In between sitting in my study working on my writing, I've been out and about over the past few weeks researching and learning a lot about all sorts of things.
As many of my blog readers know, I use the Akashic Records to get at the people I write about. http://www.elizabethchadwick.com/akashic_record.html Alison, (who accesses these records for me) and I, were invited to give a talk and demonstration at the conference of the British Society of Dowsers in Cirencester. http://www.britishdowsers.org/ We were invited for the entire weekend to Cirencester Royal Agricultural College and so as well as our own talk, were able to attend several lectures by other speakers, including one on using dowsing rods in an archaeological context and a very fascinating and disturbing one on Electro Magnetic stress - what all those wireless microwaves bouncing round your house are actually doing to your health, and how to minimise the effect. The worst offenders in the home are cordless phones and wireless internet. The information on digital baby alarm monitors was horrific. Roy Riggs, the lecturer, has a website here:http://www.royriggs.co.uk/
Alison and I gave our talk - how we came to use Alison's ability to tune into the past, what it means to us, how I work with it. We gave a short demonstration and took questions. In the audience, specifically to see us was Peter Stewart, a professor of physics who is working on the same thing as us from a scientific perspective. He uses the terminology 'Remote viewing' for what Alison is able to do and has conducted several successful experiments himself whilst engaged in obtaining the scientific data to bring to the mainstream.
Cirencester Royal Agricultural College
Home from Cirencester, it was off to Rufford Park with my re-enactment group the Conroi de Vey for a day's cooking in Sherwood Forest - beef and veg stew.
Addressing the dinner whilst a colleague spins wool.
And then the last full weekend in October it was Nottingham's famous Robin Hood Pageant, where the good, the bad and the seriously scary all unite to celebrate a broad spectrum of medieval themes under the umbrella of that most famous of outlaws. I had cooking pot duty again (which is my preference. I'm a reasonable cook and in the colder months, having charge of the cauldron means a fire and shelter from the rain). Saturday's dishes consisted of a meatball stew with mushrooms and onions for the meat eaters and a leek, onion and parsnip soup for those who had foresworn meat. As nibbles there were cheese and turnip pies, leche lumbard (a kind of fruit spread made with dates) cheeses, apples, pancakes and a smoked ham. Sunday was more of the same re the nibbles, but the hot food consisted of a vegetable and barley pottage and a lamb and apricot stew for the meat eaters (high status, but delicious!).
While there, I bought 2 tavern pottles for holding wine, dateline 13th-15thC. The mostly unglazed aspect of the pottles mean that they could be steeped in boiling water and which acts act like a thermos, so they were ideal for holding mulled wine.
The little bit of glaze on these ( replicas of Kingston on Thames ware) is purely for decoration and snob factor. Height is about the size of an upright postcard. I also bought a hunting lodge mazer - a ghastly item dating from circa 1250 onwards. It has a representation of a deer and forest trees inside the body of the cup, so that as you drink down the wine, the tableau is revealed. It's a fascinating but horrible (to modern eyes) piece of work, rather like a tacky gift from the seaside. I just had to have it for show and tell!
Another item to add to my show and tell collection was an arrow. This is typical for circa 1200. It's poplar wood with goose feather fletching, bound with linen thread and secured with rabbit skin glue. Overall length is 2 feet 10ins. I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of one of these!
That's me done with re-enactment for a few months now. I am thinking of taking up spoon carving over the winter though...Here's Robin Wood's take on the matter with a video to click on at the left hand side http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/spoon-carving.htm Robin's site also shows what a porringer is, and you can even buy one. http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/bowls-plates.htm Philippa Gregory once said that she would never write the word porringer in one of her novels, so this is what one is (5th on the right) in case you were wondering!
Next time up - some Akashic excerpts from my Empress Matilda research.
Stirring the cauldron, courtesy of Alan Woolhouse
Credits go to Janet Walters for the photograph at the top of the blog.