Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen More Things about Re-Enactment.

1. We had a storm on Sunday night. It soaked through our tent and left a lake in my sleeping bag. It blew down the market stall....

...and also the Aginoths' tent. Aggie was not happy hammering stakes in at 4.30.....

2. LMB would not accept me as myself in my re-enactment costume. For more than a day she refused to acknowledge me. My heart broke as she wailed 'I want my Rossy!' and 'That's not my Rossy!'- in fact I almost got changed and put my specs on for her.

3. Thankfully we made tentative peace and she played contentedly with 'Re-Enactment Rossy' on Monday afternoon while waiting for 'Proper Rossy' to return at 5pm. When asked which she preferred, it was 'Proper Rossy' all the way.......

4. So, one person - two wonder I'm a little weird!

5. It brought back memories, because my sweet goddaughter Boo used to wail for me in exactly the same way, one time at 1am at cyberkitten's house.....

6. I enjoyed watching Aginoth practising with his longbow - he loves it!

7. We had two 12yr old girls on the run when they innocently asked where we went to have a bath........'What's a bath?' asked Mrs A and me. Well, they attempted to explain which resulted in 'You sit in a tub full of WATER?' 'Where do you get all the water from?' 'What's a plug?' 'What's a tap?'.....which had the girls tied up in knots.

8. Pete and Vic decided to join in and said they'd heard of a town called Bath..... Aginoth spluttered and looked at the girls in horror - 'You flood BATH??' he yelled. At this point the poor girls were so confused.......but they were laughing with the rest of us.....

9. I wanted to thank the people I shared a tent with. Vic and Pete [bless their sweet souls] generously loaned out floor space. Number four in the tent was Young Chris. We ended up reasonable friends, me calling him 'Boy' and him calling me 'Old Woman'...such a nice lad [grits teeth]

10. The rest of the Company were so nice to the visitor who knew nothing about the business of re-enactment gently putting me right about this and that. I have so much to learn.

11. For a newbie, I felt a real part of the group - thanks to Dan, Kim, Hannah, Rhiannon, John, Big Rich, Vic, Pete, Young Chris, Badger, Malc, Sarah et al.........

12. I'm looking at embroidery as a skill - now I just need to practice! I've got the details. Copy design on paper, pinprick through to fabric, mark with charcoal, draw in with quill and inks, then sew.......

13. Thanks to Aginoth and Mrs Aginoth for making it possible for me to experience what they do every weekend....and to see why they do it.....


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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Castle Life

One of the most magical aspects of my weekend of re-enactment.......was living *inside* a castle....... walking through the grounds after closing time.....

and watching the sun rise over the ruins.......

This was taken from the West Outer Bailey looking straight up at the towers........[gulp]

Caerphilly was unique in that it had four levels of defence. In the distance lakes surrounded the moat, then there was the moat - then two full gatehouses and drawbridges - pretty much impenetrable........

The second gatehouse to the inner keep, where the re-enactment lords camped.......

Isn't it all just lush by the light of the rising sun? Being in 14C kit through the day, I didn't want to be seen prowling aorund with a I took my pictures early on Monday morning, before most people were up!

More tomorrow, still the storm and my split personality to go :-)


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Mistress CQ returns

I went to a re-enactment affair this weekend just gone with the Aginoths. Just to test the water with my toe and see if I liked it.
As I get older I am finding it harder to find a hobby that holds my attention or concentration for more than five minutes.
So I thought maybe re-enactment might be a good hobby - different places, different things to do, and an air of the theatrical about it.

So armed with minimal personal possessions, I toddled off to Caerphilly Castle

to join the Company of Chivalry for a weekend. I was kindly given sleeping space in Mistress Vic and Master Peter's tent (the one on the far right).

I was loaned a dress and shirt from Vintner and a belt from Sir Simon. First job - a couple of darts in the dress to minimise the 'sacking' look...........

..then a quick photo (the only one!) of me in my outfit.

And from then on I was drawn into this mysterious re-enactment world of 1370. Mrs A and the children looked adorable:

I learnt to felt mediaeval style, and I watched the whittlers making spoons. I went to see the Crime and Punishment segment, including a very realistic hanging of Martin, a treasonous thief!

The camp was split into two factions; I was with the peasants in the outer keep while the lords had their camp in the inner keep:

This is also where Vintner whipped us up three meals a day for the entire company...

Tomorrow I'll tell you about my newly split personality and some more pictures of this lovely castle, and the storm which decimated our modest peasant market stall.

$64,000 Question: Am I going to do this again? Well, the new season starts at Easter next year, so I have plenty of time to make up my mind as regards the commitment. I am also going to a mediaeval fair with the Aginoths in October to have a look at some prices and equipment. And I need to find a skill. But, yes - I probably am going to return to the 14C!


