Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
I didn't get any archery practice 'cos Vic didn't bring her bow and the draw is too heavy for me on the other longbows they have.
But a nice afternoon chatting followed by a bit of a barbeque and then some adult time chatting in the lounge made for a lovely time anyway - and gives my bruises more time to heal!
The sun is shining here, the Sunday dinner is all done and I'm about to start the ironing. Then I'm off to see 'Next' tonight with the gang. I'm not a huge fan of Nicolas Cage, although he is ok, but the film has had positive reviews. Anything has to be better than 'Blades of Glory'!
Next week is my last full week in the office for about three weeks - I have scrounged a week or so off, including time off around the Italy trip. I intend to sleep a lot..... :-)
Saturday, April 28, 2007
This morning it's a flurry of laundry, tidying and making bread (by hand, of course) before heading off to the Aginoths' again for my second archery lesson this afternoon.
My bruises are nearly healed and I have been told in no uncertain terms to use a bracer!! Also, I nicked Cyberkitten's dumbbells and have been exercising my triceps all week........
I also got a cancellation place for the renactment trip to Italy in three weeks' time - so now I'm stressing out about that! :-)
Tomorrow it's the usual Sunday stuff with a visit to the cinema thrown in. RCA is coming to town (yippee!! - we hardly see her now she's toddled off to London to live with her darling K!) so the gang is heading out to see.......er, sorry - what are we seeing, guys??
I went out with my much loved Bobkat this week just gone. A magical evening of chat and pizza, only marred by the..........um........truly AWFUL film we actually chose to see!! Trust me, people, Blades of Glory is possible one of the worst films I have ever seen.....never, ever trust the combination of Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller (unless you're only ten, of course!).
We have agreed - if we walk into another theatre and the audience is predominantly male and in their late teens/twenties - we are asking for a refund!!
But, on the plus side, we did see trailers for a couple of good films in the future.......including Simpsons and Pirates (how eclectic are we!?!)
Nearly time to get my bread out of the airing cupboard......
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
[blame david - he asked for something for men!]
Monday, April 23, 2007
and the inside of my wrist.........
They look awful, but are not that painful - although the bruising on my wrist is making my carpal tunnel swell slightly and making my hand tingle a bit. In fact, tonight I forgot I had them 'til I caught sight of my wrist.
Tonight I saw 'Curse of the Golden Flower' - Shakespeare meets Chinese Folk Tale.....the only words are Sumptuous and Tragedic.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Update: I hit the target - a lot so [wrinkles nose] still ok :-)........
but I have suffered apprentice archer's arm.......
If you look carefully, you can see the striations where the bowstring bounced off my arm.....does it hurt? Oh yessssss.........
More practice required!! But first - I must heal a bit!
Then Mr and Mrs A are having a long overdue night out together - and I am staying to look after the Aglets......
Meanwhile, here is Part Two (Part One here) of the 100 Signs You Are A Re-Enactor.....
51. You describe your company's logo to the printer's shop using heraldic terms.
52. Instead of having dreams about being out in public with no clothes on, you have dreams about being at an event in mundane clothing.
53. You catch yourself thinking "'Gules, three chevrons’ or ‘Nice tabard. Classic Anglo-Norman style, easily visible.’ Oh! I guess it'd better be visible, he's a road repair worker!
54. You go running up the stairs at work and reach down to hold the hem of your underdress up so as not to trip over it... and you're wearing trousers.
55. You can make a loaf of bread faster than you can program a bread machine.
56. You make all your own bread and you don't own a bread pan.
57. Your mundane friends wangle invitations for Sunday supper so they can sample the feast leftovers.
58. A student greets you in a Monday morning class by asking "So, did your wife kill anyone this weekend?"
59. Your friend invites you to a "dress nice" party, and you realize that your best looking clothes are your banqueting kit.
