Friday, February 29, 2008

Market Day

Well, it was off to the Living History market today.
Aginoth braved the company of four women, including his wife, Mrs A, and his bestest mate - me!
The market is held twice a year in a big draughty hall. It used to be one huge market, then there was a split and the market broke into two, held in different venues on the same day. Then this year the split got worse and the two markets are now held two weeks apart. This last move is not customer friendly, as if we want to visit both we have to go to Birmingham twice.
Anyway, we went to the Living History Fair today, the Original Re-Enactors' Market is in a fortnight.
We met up with a large group of the Company, all hunting for this and that reproduction or copy equipment. Mrs A was after a new sword, Aginoth was after some new arrows and a new tool box, I was after some coin blanks for the Company and we all wanted material for clothes.
So Bernie the Bolt, the haberdashery friend to the re-enactor, sold us linens and wools in whites, creams, blues, greens, yellows, purples.....we girls are going to be a colouful bunch this season!
In addition to my metres of white and blue linens, I bought 500 blanks for the coin die (which you can read more about here), a set of 14C coins for myself, some thonging (leather strips, every re-enactor must have spare thonging!), a new pouch, a new wooden plate (I love my bowl, but I yearn for a plate!).
I was very restrained in my purchases (for me!) and I still need a pillar candle and a decent jug. I need the jug to hold water during the day and the candle to light our new girly tent in the evenings...three women 'of a certain age' sharing a tent - should be interesting!
We were rather disappointed at the lack of stalls this year, and the Aginoths are heading back up north weekend after next to go to the Re-Enactors Market to get the supplies we couldn't get today. They have promised to look me out a jug and a pillar candle.

So, now begins an orgy of sewing for all of us, to try and get new outfits ready for our first event at Easter - so, needles at the ready?


Sunday, February 24, 2008

School 1960 vs School 2007

[sent to me by bionicdwarf]

Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
1960 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up mates.
2007 - Police are called, Armed Response Unit arrives and arrests Johnny and Mark. Mobiles with video of fight confiscated as evidence. They are charged with assault, ASBOs are taken out and both are suspended even though Johnny started it. Diversionary conferences and parent meetings conducted. Video shown on 6 internet sites.

Scenario: Jeffrey won't sit still in class, disrupts other students
1960 - Jeffrey is sent to the principal's office and given 6 of the best. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2007 - Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. Counselled to death. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. School gets extra funding because Jeffrey has a disability. Drops out of school.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbour's car.
1960 - His Dad gives him the slipper. Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. Psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mum has an affair with the psychologist. Psychologist gets a promotion.

Scenario: Mark, a college student, brings cigarettes to school
1960 - Mark shares a smoke with the school principal out on the smoking area.
2007 - Police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug possession. His car is searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario: Mohammed fails high school English.
1960 - Mohammed retakes his exam, passes and goes to college.
2007 - Mohammed's cause is taken up by local human rights group. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that making English a requirement for graduation is racist. Civil Liberties Association files class action lawsuit against state school system and his English teacher. English is banned from core curriculum. Mohammed is given his qualification anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers, puts them in a model plane paint bottle and blows up an anthill.
1960 - Ants die.
2007 - MI5 and police are called and Johnny is charged with perpetrating acts of terrorism. Teams investigate parents, siblings are removed from the home, computers are confiscated, and Johnny's dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario: Johnny falls during break and scrapes his knee. His teacher, Mary, finds him crying, and gives him a hug to comfort him.
1960 - Johnny soon feels better and goes back to playing.
2007 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces three years in prison. Johnny undergoes five years of therapy. Becomes gay.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Morning is Breaking....

Most of my readers know I am a re-enactor. I'm reasonably new to the re-enactment life, but there are some very good reasons why I want to keep doing it........Waking up in a reproduction 14C canvas tent, with the light coming through the fabric. Looking up and seeing weaponry and clothing on the 'cartwheel' above our heads.Watching the sun rise through the ruins of a castle many hundreds of years old that is our home for a couple of days.The start of a simpler day in the life......

