< link rel="DCTERMS.replaces" href="http://trappedcivilservant.blogspot.com" > Aginoth's Retirement Ramblings: April 2006

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Off to 1370 again...

Car is all packed, weather is OK, forecast is iffy though...but it is a bank holiday after all.

and in an hour we'll be off to Caerphilly Castle for a couple of days reenactment, I'lltry to ge t apiccie of me in kit this time :o)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

More Bills

Here's some more footage of the Reeenactment group at Caerphilly over teh easter weekend.

The guy shouting is Master William

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Here's one I made Earlier...

Here's the Belt Pouch I spent yesterday making for Mrs.A. It measures about 8" x 5" x 1.5", it took me best part of 4 hours work to cut, punch and sew it. No Metal parts at all so it is good for our reenactment forays.

Now how many wives can say that their husband actually made their handbag/purse?....

Smug look ():-)

Still need to finish it off, gonna do a but of punch-work on the front and put a Celtic knot Design on it, plus the tightenig pull needs a glass bead on it to stop it pulling through...but it's almost done.

Today DiY Dad will be building a Shutter for Aginoth Juniors Bedroom window so he can black out the sunlight in the morning that is waking him up early :o)

Oh and happy St.Georges Day :o) .... But more importantly Sahkespears Birthday (and Deathday) ... There really should be a National holiday, this is our National day after all !!

Update: 1300 We've just spent the last 2 hours at ASDA in Weston-super-Mare in 14th Century Kit raising money for the reenactment group ao that we can fund another group in Italy to come visit us and do a joint event later in the year. Agi,Jnr it turns out is a natural at taking donations, in an hour he took over double what an adult managed to take !!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Busy Day at the Leatherworks...

Just a quick hello, as I am making an effort to post at least once a day...and it is still Saturday just :o)

Been Busy all day doing some leatherwork, Mrs.A needed a Pouch for Reenactment, as we don't have any pockets, so I have spent the day making her a pouch. Has taken me quite a few hours...all hand sewn and hand made clasp, I'll take a piccie and put it up tomorrow.

Despite my best efforts to make Mrs.A have a lie in this morning she still go tup at 8am, I wasn't going to wake her till at least 9...ah well.

Took Agi.Junior and LMD out this afternoon for a couple of hours down into town, went to the one-day only continental market that was on in town and treated myself to a couple of and made salami (Smoked Pork with red wine) and introduced Agi.Junior and LMD to Bratwurst and Saurkraut...they liked the bratwurst, but Saurkraut is a bit of an adult taste I think and they weren't so keen.

Off now for a supper of Mature Cheddar on toast and some of that Salami...yummy

Friday, April 21, 2006

Vlog - Weekend Activity

Here's a short video of what our reenactment group do at the weekends, this is the Bill Drill that I posted a piccie of a few days ago... this was posted by one of the spectators on another site.

I do like the Vlog thing :o)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Aginoth

1. I'm Impressed with Myself I learnt how to embed a Vlog into my Blog today see previous post for the clip of Mrs.A on the News talking about our incident at the Pool...

2. We are well and truly back into reenacting

3. I play a PBEM game called En Garde set in 17th Century France, and everything I planned worked this month :o)

4. I'm still addicted to Eve-Online

5. I've been stopped in the street by people who have see me and Mrs.A in the National and Local Press over teh last 2 weeks.

6. I'm Skint

7. I now know how to make Soap

8. I have made 68 bars of Saop in the last week

9. I hope I can sell all that soap

10. I don't use soap !

11. NO I don't Smell it's bad for my Psoriasis

12. I use something called emulsifying Ointment instead.

13. Only 7 days till teh next reenactment at Caerphilly Castle.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

We have the Technology...Here come my First Vlog

This will be interesting...my first attempt at vlogging.

So if this works the clip below should be of Mrs.A on ITV West News from last week about the Sedgemoor Splash Swimming Pool Incident... Fingers Crossed

Video Hosting - Upload Video - Photo Sharing
And I shall now expect a large round of applause and many pats on the back...:o)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


So there I was driving home thinking "I know what I'm going to blog about this evening...."

