medievallass: (Default)
Oh my goodness has it been a long time since I last posted! I have to admit that I feel embrassed about that. A great many things have happened, so many that I suppose the thought about writing about all of it has intimidated me into waiting this long! I guess the easiest way would be to make a a little list and elaborate from there.

The year started off with a terribly sad event, my Auntie Emma lost her battle with cancer. I plan to do race for the cure as soon as I can, in her memory. She was so sweet and although I only had a short time to get to know her I deeply appreciate that time we had.

In Feb. I got my first job! It felt really good to have a job and to be gaining work experince. However, it wasn't the most pleasant of jobs. I was working as a telephone survey researcher, which is really just a fancy way of saying I made cold calls to strangers and they hung up on me lol! The shift was usually a six hour shift from 3 0'clock to 9:00pm. The law required that we stopped calling at nine, thank goodness. I felt pretty badly called people past eight in the evening, but work is work. The big bummer about the job was that I felt like in stead of possibly helping people I was just disturbing them. Since the shift wasn't an eight hour shift we had a fifteen minute break somwhere in the middle. I found out this was just enough time to go to the toilet and make a cup of tea. The cup of tea being sorely needed by then. My coworkers seemed to have found a loop-hole in this because on the hour they would take a cigarrette break. Since I didn't smoke I just kind of kept working. I suppose I could have went out when they did, but then I'd just get lung-fulls of second hand smoke. Oh well, I kept my number of calls up which meant I was called it for all the jobs ^_^. However, I must warn any who would have this sort of job, work is VERY inconsistant! Since the bussiness had to wait for the client's reasearch head to give us the survey sometimes we didn't get one for a month. During this job I was without work for nearly two months. I called in everyday, but it wasn't really their fault. To use this as a segway, I didn't feel too bad when I left to go to England for ten weeks!

From May 15th to July 24th 2006 I was in England! It was so wonderful to see my Grandparents, and Auntie Ali and Uncle Antony. It was also so fun and liberating to be able to go to the pubs and order drinks and play pool, as well as to go all the great clubs! Ipswich is always alive with history and fun stuff to do. It's diffinatly an adventure compared with St. Helens lol!

My main goal with going to England, besides having a completely fab time, was to participate in the yearly Kentwell Hall Recreation! *Dun dun dun Duh! ^_^* The historical recreation at Kentwell Hall takes place in East Anglia at the town of Long Melford. Kentwell Hall is a 16th centry Tudor manor owned by Mr. Patrick Phillips. Every year the Manor and it's grounds are brought to life as it would have been in the Tudor era! It becomes like a living museum for three weeks! During the week school children from around the country would come to ask questions and observe. It was so lovely to answer their questions and stay in role while doing it. Faining ingorance of things was tricky, but at the same time amazing to do! I think it was take a whole book to explain what it was like to be coming from here in Oregon and doing such a wonderful re-creation half way across the world. I want to get something near to a book written up. For now though, I did write up some little bullet points all about it like a speech...

KENTWELL HALL IN BULLETS!

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

During the 2003 visit to Ipswich to see Granny and Grandpa we visited the Great Re-Creation!

I was amazed by the wonderful crafts that were taking place, everyone had a job to do, be it working on the pole lathe, spinning, serving in the house, or catching rats.

The detail in the costumes of all the social classes from gentry draped in fine velvet to the hags in their poor woolen cloth.

The absolutely lovely display of daily life in Tudor times. Often times the life of the gentry is shown in films, medieval fairs, and other historical re-creations, but it was wonderful to see all the skill, hard work, and how the daily life was for those who were not gentry as well.

The staying in character by the Kentwell paricipants was great fun and really helped add to the feeling that you had travelled to a different time.

At the time, as now, I was doing re-creation with the SCA, and felt a little out of place as a visitor and I wanted to join in!

APPLYING FOR KENTWELL HALL RE-CREATION

Grandpa interviewed Patrick Phillips (owner of Kentwell Hall) while writing his book Historical Farms of Suffolk. Grandpa told Mr. Phillips of my love of history and re-creation and asked Grandpa if I would like some information for becoming a participate.

I filled in everything I could think of to help show how much I wanted to be a part of the re-creation, down to not having dyed hair or braces on my teeth *lol*.

There were doubts about whether or not I could be involved or not. There are strict rules on attending the Open Days to explain about the event. These started in March. But due to living so far away I would not have been able to afford coming in March.