Yeah - that's why I do it........


Friday, February 15, 2008

Katty R&R

Once I had had my couple of days off on Monday and Tuesday the rest of this week has been one rush of constant activity. With two people off in our office, the workload has doubled and I spent the first day catching up on the work I missed on Monday and Tuesday. I enjoyed the opportunity to disengage - but I've been paying for it the rest of the week. Add in late evenings out all week - from re-enactment Living History meeting to the cinema with my Crazie Boys - I am now really tired!

My friend Bobkat has been working way too hard, and has barely found time to relax or switch off. We made a date to get together on Valentine's Day, as both our significant others were away.

Last night I turned up at her house with a 'Girlies Night In' bag, containing a delivery pizza menu, chocolate and a selection of DVDs.
She was very selfless and offered to watch 'Across the Universe', my new DVD that I am crazy about.
So, we gorged on pizza, snacked on chocolate and watched a film. Bobkat actually stopped dancing on the water (a reference from another of my favourite films) and sat still for two hours....albeit on the edge of her seat!
R&R is always good....

Every little helps......and I got to watch my all-time favourite film again!
I've been singing this to myself all day while wading through paperwork...

Sadie had just told JoJo, her guitarist and lover, that she is planning to go solo..


Monday, February 11, 2008

Visiting Boo

Well, it's all booked! On the 24th April cyberkitten and I are travelling across the pond to see silentmum and Boo.

Before they emigrated, silentmum was my best friend and constant companion and Boo is my god-daughter. I haven't seen my gal-pal or my Boo for five years, so I think this is going to be a bit of a culture shock.

Boo was the original Child-Crazie. She was adored by the group and always had a hand to hold or a lap to sit on. cyberkitten has a photo in his house of him dancing with Boo - the only time I have ever seen ck dance in the eight years I have known him is with the little 3yr old heartbreaker.

Finances has prevented me visiting Canada so far, but now I am in a position to go visit. MB was invited but declined, and cyberkitten jumped at the chance of seeing his young dance-partner again.

What we have to remember is this sweet little girl.....

is now this self-possessed Navy Cadet........
..because we have missed 5yrs...mind you, it doesn't feel like 5yrs!

btw - Boo's nickname came from Monsters Inc. When the little girl appeared we all recognised that cheeky face, the brown hair and the infectious laugh - so our little girl became Boo.


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Safe House

Both me and MB are Health and Safety bods - I'm in occupational Health and Safety (H&S in the workplace) and MB is in munitions safety (things that go bang!).

Sometimes our living room really defines our occupations..........

His hi-vis jacket and other bits and bobs ready for a week's inspection tour. My resusci-Annie and Automated External Defibrillator trainer ready for me to put together some lesson plans for training staff at work.......ain't we just dedicated H&S bods :-)

And on a totally different subject.....

Monday is the day Across the Universe is released Across the Kingdom. (You lucky US-ers got it on the 5th!) Me and cyberkitten have waited for this day as eagerly as we waited for the release date for the CD (which I am still wearing out!)

I mean - hello? - is this possibly the most beautiful version of 'Because' ever sung?

Or there's the touching rendition of 'I want to hold your hand', the stunning 'My guitar gently weeps', the haunting version of 'Prudence' or the amazing 'I am the Walrus' (Bono) or 'For the Benefit of Mr Kite' (Eddie Izzard). Then there's the convincing acting by young singers/actors not even born in the days when these songs were first hits.

[taps purse] I'm ready!!


Thursday, February 07, 2008


Wouldja look at this lovely phone - all shiny and purple.....

Isn't it just ever so pretty........?

Yeah - but it's not's MB's new phone - he's got a purple phone.........!! [looks outraged]

[mutter] I tried everything to get a purple phone when I was on contract and no one gave me one....[mutter]


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Widgets and Whales

Wow, nothing happens, then everything happens at once!