A Friday Sticky

- if you haven't signed up for 2996 for 9/11 and want to - follow this link.

Each blogger is assigned a victim of 9/11 and is to write a tribute on The Day, with their own observations of course. All bloggers can take part.
Do you know that the total has just topped 2,000?? 2,000 bloggers honouring the dead from such a terrible tragedy. Only 900 to go!


On August 28, 11:19 PM EDT

the 2,996th name was assigned.

Howard (Barry) Kirschbaum, age 53, a resident of New York, N.Y., will be honored by El Rider at the blog Flying Debris.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

I'm off in time.......

Today I am going here........

To join my Aginoths in the 14C for a couple of days. No watch, no phone, no specs, no shoes.......gonna be 'interesting'!

And yes, I have packed my camera!

Hmm - packing.....needless to say, I have a really small bag.......but I am DEFINITELY taking some 20C warm clothing and a towel! It's raining already.....

Bit fuzzy this morning with a teeny tummy ache - not really a hangover, but a bit - tired......... :-)

Not surprising really as we finished our Scream marathon at 2.30am with me on the Blue Wkd (that's vodka!) and RCA on the beer......and I was awake again at 7.30!

Me and RCA had been promising ourselves the Scream triple bill forever, but last time we were just too tired, and Johnny won out. Last night we did it - six hours of comic horror.......

We were beat.........and I have seen enough Neve Campbell to last me a lifetime.........

Catch you all on Monday, when I return from History!


Friday, August 25, 2006

A Scintillating Evening

RCA and I are supping the finest sippin' whiskey, listening to classical music on the wirelessogram, nibbling on the most delicate of hors d'oeuvres and looking forward to an edifying presentation on the new picture box.

We must chat more later, really we must!

Must go, the main feature is about to commence.

With warmest regards

Her Royal Highness (aka HRH)

La Reine Crazie


Red Cola Addiction

Update - ok it's 1230am, three of four blue wkds drowned, two of three Scream movies watched - we have *such* class!!

Pretty gruesome but fascinating...

... Read the text first to explain what you're about to see....

Wild dogs savage alligator - nature at its best.

At times nature can be cruel, but there is also a raw beauty, and even a certain justice manifested within that cruelty.

The alligator, one of the oldest and ultimate predators, normally considered the "apex predator" in it's natural eco-system can still fall victim to implemented 'team work' strategy, made possible due to the tight knit social structure and "survival of the fittest pack mentality" bred into the wild canines of Africa over the last several hundreds of years by natural selection.

See the remarkable photograph below courtesy of Nature Magazine...

Note that the Alpha dog has a muzzle hold on the alligator preventing it from breathing, while the remainder of the pack prevent the beast from rolling.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about - well, allsorts!
1. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember I am a qualified Safety Manager now! I actually found myself looking into details about the Occupational Safety and Health Diploma today [shh - don't tell my boss!]
2. I have been aimlessly humming 'The Gasman Cometh' all day, and on the drive home all the words to all the verses came to me - so I sang it through - lots of times!
3. It's August, so it's pay rise month - but we're not getting one until at least January because the talks have stalled at this space for industrial action (not me, I never strike!)
4. However our Government department has insisted they pay at least some of our hard-earned bonuses while we're waiting for the new deal - so I'll get £500 less tax etc etc........'cos I worked hard last year!
5. Why am I telling you all this? Well, we got a flyer through the door tonight with laptops and wireless modems for £350 (about $660) all in. I *really* want a wireless laptop.
6. I am also due to get some money for passing my exams, but that may be some time in the future, as the paperwork has to go through three lines of management!
7. I have just done three loads of laundry since getting home, as well as shopping, cooking dinner and clearing up. I'm beat.
8. As I'm going to be at Caerphilly Castle most of the weekend getting *very* wet, I thought I would get a headstart on my weekend chores.
9. I don't know if I'm gonna be very good at being a 14C peasant woman - what am I going to do all day??
10. My boss likes me - I take complicated jobs and make them easy. Produced a re-vamped safety presentation yesterday (which I will be delivering three times over the next three weeks!) and today I completely overhauled the audit recording system. He's a happy bunny.
11. I hope someone brings a spare cloak to the Castle! [peers at terrible weather forecast]
12. Can I really afford £350 for a luxury item like a laptop???
13. My feet are going to get cold this weekend - no shoes!
[the video is self-explanatory - the song is sung by Flanders and Swann - a great British revue act in the 50s and 60s....who also made 'The Gasman Cometh' a byword in the English language!]
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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday Memories

It is one year this week since we got Charlie. On the 26th to be exact.

We had recently lost a young cat to the road nearby, the second of ours to be stolen in this way. Pandora was getting old and we had decided no more cats. But we added a proviso that AP (After Pandora) we would consider maybe taking a special needs cat, as we have a lot of time and opportunity to care for such an animal. We even decided we would prefer a male and Charlie would be the name of choice.

