Monday, August 19, 2013

A week in the middle ages - or why I love time travel

It's the next best thing to travelling in the TARDIS.  I just got home from spending a week in the 14th Century.  For the week we slept, we worked, we ate, we lived at Fort Rodd Hill park; sleeping in cotton pavilions, working on medieval artisan crafts and cooking, and we ate foods from the history books, prepared by our own hands, cooked over fire.

Me winding a warp for weaving.
Beside me you can see signs of flax fibre being prepared for spinning.

My favourite part of the week, other than the days when I got to play work diligently in the kitchen, was interacting with the public.  I learned a lot about life in the Middle Ages that just isn't in the history books, but telling people about what I was doing and learning - that was awesome.

I have a lot of ideas of what to do for next year, which include spinning and spending more time in the kitchen.

The saddest thing for me was that we only spend one week a year travelling through history.  A week spent eating only old world foods, living in an environment with good airflow (albeit a lot of large biting spiders), and with like minded people, was very much my cuppa tea (or Herbal Infusion as tea hasn't made it to England by the 14th Century).  I wish I could do this all year, a different century for every season... but alas, the sheep need feeding, the chickens need cleaning, and all the other barnyard animals at home miss me too much.

Friday, August 02, 2013

A week in the middle ages

I'm about to spend a week in the Middle Ages.

The year is 1371 and we are travellers on our way to Canterbury.  Why are we going there?  Well, that's what people did in England in 1371.

One of the local parks has this event every year where people set up some tents and live life medievally.   All the cooking will be by fire, our days will be filled with medieval tasks with weaving and spinning and many other beautiful things.

(some photos from past years - a few from my own camera and a few from other's in the group)

This is really exciting for me, as not only will I be learning to cook over an open flame, but also learning (and teaching) many exciting things.  The park is open to the public during the day, but we will be there twenty four hours (except maybe to go home for a shower from time to time).  I'll be mostly in the kitchen or textile pavillion.

Although, I admit, the people I'm spending the week with are a bit intimidating - because they have done this many years before and know so much!  This will be my first time.  Even if I had an extra year to get ready, don't imagine I would feel that I know enough.  But if I look at this as an opportunity to learn, hopefully everything will go well.

It also means that for most of the month of August, I won't be near my computer.  This week, I'm getting ready to time travel.  Next week, the computer hasn't been invented yet, and the rest of the month, I have for catching up on the many things that need doing on the farm.

I need a new belt, so I'm attempting to get my head around tablet weaving.  So far the result is lovely but  keeping the warp threads organized is hell.  Eventually I'll figure something out, I'm sure.