Fortunately I was given permission to come to the open day in May. ^_^

COSTUMES

While I was still in America work began on the costumes I needed for the event, with much help from two very patience and kind friends.

We all worked very hard on the costume Mum, my heroine, drove me from place to place, I bought much fabric and got much better at my hand sewing and pattern reading. I couldn't have made the costume alone that's for sure! We worked on the costume for a month.

On the May open day we met up with our heads of station. Ours in the Woolshed was Beth the weaver, she's lovely. I was over enjoyed to find that everyone in the woolshed was so kind. We also had our costume check...

My costume failed the check! I was so devestated. I had been afraid it might happen and it did it was like a weight falling down on me.

I was so terrified it was all over. I didn't know anyone with enough sewing experience in England to help me! Luckily the lady who had checked me invited me over to her house in Cambridge and she helped me to fix it.

It took us all weekend to fix it, mostly because we had to make a whole new bodice! However, fix it we did and I felt more confident. ^_^

WHAT WE DID AT KENTWELL EACH DAY

I was really nervous on the first day. I listened hard to try and get the knack of the Tudor Speech.

Each day I would get up out of my little camping bed and put on my Tudor clothes, ususally at 8:00 am but later at 9:00 am. Especailly for the first few mornings little things would go wrong with the costume. I lost the draw-string in my petty coat and had to re-sew it in I also snapped the leather lace for my bodice! As time went on though, I got more and more used to puting on the clothes and wearing them. Lacing became second nature and all the layers.

Breakfast was in the hidden stable-yard, I ususally had wheatabix or rice krispies. You could also have porridge and bread. I drank lots of Orange squash!

You reported to station ASAP. The school parties started arriving at 9:00ish and public visitors came from 11:00ish onwards.

Once on station you get into character (if you haven't already and make sure you aren't too tidy!). From there you would pick up something you started yesterday, or pick up something new. The work we did was card the wool for spinning, spin the wool on spindle or wheel, with or with out a distaff, then ply it for spinning, or wind it on a knitty noddy for the loom or dying. We chatted or sang while working often times.

Pottage (Tudor lunchtime food) was usually served about midday. We would go to the front sward (lawn) to get it. We went in turns so there would never be just on of us on station.

The pottage was a stew of cooked veggies, onions, carrots, parsnips, turnips, herbs like rosemary, beans not baked beans, leeks and lentals. It was very good for us and felt good to eat. However, after a time I did get tired of it and it got a bit harder to eat.

WHAT I LEARNED AT KENTWELL

I learned a great deal at Kentwell! I learned from Tilly how to do the Medieval an Tudor skill of finger loop braiding and even made a bit of money from it! It is tons of fun and I love knowing historical skills! I still do the loop braiding now, quite a bit.

I also got much better, and faster at my spinning. At Kentwell I used a spindle made from a broken arrow shaft and a little metal whorl forged at the foundery. I also learned how to ply my wool so that I can knit with it, which is very useful since I like knitting!

I also learned quite a bit about natural dyes from the dyers. I have two skiens I spun which were dyed in madder (red) and woad (blue) I'm very pround of them!

AFTER HOURS!

After hours was lots of fun! We always had a lovely dinner cooked by our amazing cook Christoff, he was brilliant I don't know how he managed to cook for over 200 people each day. He was always so cheerful, he's Polish as well, I hope he had a lovely time. His Jelly and Necterines was to die for lol.

Their was always plenty to do at night. Their were themed parties like the casino night one. That was my favorite. On Friday nights we had the Kally were we would to reels and circle dances for hours! ^_^

The thing I loved the most like I do at any re-enactment is talking with everyone. It is a beautiful thing to be with others who share my passion for history and who like to share their knowledge and you can share with them.

I met so many lovely people, who I'll never forget. Kind people who made the long journey all worthwhile. It's the people and the mutual love of history that made it all wonderful.

I learned I could live all by myself for two weeks, which made me feel conifident. I was a great learning experience. I saw fast and how easy it can be to adjust to a new culture, even a new time. I also noticed that re-enactors in general are very nice welcoming people, no matter where you are re-enacting. I had a lovely time I will NEVER forget! It has re-affirmed me in my love of history and my goal to get a degree in it, no matter how impractical it might seem I know I just go to do it. History is alive to me I just want to explore it untill I'm done with this world. ^__^ I am really really really lucky to be able to do something like Kentwell, I wish more people could do something like that.

March 2015

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