Then at the pet club at work one day this picture popped up with a plea for a home.

He had been found abandoned on the edge of a busy road with his two brothers. His brothers had been rehomed, but no one wanted the sparky little ginger boy.

I emailed MB with the picture and text and simply wrote 'Charlie?'

Of course, we took him. He was a nightmare with feline behavioural problems and we very nearly gave him away several times. He also had terrible earmites from bad care, awful eating habits, was socially maladjusted and had a malformed lower jaw giving him a pronounced underbite.

But with love and care.........he grew up to love helping out.........

And enjoys nothing more than helping Mummy on the computer.....

And here he is, one year later. A big floofy, sparky ginger man. My Little Man.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Saturday at the Aginoth's

Yesterday I went to the Aginoth's for the day. A barbeque to help A Jnr celebrate his 6th birthday.

All the crazies were there, except for RCA who got a better offer (a Rolling Stones concert!).
Cyberkitten, Sleepypete, Bionic Dwarf, Aginoth, Mrs Aginoth, the Aginothlings and several of their re-enactment friends.

The rain held off for the barbeque and it was glorious; lots of delicious food and my usual absolute 'kosher' veggie barbie grill for my food. I am a strict veggie, but as Aginoth said, once he knows the rules, he has no problem making allowances for my diet. I love these people!

Then a pleasant afternoon and evening lounging in the garden. I went and watched some tots tv with LMB and then stayed in the front room alone for a bit gathering my thoughts.

Later Aginoth fired up the firebox and we sat out under the gazebo by the light of the fire swapping stories.

The hard rain that came pushed all but the most manly men inside. Aginoth, Bionic Dwarf, Malc and Pete stayed outside shooting the breeze while the rest of us filled the front room and watched Batman.

I met the membership officer for the re-enactment group and I am reassured I have a dress and an undershift (apparently the membership officer's - why HE has a dress is still a mystery!), I have a bed for the weekend in a friend's tent, and my bowl, cup, knife etc are all taken care of. Also, they know I am vegetarian - apparently there are a couple there already.

So next weekend I will definitely be stepping into the 14C as a peasant woman for two days. If I like it, I may stay. If I don't, then at least I have tried it!

[mental note to self - must learn to sew!]

Thank you, Aginoths, for a wonderful day! I know I'm not fantastic company at the moment, but, as ever, you are my unflinching support.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Results are in........

So - did I pass or did I fail??

[smiles modestly]

I passed........


And in honour of me passing my exams.......a little dance..........


Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday Memory

I remember being young(er).

I remember being thin(ner).

I remember being keen(er).

I remember staying up and drinking all night....

I remember still getting to work the next day!

I remember kissing the boys and making them cry (all's fair!)

I remember when life didn't seem this hard.

I remember when all I wanted in life was to be a wife and mother (failed the first, can't do the second).

I remember when love was the drug.

I remember when I was young [sigh]

And I remember sitting my exams earlier this year - my results are due out this week!


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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Book Meme

I got tagged by my sweetie, Dawn. So here goes for my Book Meme!

1. One book that changed your life:
I don’t think I have ever read a book that changed my life. Some have made me think differently, some have made me go find other books (Tokyo by Mo Hayder set me to read The Rape of Nanking for example) – but none have actually changed my life.

2. One book that you have read more than once:
Death’s Acre by Bill Bass, the world-renowned forensic anthropologist. I have always been interested in forensics and Dr Bass wrote an eminently readable autobiography on his life and his career. I go back to it again and again.
And most of my Dan Brown, Matthew Reilly, Nelson DeMille, Clive Cussler, PJ Tracy, Mo Hayder, McCall Smith – my favourite authors are like family and I visit and revisit their stories again and again…….

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
Wild Swans by Jung Chang. This book is stunning, a no-holds-barred tramp through China over the last hundred years, following the lives of Jung, her mother and her grandmother. From warlord concubine through Maoism to Western education, this is a roller coaster ride through some of the most turbulent periods in China’s history.

4. One book that made you laugh:
Books don’t tend to make me laugh but Alexander McCall Smith does it every time. His series ‘No 1 Ladies Detective Agency’ is a delightful ongoing series set in Botswana, following the life of Mma Ramotswe and the wonderful people she meets along the way.

5. One book that made you cry:
In the Company of Heroes. Oh god, this made me cry. Anyone seen BlackHawk Down? This is the story of Mike Durrant, the pilot of the crashed BlackHawk taken hostage at the start of the battle in Mogadishu. This book was written by Mike himself, using notes he made in code in the margin of a Bible he was given while imprisoned.

6. One book you wish would have been written:
.With the millions of books out there, there probably isn’t a book which hasn’t been written yet – if you see what I mean!
Unless you count JD’s ‘Official’ Autobiography – there isn’t one, they are all unofficial. I would love to read his own words about his extraordinary career.