60. Your friend tells you her new boyfriend works in a fabric store and your first thought is "How cool!"
61. The only time you can see your living room floor is when your van is packed for an event.
62. You see a mother tenderly picking a splinter out of her son's hand with a shortsword.
63. You pull out a wax tablet to write down someone's email address at an event
64. You buy a bottle of booze just for the neat pouch.
65. Your buying black walnuts and ferrous sulfate from a health food store mean a new "dye" not a new "diet".
66. You have to find something else to wear on Halloween, because your kit just doesn't feel like a costume anymore.
67. "Dining room large enough for a dozen scribes and all their equipment" or "garden big enough to hold a battle practice" appears on the must-have list for your new house.
68. You go to the hardware store and ask for a drawknife for shaving rattan, only to have them explain that no one makes them anymore.
69. You plan your car-trip vacations around events happening in other areas and even pack accordingly.
70. You're male and you see an attractive woman in a skin-tight black velvet dress, and your primary thought is "Wow!! What I wouldn't give for ten yards of that!"
71. You're babysitting and you wonder if they'd give you the curtains as pay
72. The gynecologist asks "When is your period?", and you answer "Early 14th century (or whenever)".
73. You go to a funeral and spend your time looking at the great pavilion over the grave site and wonder where they got it
74. Cleaning your knives (and axes, and swords and spears) is not only an entire evening's work, but an entire evening's entertainment!
75. You start wearing your tankard and belt pouch around with your mundanes, because it's so darn convenient.
76. Your future husband's wedding garb costs more than yours, and has more trim.
77. "Two helmets, Anglo-Norman style preferred" appears on your wedding registry.
78. You've called your dorm ahead of time to ask if it's OK to keep swords in your room.
79. You realize you've used porta-loos more often than "flushies" recently.
80. A gift certificate at an upholstery store was one of your favorite birthday gifts this year.
81. The worst news you've had all year is that the leather store near you is closing!
82. You're disappointed that your British Literature textbook doesn't have Beowulf in parallel text.
83. You enter your lady's boudoir for the first time, and the first words to escape your lips are "Nice sewing machine!"
84. Costumed people going into Rocky Horror have asked you about your "funny clothes".
85. You show up for work on Monday with the most interesting bruises. (Or possibly a mail weave sunburn).
86. A man says "whoa! Nice legs! Hubba hubba!" and he's talking about your armor.
87. You rattle when you walk, because you're wearing a mail shirt under your shirt to save carrying it.
88. If you're bruised black and blue every Monday morning.... and you enjoyed getting that way.
89. You're wearing mail to the office hidden under your jumper because you need to get used to moving round in it.
90. You sneer at sword fights in films because any fool can tell they're not within striking distance of their opponents
91. Dessert is served in stainless steel dishes; you start speculating on how easy they would be to beat into shield bosses.
92. You were asked to find a broom handle to work a jack with and couldn't find a broom but came back with a longaxe and a spear.
93. You can't raise your arms above horizontal on a Monday morning.
94. You're daft enough to lock the keys in your van, but you managed to pry a window open with your sword.
95. You find yourself incapable of small hand motions and can only move your whole arm, or at best, wrist flicks.
96. You're female and "You're so aggressive!" is a compliment!
97. After an event, while getting dressed in mundanes, you don your swordbelt and weapons.
98. Your sweatpants have holes in the knees and rust stains, because you wore your armor over/under them.
99. You've ruined your deep fat fryer using it to melt wax.
100. After viewing this list, your mundane significant other chuckles for days, while you mutter to yourself "I don't see what's so funny about that."
I will be sending interview questions to Naomi, Uisce, Cyberkitten, Mrs A and Michele (nominated by Pat AND Colleen - poor Michele!) tomorrow.
Let's just say it's been a difficult week.
'til the Aglets are sleeping tonight, my friends....
Friday, April 20, 2007
Here's a meme with a difference - an interview meme...
The Rules (well, there has to be SOME rules!)
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your weblog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
Okay - here are my questions from the lovely LadyBug...
1. If you could do it all over, what would you be when you grow up?
I don't know. I would assume if I do it all over, I will make the same decisions as before - which would land me in the same position. Or do I have second sight? If you're looking for the 'ideal', I guess I would have lived up to my family's expectations and become a teacher.
2. Who is your best friend and for how long?
Amongst my friends I actually have several 'best friends'.
