the haphazard look of my sidebar I have done a bit of tidying as Archshrk suggested.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Zimmers and Awards

Meet The Zimmers - the world's oldest rock band which has a combined age of over 3,000.
The 40-strong troupe is led by 90-year-old lead singer Alf. The band includes pensioners fed up in old people's homes. It is a world that feels closed off from society: a world of afternoon naps and daytime television and five o'clock suppers.
All feel isolated or imprisoned, and a few are even concerned for their welfare.
And it is not just those in the old people's homes who are cut-off.
Three-and-a-half million old people live alone in the UK. Many rely on bingo as a social activity: a staggering one in six pensioners regularly play. But the country's biggest chain, Mecca, recently announced it was closing eight of its bingo halls.
So The Zimmers also decided it was time for a trip to the head offices - a pilgrimage to Mecca - to tell the bingo bosses just how much was at stake.
But it is the charity single - released on 28 May - which they hope will make the biggest noise.
To prepare for action, The Zimmers took over the famous Abbey Road studios to create a cover version of The Who's classic song "My Generation", to show that old people should not be brushed under the carpet.
And with U2 producer Mike Hedges on board, as well as pop heavyweight Geoff Wonfor (who shot the Band Aid video), the OAPs are hoping to break into the Top Ten.
With the single not even released yet, it seems as if Zimmers have touched a nerve around the world: media from Germany, America, Canada, Iceland, Israel, France, Brazil, and Australia have all jumped on the Zimmers Bandwagon. Even Japanese GQ wanted a piece of them.
There have been radio appearances, talk shows and a gig at a London nightclub.
Pensioner power has even come to MySpace and You Tube.
The next step is to try to conquer America.
Story from BBC News:
2007/05/02 15:50:46 GMT

And to awards:

I have been kindly nominated in the Blogger Legends Ball 2007 over at Zeus Excuse, himself an award winning blogger.

Nip over and visit if you are interested :-)

In the inimitable words of Wayne's World 'I am unworthy!' really, I am! My inspiration is more of a legend that I can ever be, Minerva over at Womanly Parts is my Heroine, the Legend I look up to, and the woman in whose name I am completing the race.
Minerva, not only is my race for you, but also my nomination is in your name!


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Home Again - and Again

Yep, dear reader - I am home. Delayed a bit at Bergamo airport, but home.
I was going to blog on Tuesday, but had to dash off to Birmingham for work. Then I was going to blog when I got home last night but I wasn't feeling so hot.....
Today I have swollen tonsils and a temperature, but it's about time I popped in to say 'hi'.

Re-enactment in Italy in amazing, truly wonderful. It was incredibly hot and sticky in the field, and the mozzies were horrendous, but the event was one I'll treasure for a long time. Of course, my life became so much better when I found a porcelain 'sittie' toilet (most public toilets are 'squatties') - some 'luxuries' are hard to forego.

The food was provided by the Italians, and mostly comprised bread, sausages, cabbage and apples. Vintner did a fabulous job of making breakfast, lunch and dinner every day out of the minimal provisions.
This was the view from our camp..

Isn't it idyllic?

I like this photo - it sums up life in camp. It reflects the whole 'immersion' principle of re-enactment.

You can see all my photos on my flicker account here.

This excellent photo is stolen from Aginoth's photos. From the left, preparing for the night tournament: Lord Thomas Hungerford (aka Gary), Thomas Hungerford Junior (aka Si) and, our little man, Page to Thomas Hungerford Jr (aka Aginoth Jr.)Now, who wouldn't want to play at cool soldiers like this??


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Off to Italy

Tonight we are all travelling to here..............

The small Italian town of Morimondo........
To do this.........
There will be a kitchen, of course - we have to eat!........... 'What's for dinner, Vintner?'
And soldiers from many, many different countries taking part....
But, being British - show us a field and we'll always manage to scratch up a cricket game.........'huzzah, my lord!!'I can't wait - three days in Morimondo and one day in Milan........not bad for my first trip to Italy....
And speaking of My Lord Hungerford, we have yet to hear from His Importance on Naomi's Question....
For me it is a very simple thing.
Though I was born into the twentieth century I have never fitted into the role that modern society has seen fit to place me. I am constantly baffled by modern society and it's need to quantify and qualify. To cope, as I imagine most people do, I hide myself in a shell of conformity. Re-enactment provides me with a safe environment amongst the friends I care about; in which to be myself. When I step into character at whatever level I get the chance to explore another facet of my being; something that is good for the soul.
What else has it given me?
A vast array of obscure knowledge, comradeship, self esteem; and maybe I'm a little bit more tolerant of other people.
Thank you Gary, aka Lord Thomas Hungerford.


photos taken from the Company of Chivalry gallery from the last couple of years.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Stuff and Thoughts

Crikey!! I just caught sight of my clicker and saw it has been exactly 7 months since I had a cigarette.
According to the experts I should have no more cravings - wrong...the cravings are still there.
According to the experts I should be less out of breath - wrong...still wheezing and out of breath.

