Posts tagged with "medievalling"
I spent the Queen's Birthday Weekend in Australia. In case you're wondering, in teh state of Victoria that means the second weekend in June. I think Queen Victoria had a birthday around then - the current Queen of Australia (better known as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England, or Lizzy M) was I think born in April.
Specifically, at Nordmannia's 10th birthday, celebrated at The Gathering, which is perhaps my favourite medieval event.
It's a small camping event in the cold - about 50-60 people usually, and the temperature is usually above freezing during the day and sometimes at night too. This year, unusually, it only rained for one afternoon (that's normally what keeps it warm).
Four days of hanging around in medieval gear, feeling the grass under my feet, being surrounded (unusually in Australia) by European trees with no leaves left, smelling of campfire, cooking, eating, and having fun.
We missed dafinn. We missed Kathryn. We missed the people who are still somewhere but weren't there. We raised a few to you all...
We enjoyed the food and the tavern and the weekend (I'll write about the tilting later ). Thanks Ian and Cliff for once again putting on a great weekend, MsHelle for organising the cooking, Heather and Rose and Fathma and Ants and Bex and Rags and Linc and Wok and Jeff and Katherine and Josh and Tommy and everyone else who helped out doing stuff.
Happy birfday Normans.
Quince paste is tasty stuff. Eat it on toast, by itself, with cheese (that's how the fancy restaurants serve it) or cook lamb with it (that's why I figured out how to make it).
Get quinces, lemons, honey, and some spices if you like (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, that kind of thing).
Wash the fuzz off the quinces. Chop them into chunks (don't worry about peeling and coring them, just chop away) and the lemons into pieces, put them in enough water to just cover them (if you use cinnamon sticks or whole cloves put them in now too), and cook them until they are really soft - gently now, maybe an hour or so.
Then you strain them through a sieve, a bit at a time. Basically you want all the nice soft bits that will go through with only a little convincing, and not all the had lumpy bits like cloves, pips, etc. This takes a while. And by now everything is sticky.
When you have strained it all, add about as much honey as you have mush. Now cook all this - once it starts to boil, it will stick to the bottom. You don't want that, so stir it. This bit takes ages (an hour or so if you go nice and slowly).
Eventually you get something that is pretty stiff - when you scrape it off the bottom it takes seconds to ooze back into place. This is REALLY sticky.
Put it in a container - I used plastic take-away food containers and a little bucket with a lid. I guess anything will do - and let it sit for about a day so it cools and goes solid slowly.
My Granny, who is in her 90s, is not well, having been quite sprightly until recently. I thought that she would no longer be with us last weekend, and was glad to be in Australia and able to see her. She is still in hospital, and at any time her condition can only be described as unstable. I can't predict the future any more than the next person - she may get better, and live to be 105, or 125. She may not. It depends on many things, including whether she really wants to.
Perhaps all of these things are twice my current lifetime away from me. Perhaps not. We lose people from time to time. An ex-colleague passed away very recently, somewhat unexpectedly and apparently peacefully, at an age between Granny's and mine, leaving a number of people dealing with their first experience of losing a colleague at work. Others have dealt with it many times over.
Life is a gift. The lives of those who pass through our own, and our own life, are a short time we have. But if I could, as Woody Allen said, achieve immortality not through my work, but by not dying, would I? I don't know. Every new day is a gift, and people are precious in part because you never know how long they will be there. (In larger part, the people who are really precious to me are so because of the particular person they are...)
So how should I be passing my days? How should I note the accumulating years? I guess I will finish my life, some time, having left undone things I wanted to do and things I really should have done. There are times when I should have stopped, looked around, sat down in the grass and done nothing, instead of obsessively reading mail (or writing my blog ) or running off on some very-important-at-the-time errand or crusade. There are other times when I should have got off my backside and done something.
I didn't make it to see Granny in hospital today. I hope she's OK. I'll go see her tomorrow. She doesn't want to be there. I don't like being in hospital either.