First of all, have you seen the new widget on my sidebar? It's a little fundraiser widget linked to my Race for Life fundraising page.

I have registered to take part in the 2008 Race for Life on 14th June at Lydiard Park (same as last year - here). I just pray it doesn't chuck it down with rain on the day (you can read more here)! This year I will be proudly wearing the name Minerva again, with the word WINNER next to it.
As the 'Race' is in June, there is plenty of time for all my friends and family to pledge or donate money to Cancer Research. This year I have set my target at £500, so I am hoping lots of people will sponsor me.
More on this later.
And cyberkitten and I have decided on the dates to visit Vancouver to see silentmum and Boo. Happily, the dates fall into the new whale-watching season - so we're gonna see some Orcas! I have never seen killer whales in real life - ever......this is HUGE!!
I'm just speechless with excitement.........


Sunday, February 03, 2008

It's all in the numbers...

I had an idle wondering recently, as visitors come and go........
I have been blogging for a while now and I had the thought - how many of my many, many posts have not warranted a comment.....?
I have blogged 782 times since Sept 2005.
Over 782 posts, only 6 show up with no comments at all. That is a stunning number.
You know, without all of you, this would just be me blethering on about nothing much at all. But with you putting your tuppence worth in, even when dragged here kicking and screaming by Michele [grin], with your humour and humanity you have helped make the Palace a really nice place to hang out.
Update: lots of people have asked how I got the numbers in this post. Well, if you go into your blogger dashboard and click on 'Posts' (next to Settings and Template), it will tell you how many posts you have made on that blog and lists the posts. When the listing comes up, it shows numbers of comments next to the posts. I admit, I did scan through and picked up the ones showing '0' comments.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Road Rage

Yesterday I saw my first honest to God case of Road Rage. I was not directly involved, but nearly got hauled in because I was behind the Rager.

We have dual carriageway in built up areas which, unlike rural roads, can have speed limits as low as 40 or even 30 miles an hour. The road I was on has a lot of sliproads and entry ways and has a speed limit set at 40, so those driving on through stay in the outside lane. This means you get people wanting to plough on through at speed and the other, more law-abiding folks, who stay in the outside lane at the correct speed.

So, there we were. Miss Law-Abiding, tootling along in the outside lane at about 39 mph. Behind her, Mr Law-Breaker, is sitting on her bumper waving frustratedly at her. Behind him is good old cq, heading home after a long day.

When she saw a suitable opportunity, and obviously aware of the gesticulating male behind her, Miss Law-Abiding pulled into the left lane, to allow Mr Law-Breaker to go on through.

At which point I couldn't believe my eyes. Mr Law-Breaker, in his red Seat Altea (perhaps the wife's car!) suddenly veered in front of her and slammed his brakes on with about an inch to spare. I pulled ahead, not wanting to be caught in a pile-up or make the situation worse. In my rearview mirror I could see him yelling and screaming at her, waving his fists and leaning across his car. He put his car half way across the dividing line, hence creating a barrier to both lanes, and then slowed right down to about ten miles an hour holding back all the traffic.

Realising that being distracted so was causing my driving to deteriorate, I concentrated on the road and drove home, thinking over what I had just seen.

I admit, I get impatient on the road, I curse slow drivers and inconsiderate drivers. I get annoyed when I see people not paying attention, using mobile phones, fiddling with satnavs or even personal grooming (I have seen drivers shaving, women combing their hair and even men reading the paper while driving!).

Then I thought, who was the real bad driver in this whole affair? Miss Law-Abiding who, although mildly annoying, was only obeying the law. She was keeping to the speed limit, driving safely and was aware of her environment. Mr Law-Breaker was rude, abusive, inconsiderate, drove dangerously, threatened and risked innocent people's lives while he let his temper loose.

Have you seen or experienced road rage?