Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nailed it......!

First of all - a footnote to my last thousands of others, my boss has been stranded in Nairobi for the last week. Sounds idyllic, but it's not. I notice from the news that the airlines, travel agents, insurance companies and hotels have *not* been working together to manage the situation........typical. Now come on, you big business - help out the little man for a change!!

OK, now to my stuff :-)

Yesterday I delivered three different presentations in the space of two hours.

The first one was 'How to Deliver an Effective Introduction Brief to a Meeting'. Sounds boring? Well, you have to remember I am a H&S officer :-) And it was a ten minute presentation!
On the plus side, lots of the audience were nodding, looking inspired or taking notes - so some of it hit home.

Presentation number two was 'Display Screen Equipment Risk Assessment'. European law requires that suitable risk assessment is undertaken with computer workstations. So I did a quick whistlestop tour of the risk assessment and what the employer and the employee would be looking for. Again, not a funky topic, but they smiled a lot, took notes, referred to my handouts and asked lots of intelligent questions. And they laughed at my jokes - no, honestly......I come complete with jokes! I find people are more responsive and learn more when humour is included.

My final presentation was 'Life in the 14C' - and most of the room stayed for this optional extra. Using the photos I blogged recently, I talked about the different people, trades and life in general in the 14C, told stories, explained the appeal of re-enactment.
I knew I had hit home when, while looking at the stuff I brought in for them to see, one of the women asked if everything was sewn by hand in the middle ages....'..seeing as there weren't any sewing machines......?' she queried.
And no, I didn't laugh........honest.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pop goes the Now

We are currently in the middle of election fever - but the thrilling razzamatazz [yawn] of the British election process has been pushed off the top of the a volcano.

Forget the millions who have lost their lives in recent natural disasters - earthquakes stealing lives and homes and making millions miserable - Britain is grinding to a halt because of an volcano erupting on another continent.

Our airports are closed, our imports are threatened and the Eurostar is booked solid for days.

So -it being election month, can we put a positive spin on this 'disaster'?

No planes - less emissions and no nuisance noise.......good job!
No imports - more people buying local seasonal produce....good job!
No planes - lots of phone calls and texts means more business for the mobile phone companies, cheaper tariffs........good job!
No imports - more income for local producers.......good job!

I always think it's a good thing when the world is tipped on edge - because it stops us getting too presumptuous.
The 'Now' generation has had to become the 'Maybe Tomorrow, Maybe The Next Day' generation......and this is good for everyone.

Life is all about shaping your existence around things you can't change, not about expecting the world to shape around you.


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Company of Chivalry First Event 2010

Easter Campaign at Caerphilly Castle...

While her ladyship takes her leisure out of the cold wind with her maid and servant at hand...

...and his lordship prepares to repel the hordes...

...the trusty garrison sergeant watches over the peasants working in the market.

He checks the dyer and spinner is spinning......despite the wind and cold weather, she continues to spin with her drop spindle - so much more portable than her walking wheel!

The wood worker is happily turning wood using his foot-powered lathe - he's currently working on some candlesticks - having seen his work I have put my name down for a pair!

New addition to the community, orphan Sarah, is busily sewing her new hood from fabric donated by kindly folk...

...embroideress Mistress Little is seen teaching a young girl how to perform beautiful stitching...

...and Mistress Beryl the Tailor is industriously putting together her latest creation - I have ordered a dress from her...I just need to decide on the colours.

Elsewhere in the market, apprentice moneyer Master Legward is hammering coins. Whilst on campaign, the household moneyer brings the most popularly used coins, the penny and the half groat, to ensure some petty cash is available...

oh, look, I see the men are gathering around the lathe to chat about manly know, wood, weapons.......the length of your tunic....

A busy day at the market is kept fuelled by the company kitchen.....while Mistress Elizabeth and her apprentice prepare the midday meal of pottage, bread, cheese, boiled eggs, cold meat, fruit and dried fruit and nuts...

...Mistress Little takes a break from her embroidery to stoke the fire and turn the spit to cook the roast beef for dinner...

Of course, the fire does have to be watched constantly to ensure it doesn't go, ladies?!?

At the end of a long tiring day on the market, the girls nap where they can while the weather is dry...
From your medieval correspondent, complete with new hood from Mistress Beryl, this is Mistress Quene saying farewell from the fourteenth century.


Friday, April 02, 2010

Novels and History

Visitors to my story store will know I haven't published any stories lately or even continued with my novel. Unfortunately writers block has hit me and I haven't been able to exercise my imagination and put it to paper.
It's annoying because I know my novel is nearly finished - and I would love to finish it and even perhaps publish it.
I have had a couple of short stories published in the 'We are the Kitties' anthologies, written by and for blogging cats. Seeing my name (albeit my online persona) in print was such a thrill.
Anyway, in the meantime, I have posted a short story I knocked out one day after watching one of my favourite episodes of Star Trek! :-) So pop on over and have a look.

As we speak, I am putting together my kit for the first re-enactment event of the season - even though it is cold and miserable outside. Will you look at this bloody rain! Throw in some hail, thunder and lightning and that was the weather today!

Keep your fingers crossed the weather improves for the Easter weekend and we have a good start to the 2010 year!
I nipped out in a break in the rain/hail storm to work out how to put the seats down in my new car and took the chance to load some kit before the rain started again.....will you look at that space?? Positively echoes in that car!
Of course, it'll look fuller when it's full of medieval tent, a case full of kit and clothes, poles and pegs :-)


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Spring Cleaning at the Palace

Well, that's it. The furniture has been moved, everything has had a coat of paint my title bar has been redesigned, I've worked out what 'Followers' are and even my blogroll has had a dusting......

[sits back]

So - whaddyer think of the new look Palace?