Happy birthday to me. I guess Timboctou was out of the question this year. Still. I get to go to the Gathering, and do some cooking. That will be fun (and a little cold in medieval clothes). If I see you somewhere, ask and I might bake you a cake In the meantime it is one of those moments when I should do something. Make dinner, in particular.
It was the feast that dafinn had wanted to see, had encouraged, finaly brought to fruition. It was a passing of batons, a revival of an idea, an acknowledgement of what life means.
It was also a good feed, a fun weekend, a chance for a chinwag and catching up. And it was a success.
Fathma Nachiar was the real push behind it. Many people help, but it always takes someone to plant the seed and say "right, we water it or it dies", rather than wondering "what if...".
Music from LeMal, belly-dancing first from Maggie and then from almost everyone (yes, among other things I can be convinced to do it), food from MsHelle, me, Heather, and Fathma, recipes from other times and other places, venue from Rosie, logistics from Josh, big help from Ants, Georgi, Tommy, Wok and Linc, and pitching in from others around made a great weekend in the Australian bush able to bring out the magic that medievalling can provide.
One new recipe that I will do again, but differently. Basically fish cakes - cook the fish and spices, then bind it with egg, add more spices, and fry off again. Delicious, but picking bones out of a zillion pieces of fish to make fishcakes isn't my idea of fun.
But last night I put on my mail - the armour that I made over a long time. I took my "object designed to represent a sword in theatrical and educational reconstructions of medieval times", and spear, (well, object designed...) and shield, and went to training.
I'm not a complete slob. I don't mind physical exercise as such. I don't like gyms because I get bored, and the same goes for running, normally. As my reader would be aware (oh, my readers - both I like swimming, when I get around to it. Which seems odd, since I just go up and down, up and down. I don't quite understand myself.
But for a long time my main form of exercise has been practising medieval style fighting - sword, shield, spear, armour, and so on. Living in Norway I don't really do it much, but the group that I helped found 10 years ago is still going, and when they are training and I am in Melbourne I try not to miss it.
It feels good. Hard work, skill and motor control, controlled agression, teamwork. All the things that make a sport. Plus 20 or so kg of weight, by the time I add a training shield and sword (slightly heavier than most originals, since the edges are thicker). It is like riding a bicycle. You don't forget, but you do get rusty. Being basically a careful kind of fighter, I enjoy feeling the control come back. After nearly two decades there are a lot of reflexes that have slowed with disuse, but not gone away completely, and there is a great feeling as they slowly start twitching again.
Although I won a few times, I lost quite a lot. I'm also not as fit as I used to be when I trained week in week out, so didn't last nearly as long as I once would have.
It's not winning or losing, it's how much fun it is to play. I had a fantastic time, and came out hot, sweaty, sore, tired, and smiling from ear to ear.
Widgets and things
Twitter, blogs, comments...
Twitter is quick, but not always great. I always wanted a blog made up of comments - and this link category is a step in making one :)
WYSIWYG Editors and HTML
Response to well-written blog explaining why "WYSIWYG Editors hate HTML5". I agree there are problems, I think there are solutions available.
WYSIWYG Editors and HTML, pt 2
Further exploration of how things really are and what can usefully be done.
JAWS got it wrong. Just handing over the keyboard is stupid - even if the role itself is not.
Entrevista con Jan Standal
Respuestas a los comentarios sobre una entrevista de Jan Standal (de Opera).
Opera Brasil na Noruega
Fotos que quero (e não)
(Muchos comentarios, un articulo)
Una conversación sobre la Web Móvil
Improving accessibility - what do we need?
It's not about one magic solution - this is a complex problem and lots of things need to be done.
Unite geolocation app
Cool ways to manage your own location data
Código abierto y Opera
Porque ser abierto no es la diferencía entre exito y la muerte.
HTML - a new standard
CSSquirrel suggests that listening to more people would make HTML better. I agree, but there are people who already influence HTML and should think about how they can do it better.
Walking in an exoskeleton, and why it isn't necessary
There is a big difference between (disabled) people achieving something, and expecting that everyone should do things "like us".