I have done this before (I lasted 18 months last time) which is why I am not presuming to refer to myself as a non-smoker or even an ex-smoker. I am and always will be a recovering smoker. I could dump this tomorrow and buy a pack o' tabs.

In the meantime, my kit has been dropped off for the lorry. And we have just been told by the Italians we will be dropped back in Milan 9 hours before the flight home - any ideas to kill 9hrs, you jetsetting bunch??

And some more thoughts on re-enactment:
Mrs Aginoth:
like the others, lots of reasons: the historical side of things is interesting, researching & learning about how things were done. And learning to do stuff myself - so much more interesting than doing a history course at college And along those lines, the fact that it is interactive with the public - brings out the teacher in me and the gossip it's a good reason to spend my weekends playing instead of doing mundane 21st cetury things.
It's a way of seeing new places, new people, learning about new things.
It gets the kids outside every weekend instead of whinging about playing on the wii! It gives them an interest in history, and therefore an understanding of the way the world works and hopefully an interest in the world as it is tody, and will be tomorrow! It teaches them how to research, and why it's important to understand the whole issue in any situation, rather than just do it because we do it.
And fundamentally, because its fun.

and she asked Master Aginoth why he enjoys it:
So I can do nice things - like fighting.
It's better than playing on the wii, because it's real life.
Computers are not real life, so doing is better than playing.
Also, because its good to learn things, and knights and fighting are good things to learn about.


Monday, May 14, 2007

More Thoughts on Re-Enactment

More answers to Naomi's question.........this is getting to be quite fun - I have had lots of responses......
What do you think it is about the Re-enactments that attracts? As an actress, I can understand the idea of "playing a part"..but, this is so much more than that..there is History...there is living there as if in that time period....I am fascinated by everyone's committment...!

I thought this was a good question, so asked it on our re-enactment company forum!

First one up, my master Peter:
I like re-enactment because I feel that in this day and age there are very few skills left in this country. What with industry and science it is no longer necessary to excell at anything. In medieval times people spent their whole lives doing the same job and in my opinion did better jobs than modern machinery does today.
I also enjoy the art of combat as it was a skill, again nowadays anyone can pick up a gun and point it, or press a button to shoot a rocket. It was survival of the fittest. Science in medieval times is also underated, some of the structures they built have lasted for centuries but have been built in ways that would never have got past the modern planning office. I remember seeing a cathedral where the dome is just a mish mash of wooden beams that appear to be in no order but have held it up for hundreds of years.
To answer this question fully would take hours and probably earn me a history degree but I hope this gives some indication as to why I do it.
Oh and I nearly forgot, when you do an event your everyday life gets completely left behind. Any stresses or worries are left only hitting you again when you pack up to go home.

And Simon:
It kind of all goes to back to my childhood... I've always been interested in history. It was my favourite subject at school.
I wasn't allowed to take it for GCSE and have been trying to make up for it ever since. I've always liked "dressing up". On a school visit to Carisbroke Castle (Isle of Wight) I was first in line to try on the armour and the hold the weapons. I spent many happy summer days wandering the fields and woods near home with my wooden sword and cloak made out of curtains.
Then of course there's the fireside boozing, the singing, the anecdotes about past events and the company of likeminded people with a similar outlook on life and weird sense of humour. Basically re-enactment is ace. It's also highly addictive, if I don't go to any events for too long I get withdrawl symptoms.

You know - there's quite a bit in here I would agree with......and I've only been doing it a couple of months.........

More tomorrow......


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Done It!!

It's 10.15pm and I have finally finished my outfits for medieval re-enactment in Italy.......

One long shift made from scratch (including a complete new neckline to correct my disastrous first effort!)

One linen underdress unpicked and resewn as a kirtle

One wool kirtle lengthened by 4inches

- so two complete outfits, for all weathers!

And my bags are packed ready for the lorry and all the kit is in the car for transportation to the lorry pick up point after work tomorrow....