Aginoth is my best friend, my pseudo-brother. He and I are very similar and I am also very close to his family and adore them. We have been friends since A Jnr was a baby - so about 6yrs.
Cyberkitten is my alternate ego, we think and say the same things - usually at the same time! We have been friends for 8yrs.
Bobkat is my bestest girly pal, and I love her to bits. We have been friends for 3yrs (? looks at Bobkat).
If I had to choose a night out with one of these, it would probably be Bobkat (sorry boys).
3. How did you meet your spouse/significant other?
I met MB at work. I started in a new office and he was my manager in the office. I didn't like him at first, but he liked me. Then one day he took me to the pub for lunch and it hit me like a thunderbolt - I was in love with this lovely man.
4. If you could live anywhere, where would you choose to live?
In rural Cornwall. I hate city life and, income permitting, try to live as close to the country as possible. I am part Cornish, so would like to return to the area around St Columb and live a simple life. This is where I intend to retire to........of course, I haven't mentioned this to MB yet!
5. Silver or Gold?
Whichever, it has to be pure and not plate, 'cos I'm allergic to nickel and other base alloys. I have a lovely solid silver 'dragon' pendant I wear all the time. I find silver far more beautiful than gold.
So - go on......who wants to be interviewed by the Queen of the Crazies??
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Known during my youth in the UK as 'an over the shoulder boulder holder' (now that's a blast from the past!)....
THE first concept of a brassiere - from the old French word "arm protector" - appears in US Vogue.
THE Oxford English Dictionary includes the word "brassiere" for the first time.
AMERICAN socialite Mary Phelps Jacob, 19, buys a sheer evening dress and, annoyed at the bones protruding out of the corset, fashions her own underwear from two silk handkerchiefs and some ribbon. She is granted the first US patent for the brassiere the following year.
PHELPS patents her design under the name Caresse Crosby, and describes her invention as a backless brassiere. She sells the rights to Warner Brothers for £750 - a patent later valued at £7.5million.
DURING the First World War, the Germans denounce Parisian underwear as unGerman and dangerous.
RUSSIAN immigrant Ida Rosenthal and her husband William found Maidenform. In years to come she will pioneer the idea of different cup sizes for different women, as well as patent a bra strap fastener.
ENTER the shaped bra - the Kestos, fashioned from two triangular pieces of fabric, with elastic shoulders, a crossover back and buttons at the front to create two distinct cups.
WARNER'S creates the cup sizing system from A, B, C and D - nicknamed egg cup, tea cup, coffee cup and challenge cup.
NYLON adds practicality to the bras. Until now they have been made using just padding and wiring.
JUDY Garland wears a breast-binding device in the Wizard Of Oz to make her look childish.
BILLIONAIRE and aviator Howard Hughes designs a push-up bra for Jane Russell to wear under a tight silk blouse in the film The Outlaw. Jane Russell later claims she never wore it.
A WARTIME Berlei ad tells women that letting their figure go is "bad for morale and bad for efficiency, too". As women take on major roles in the hostilities, bras become more utilitarian and ugly.
THE end of the war marks the freedom of lingerie which becomes lacier and racier.
LYCRA fibre is invented by scientists at DuPont. Adding this stretchy manmade fibre to the mix means bras fit comfortably.
CANADIAN company Canadelle invents the Wonderbra, designed to "lift and separate" the bust. It still causes a stir 30 years later when Eva Herzigova stars in the "Hello Boys" ad.
TRIUMPH'S Doreen bra - a supportive, non-underwired style - goes on sale. It is the bestselling bra in the world today.
JANET Leigh's black bra was deemed too indecent for audiences in the 1960 movie Psycho but by 1967 there are no such qualms. Anne Bancroft reveals her lace bra in The Graduate and a generation swoons.
A DEMONSTRATION by radical feminists at the Miss America pageant leads to one of the most famous urban legends - that of the burning bra. The truth is no bras are burnt, instead they are dumped into a rubbish bin in protest. But a newspaper report mentions a bra burning and the image sticks.
HINDA Miller, Lisa Lindahl and Polly Smith sew two jockstraps together and call it the Jogbra. It is the first sports bra.