7. One book you wish had never been written:
I would never wish any book unwritten. Of course, I have read some stinkers in my time – or rather I have donated some Yawn-Fests to the charity shop.

8. One book you are currently reading:
I am currently re-reading Dissolution by CJ Sansom. It‘s a murder mystery set in the time of Henry VIII, 1537 to be exact. The monasteries are being closed down during the reformation, but at one lonely monastery a Commissioner of the King is murdered. Commissioner Matthew Shardlake is sent to investigate. I strongly recommend this and the sequel Dark Fire. It's not a history book - Sansom just plonks you into the 16th Century and drags you along with him :-)

I am also reading ‘Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Documented an Era and Defined a Generation’. Quite a title, huh? Chris Turner looks at the unique two way interaction of inspiration and influence The Simpsons has with the real world. but it gets kinda slow and sluggish – a Steven Spielberg book – Turner doesn’t know when to call it a day and put his pen down.

9. One book you have been meaning to read:
None I’ve been ‘meaning’ to read, as I have just finished The Rape of Nanking, which has been on my ‘must-read’ list for years. But I am eagerly awaiting ‘Mao’ by Jung Chang and ‘Cell’ by Stephen King and ‘Solomon Key’ by Dan Brown.

10. Tag some others:
Nope, no…….not me………if you do this – and it is kinda cool ‘cos it makes you really think….let me know in the comments.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Chicken or the Egg?

Science or Miracle?

Which came first, the miracle of nature, or the science of nature?

Over the years scientists have bravely and boldly dissected the science of nature and the universe and told us how everything works. They have kindly taken nature’s miracles and reduced them to formulae on a blackboard.

How thoughtful of them!

But – in the huge scheme of things, does the scientific explanation really mean anything?

How many of us look at the immense beauty of a rainbow and think ‘my those water droplets make a pretty sight’?

Or look at a newborn baby and tell the mother ‘your genes knitted well……..’

Does anyone look at the splendour of a single green leaf and give thanks for chlorophyll?

Does the continuous motion of the waves crashing on the beach confirm our belief in the moon and the magnetic resonance of the planet – or is it merely a feast of nature for eyes and ears?

Although we have been told that the marks on the moon are lakes and mountains, how many still nod to the smiling ‘Man in the Moon’?

I know science explains just about everything – but I prefer to see the miracle than the science.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Counting Blessings

When I'm this crappy, I usually take five minutes to count my blessings.

MB - is my rock, my soulmate. Without him I would have given up the fight years ago.

My house - my sanctuary. We don't get a lot of visitors, and I relish my privacy.

My Crazies - Cyberkitten, RCA, Sleepypete, Bionic Dwarf and my darling Aginoths. These people have held me, comforted me, laughed with me and cried with me.

My overall health (well, just a bit of a bad back and moodiness doesn't really figure in the whole huge scheme of Life).

My blogbuddies, all my regular visitors. Those people who come by daily just to say hello!

My job, and my boss - these come as a set.......I am learning every day. Today I was lead auditor in a health and safety audit for the first time.

DCRoe - have you signed up for
2996 for 9/11 yet? This man is devoting so much of his time to this five year anniversary tribute. He is a real hero!

Music - is there anything better than hearing a song that makes you click your fingers and tap your toes? I'm not a huge country fan - but I just yearn to dance to this.........

A pretty sunset - where the sun burnishes the clouds and turns the sky purple. One where you get a crick in your neck from admiring the stunning colours.

And finally - thank you, God - for this man:

and television commercials like this:


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about........Nothing.........
1. It's late, and I've only just managed to get on line.
2. It's too late to start pushing pictures, but here's a nice one.

oh, sorry - were you expecting JD?? Nah, this is the delicious Michael Vartan....

3. Managed to run a presentation this morning with only 2hrs preparation time. It seemed to go well - no questions at the end, so it was either ok or awful...

4. Raiding my files here - I like this lad:

This is Matthew Gray Gubler from Criminal Minds. Although Shemar Moore is a bit tasty too :-)

5. OK, enough men - blimey, my mind is a one track lane - dirt-track!

6. So, nothing much has happened this week. My back hurts, my depression isn't shifting and my garden looks like the Somme.

7. Photo time!

William Shatner (one of my fave People) with his Over the Hedge character Ozzie :-) If you haven't seen this yet - go see it, it's a scream!

8. More photos? OK :-)

7th Heaven - love this show.....Waltons for the 21C! :-) Actually, I love Stephen Collins - have done for years! :-)

9. Hopefully next week's TT will be more focussed and understandable.

10. I'm running out of things to say.....

11. And blogger photo has just died.........

12. Anyway, it's time for bed.......

13. Nope - blogger photo is definitely not - Goodnight All!


Wednesday, August 09, 2006