So, time for the first answer to Naomi's question:
What do you think it is about the Re-enactments that attracts? As an actress, I can understand the idea of "playing a part"..but, this is so much more than that..there is History...there is living there as if in that time period....I am fascinated by everyone's committment...!

I thought this was a good question, so asked it on our re-enactment company forum!

First response is from H, aka Beatrice de Roos:
Because it makes me feel whole. when I get to an event I feel like I have come home. I've always loved the past and when I was a little girl I was always being told that I belonged in the past! With re-enactment this is the closest I can get. I love learning new things and have learnt so much in the last 5 or 6 years I've been re-enacting. basically it makes me complete. In re-enactment you belong to a world that a lot of people have lost - that is a world where your friends are your family and everyone looks out for you. It strange I almost can put my finger on why I love it so much , it's a part of who I am and is now firmly in my blood.

interesting - more insights tomorrow......


Friday, May 11, 2007

How to Scare the 'Hubby' 101

MB has gone to a weekend long track event today with his precious kitcar on the trailer, driving a friend's 4X4. Which means I have the weekend to myself - good thing too, as I am trying to pull together some hot weather re-enactment kit for Morimondo in Italy next weekend.

While the lads were partaking of their 'post-packing coffee' I took the chance to show MB's friend the video on Mrs A's blog here, which is an excellent example of what we do in Italy, and even has footage of life in camp.

MB froze momentarily as he heard the clashing of swords and banging of shields and I said 'I will be on that battlefield, helping with armour and giving out water'.......

Despite the fact he has told all his pals about my new hobby, I really don't think he has either listened to me or thought the whole thing through. Guess he has a lot to think about while he's at Barkston Heath.

Update Saturday - the underdress I unpicked to get a pattern for my new summer shift has been sewn back together again. I'm not dying it for now - it's cream linen and cream it will stay - good for hot sunny weather! My new summer shift is all but done (my Young Lord will be relieved he won't be seeing my ankles any more!), just the neck to sort out (well, I mucked it up, so I have to debate how to make it good). So I just have to stick a few inches of material on the hem of my red dress and I'm good to go.

They're not perfect, but they are wearable and will do while I learn. After Italy they may get unpicked again and resewn when I have more time to fiddle around.

Oh, and I have posted the excellent question from Naomi on the Company of Chivalry forums to get the answers from the people who have been re-enacting longer than me for a more rounded response.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007


So - how was my weekend in 14c Caerphilly Castle?
I've been home since Monday, but have not been very well - and today my tonsils are swollen [cough]
Sunday in Caerphilly was amazingly windy but mostly sunny, if a little chilly. We set up the market outside and made the most of the slow gate.

Sunday night was driving rain and howling winds all night, causing everything to be damp and cold (one of the drawbacks of canvas tents!) including my sleeping bag and pretty much all my clothes.

On Monday we woke to a grey day.......

with rain drizzling down on a sodden castle.....
and a wind still blowing a gale.......

so we moved the market stalls into the great was so cool.....very medieval!
I persuaded Rhiannon to take my photo - make the most of this - I definitely won't be having any more of these done.......! :-(
And I'd like to introduce you to my new 'fella' - this is 'Bob'......actually 'Kate, short for Bob'....(it's a Blackadder joke see this link) who is my current love interest in the 14c - I like 'him' cos he's young, cute and blonde, and 'he' likes me because I :-)
(we call this her R2D2 photo!)


(of course, this wouldn't be a full report without mentioning my latest injuries...skinned and bruised fingers from dropping the stocks on them, sunburn on my neck from a day hammering coins in the sun, a blue foot from the coin die dropping on it, and a burn on my leg the size of a 10p piece (half-dollar, perhaps?) caused by my dropping the scalding hot whistle off the kettle onto it.)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Walking in Spring

This week I went for a walk.

To see how I would cope with the Race for Life (see sidebar) I went for a four mile roundtrip walk.

I saw some lovely things......I was intrigued by a pedestrian crossing for horses - first clue I live in the country??

Then I turned up the main road and saw some magnificent young bullocks in the field.....I love cows, they are so restful - and they always come over to say hello :-)

Then I turned to photograph where I had walked - which gives a nice idea of my locale....

(we live about two miles to the left of the photo!)

I couldn't resist taking this photo of the meadow I passed.....

Isn't it amazing how resilient flowers are? I loved these two little flowers pushing through the concrete of these walls......
Then I reached the halfway point and turned down the footpath through the fields that would lead back to my home......

And this weekend I am going here:

to do this:

a nice weekend in 14C Caerphilly Castle..... :-)

See you back in the 21C on Monday night....