UNDERWEAR-as-outerwear - Jean Paul Gaultier creates a conical bra for Madonna's Blonde Ambition tour.
ITALIAN manufacturer Santoni develops a circular knitting machine that allows a bra to be knitted in one go. This leads to today's seamless, tagless bras.
LINGERIE goes green as Hanro, Chantelle and Ballet are among the brands offering bras in eco-friendly bamboo-blend fabrics.
Anyone for a bamboo bra?
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
In a statement, the BBC said it could not confirm the claims by the Tawhid and Jihad brigades, describing the story as a rumour without verification.
In a separate statement, Graham and Margaret Johnston appealed for anyone with information to make contact.
Journalists rallied in Beirut, Brussels and at BBC premises to show support.
In Beirut dozens of demonstrators held portraits of the journalist, who was seized at gunpoint in Gaza City on 12 March.
Others gathered outside the European Commission building in Brussels.
The corporation's Director General Mark Thompson said the BBC was still seeking clarification of the reporter's condition.
He praised Mr Johnston's family, calling the wait for news "agonising" for them.
On Sunday the Tawhid and Jihad brigades (The Brigades of Holy War and Unity), a previously unheard of group, said it had killed Mr Johnston, linking his purported killing to the plight of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.
A spokesman for UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said the government was investigating the reports.
"We are working closely with the Palestinian Authority and are urgently seeking information from them and other sources," he said.
In the latest of almost daily demonstrations in the wake of Mr Johnston's abduction, journalists gathered outside the Lebanese Press Syndicate building in Beirut to press for his release.
"We would like to appeal today to whoever is holding [Alan Johnston] to release him today unharmed," the BBC's Beirut correspondent, Kim Ghattas, told media.
Our correspondent said Mr Johnston had continued to do his job professionally, despite the risks.
But, more than a month since his abduction, there was concern about Mr Johnston's mental health and physical state, she said.
Another demonstrator, Lebanese TV reporter Diana Moukalled, said it was very important "to show our solidarity with any colleague that's harmed because of his job.
"Because we, ourselves, have suffered a lot in Lebanon, we have a long history of targeting journalists, some of them were killed, others kidnapped, some of them were tortured.
"It's unfortunate for journalists to be targeted just because they are doing their job."
Earlier, Mr Johnston's parents Graham and Margaret Johnston issued a statement, saying it was a "desperately worrying time".
They added: "We make a heartfelt appeal to anyone who may have knowledge of Alan's situation and well-being to contact the authorities in Gaza.
"Our son has lived and worked among the people of Gaza for the last three years to bring their story to the outside world and we ask every one of them to help end this ordeal."
Mr Johnston, from Scotland, joined the BBC World Service in 1991 and has spent eight of the last 16 years as a correspondent, including periods in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.
He has lived and worked in Gaza for three years and was the only Western reporter permanently based in the often violent and lawless territory.
His posting in Gaza had been due to end in late March.
Story from BBC NEWS: here Published: 2007/04/16 13:23:24 GMT© BBC MMVII
Sunday, April 15, 2007
When British and Canadian troops liberated the camp on April 15, 1945, they found thousands of bodies unburied, and forced the remaining SS personnel to bury them. The surviving prisoners were moved to a nearby German Panzer army camp. Bergen-Belsen was then burned to the ground by flamethrowers because of a typhus epidemic and louse infestation. Subsequent accounts of Belsen after this time refer to events at the nearby army camp.
In spite of great efforts to help the survivors, about another 9,000 died in April. By the end of June of 1945 another 4,000 had died. The total number of deaths at Bergen-Belsen from 1943 to June 1945 was about 50,000.
Although the camp was burned to the ground, the site is today open to the public, featuring a visitors' center, a monument to the dead, and a "House of Silence" for reflection.
On 15 April 2005 there was a commemorative ceremony there and many ex-prisoners and ex-liberating troops went there.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
1. You and your mates stand on a street corner on the route of a historical procession, and people ask you if you're part of said procession.
2. You and your friends have wandered down the road and into the pub, only to be asked if you're invading, which brand of mead you'd prefer, and if you could you mind where you're putting those spears, please.
3. When a lecturer fails to show up, and somebody grabs the long board pointer to use as a spear, your mate takes it off him, and proceeds to demonstrate a typical advance with a spear - only to meet you coming at him with the short board pointer wielded like a langseax. And the rest of the lecture hall swear that the two of you look better at this than they do in the films.
4. You can't pass the scrap skip outside the local sheet metal shop without raiding it for raw materials
5. Your "first car" is a transit van.
6. You can work out, accurately, how many crossbow bolts, arrows, etc. you need for a weekend, but believe that a tin of Ravioli will feed you for three days
7. You close every curtain in your house before getting changed, but will happily undress to get into kit in the middle of a public carpark.
8. You use a scramseax as a door wedge.
9. You use a Moniac Mead bottle to prop open your window.
10. You buy reproduction 14th Cheamware pots and use them as normal everyday coffee cups.
11. You use the phrase "Bugger this for a game of soldiers" other than metaphorically.
12. You can sleep through drunken singing, gaming and three part harmony snoring echoing off castle walls.
13. You recognise people in battle scenes in TV programmes and films.
14. You have weapons stacked in the living room.
15. After getting back from an event you pop out of the house to post a letter and are halfway down the road before you realise you're still barefoot.
16. You get completely confused when packing for a camping trip that isn't a reenactment event and have this nagging suspicion all weekend that you've forgotten something.
17. You can't sing without a drink in your hand.
18. You drive by some open land and think "What a great place for a battle!"
19. Your idea of a fun weekend is sleeping outside in the rain.
20. You can spot 100% wool at 30 yards.
21. You have a whole room of your house given over as an armoury.
22. You've ever said the words "only X more days 'til (some event)!".
23. You've received cuts, burns, pulled out thorns, got poison ivy, and still look forward to camping at events.
24. Your dinner guests see your kit and ask if you're in a play.
25. In the middle of summer, you dread wearing a short sleeved shirt in your air conditioned office, but you can't wait to get to the next event, where you can dress in three layers of wool and sit round a campfire.
26. You've worn wool when the temperature tops 100 degrees Fahrenheit, repeatedly.
27. People greet you on Monday morning with "So did you kill anyone this weekend?".
28. You can't use your dining table because it's covered in half finished mail.
29. You have a table specifically for making mail so it doesn't take up your dining table.
30. You suffer from post-battle depression.
31. You know every line in Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail by heart.
32. You've stopped watching Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail because you know every line by heart.
33. Bad fighting and/or costuming has ruined an otherwise decent movie for you.
34. You're a burly guy who looks like a Hell's Angel, but you do embroidery in public.
35. At a formal dinner party, you politely grab your sleeve to keep it from dropping in the food, only to realize you're wearing a suit.
36. You can eat equally well with a dagger or a fork.
37. You've decorated a cake in Celtic knotwork.
38. You return to work after a weekend event, only to find you left all your money in your belt pouch.
39. After a party you ask yourself "Hm. Now where are my clothes?" and you're stone sober and fully dressed.
40. You can and do curse in Gaelic, but you aren't Scottish
41. You have more kit than clothes and the kit is in better condition.
42. You visit a period castle, notice the draperies and bedspreads, and think of what lovely clothing they would make.
43. Your immediate family consists of only two rather small, thin people, but you justify your purchase of a full-sized van/pickup truck saying "We'll need the extra space for events!"
44. Your reference section on your field of interest is better than the equivalent section in the local library.
45. Your idea of a packed lunch is mince-meat pie, cold mulled cider and wafers left over from the feast the week-end before.
46. Your hobby takes more of your time than your job.
47. You name your pets after obscure historical figures.
48. You name your children after obscure historical figures.
49. People assume that you're an exchange student/recent immigrant because they hear people calling you by the most outlandish names.
50. You take a medieval history course in college, and find out you already own the textbooks.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Doesn't sound the end of the world - but a complete medieval market is an awful lot of heavy wood and canvas.
I helped set up on Sunday morning and then debated what I was going to do for the day...Mr and Mrs A had lots of helpers with Mistress Vic and the three children so I was free to learn a new trade.
I watched Jonno hammer out a coin and thought 'I could do that!'. Boy, could I ever! That was a real money maker (we don't usually sell things at these events) literally (I know, cool pun!). I had a stream of children and adults at my mint wanting my 'pretty silver pennies'. The secret to hammering coins is firstly to make it look good, and secondly to make the coin with a single hit. It was a double edged die - which meant you put the blank between two moulds and hit it firmly once with a heavy hammer, impressing the mould on both sides of the coin at once. More than one hit runs the risk of double imprinting, which explains the faulty coins sometimes dug up by archeologists. The children loved the silver pennies and the theatrics, the adults were intrigued by the process and the poverty-stricken individual desperately trying to earn enough to pay for some shoes.
I could even flash my black toenail (got elsewhere!) and say sorrowfully 'I dropped the die on my foot yesterday'....they lapped it up.......several came back for more talk and more silver pennies.
The sergeant at arms made a point of spending time looking over my shoulder to ensure I wasn't forging or diddling our Lordship out of money.....that added to the appeal for the public.
The money flowed in. One child would inch shyly over and offer his money saying 'can I have a silver penny please?', so I would beckon them over and begin showing them the die and the blank coins - by then Mum and Dad would be listening attentively. One strike of my mallet and the parents would be asking for coins for the whole family!
I got used to hearing (in a strong Liverpudlian accent) 'Mum! Mum! This lady's making MONEY!'
(example of a period coin from the Web)
Sunday was hot and sunny and I made £91 - so at 50p a coin I hammered 182 coins....Monday was rainy and cold but I was still hammering coins all day, I think I pulled in another £40 or so - I left Vintner to count the money as I was cold and poorly by 3.30.....
The company are taking the coin die to Caerphilly next month, so I'm off to research Edward III silver pennies so I can sound more knowledgeable.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Actually, today we are going here:
This is Conwy Castle in North Wales and will be my home for the next couple of days.
I have my kit (see here) all ready and two loaves of fresh hand made bread. We will be camping just outside the castle in our reproduction 14C tents (no plastic groundsheets here!) and will be spending our days inside the castle being watched and filmed by several thousand holiday makers.
Two days with no spectacles and no shoes - such freedom.......
This is a couple of firsts for me - my first re-enactment as a signed up member of The Company of Chivary, my first Easter away from home and MB.
I will be back on Tuesday. Wish me luck!!
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Let’s see who can get the most people to participate! Is there a prize, d'you think??
Ready, set, go!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
[follow the links in bold for the full picture!]
[This will remain at the top of my bloggie for a couple of weeks - read on down for newer stuff!]
Since it started in 1994, Race for Life has grown to become the UK’s biggest women-only fundraising event. All the money raised by our participants helps fund the crucial work of Cancer Research UK – the world’s leading independent organisation dedicated to cancer research.
So far, over two million women of all ages have run, walked or jogged to raise over £140 million in sponsorship for the charity. This year we hope to raise £60 million for our life-saving work by bringing an amazing 800,000 women together to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Sunday, April 01, 2007
I have only just heard that Jim Cronin MBE died a couple of weeks ago in his home New York after losing a battle with liver cancer.
20yrs ago Jim and and his beloved wife Alison opened Monkey World in Dorset here in the UK on an abandoned pig farm.
Their first monkey was chimpanzee Charlie, who has become the epitome of Monkey World's ethos and Jim's devotion to his animals. Charlie was a beach chimp who, when rescued, was hooked on drugs, suffered terrible injuries (including a serious head injury and having all his teeth but three removed) and didn't know how to behave like a chimp.
For 20yrs Jim and Alison have travelled the world, rescuing apes from horrific conditions and giving them homes at Monkey World. They have battled against bureaucracy and highlighted the evils of the international live animal trade.Wherever possible they have brought the animals to a world of peace and caring, where they all learn to be apes again. Chimps, Orangs, Woolly monkeys, Ugly monkeys, Lemurs, Capuchins - you name it. Watching that process on the TV programme 'Monkey Business' was an honour.
Jim - you are and always will be a King amongst men and will never be forgotten. And I will be adding another name to my Race For Life - Jim Cronin.