And what do I find? Mrs.A has beaten me to it...Diabetes Inhaler rejected for Prescription in UK on Grounds of Cost to NHS She has covered it here. But I'm going to do a bit on it too anyway

Exubera for Type 1 and 2 diabetes costs on average £1,100 per person per year but patients would still need injections at night. The inhaled insulin is the first non-injected option for insulin therapy since the discovery of the treatment for diabetes in the 1920s. Currently About 800,000 people in the UK manage their condition with daily injections of which about 100000 are type 1 (Don't produce Insulin) the rest Type 2 (produce insulin but their bodies use it inefficiently)

I'm a Type 1 Diabetic, I inject 4 times a day. The current cost of my insulin prescription to the NHS is approximately £1100 by complete coincidence. Of this about £600 is my daytime insulin (3 shots), £400 is my Night time dose (1 shot) and the rest is the cost of the needles.

For many of us injections are although necessary only done because it's that or die slowly, I myself was very needle phobic before I had to start injecting, and still occasionally have problems despite having been shooting up insulin 4 times a day for over 6 years now, I still hate to be injected by anyone else. I would love to have the inhaled insulin.

Think about it...that's 4 injections a day...28 injections a week...1456 times a year, for the rest of my life. And that doesn't include the extra innoculations, regular bloodtests, blood glucose testing. Sometimes I feel like a bloody pincushion and I really would like not to.

For the sake of £8 Million Pounds, No that's not right....actually £3-4 Million Pounds more than what is now being spent, the lives of 800,000 people could be improved. What is £3-4 Million pounds to the NHS that last year had a budget of over £69 BILLION.

Perhaps they could sack a few hundred unecessary managers to fund it? Did you know that despite spending increases of 12% on the NHS last year the actual increas in money spent on Medical care Doctors and Nurses only went up by 2.4%, something isn't right there.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Absolutely Knackered....and 20,000th Visitor :o)

Firstly congratulations to Old Old Lady for being my 20,000th Visitor :o)

We're back from the Wilds of Wales and Caerphilly Castle. We got home at a sensible time yesterday evening, about 1930, and we we're filthy; quite frankly we stank. It's one of the hazards of reenactment as a hobby, several days of living under real canvas (single skinned) exposed to 18 hours of Wood smoke a day whilst having no real washing facilities at all other than a sink in a toilet tends to make one pong slightly.

But it was fun.

We go to tthe Castle at 1430 on Saturday for our first event with the new group (The Company of Chivalry) and terrified a few tourists by driving in through the front gate over the modern replacement Drawbridge

And set up camp in the Outer Ward...

Our Tent is the White one at the back with the awning on the front...

The Siege Engines at the Castle were right next to our camp

From Front to back you can see a Catapult, A Trebuchet, and a Man-powered Catapult (There's a Mangonel/Onager as well just out of shot)

Anyway we got there unloaded and then had Dinner of Sausages, Eggs and Bread cooked over our Fire Box, went to bed in eager anticipation of the next couple of days.

Sunday morning 0700 the kids woke us up, not to bad for them in teh tent, they usually awake when the sun comes up (just before 6am) but thankfully this hadn't happened. We got up and dressed and headed up to the "Kitchen Tent"

Drill was at 0800, all the men have to take Drill with the Bill. The Bill is a Polearm weapon, dating from the Late 14th Century and used for several hundred years after in various forms. It is between 6 and 12 feet long with varying shaped heads that were developed from the agricultural Billhook Tool

Drill was actually a quite light-hearted affair (Agi.Junior and LMB joined in on Sunday Morning too with limited but amusing sucess)

After drill was a HUGE Breakfast of Sausage, Bacon, Eggs, Black pudding, and Bread tasting all the better for being cooked over an open fire.

After that we moved all our vehicles and all trappings of the 21st Century out of sight and went medieval...to 1370 to be precise. This shot from the rear of the castle... also free of modern clutter...

We spent the rest of the day in 1370 demonstarting to the public the making of soap. We made Castille Soap from Beef Dripping (Tallow), Olive Oil, Lye, Salt and Water. Due to time constraints we had to cheat a little and use Caustic Soda instead of Lye and Salt, but it's the same thing (excepting Caustic Soda wasn't discovered til several Centuries later). I'm not going to go through the whle process, but I'll just say that it needed to be stirred constantly for 2 hours before it thickened enough to be poured into it's mould.

24 hours later it is hard enought o turn out and to cur up into bars.

(Place holder for Soap Picture)

LMB was detirmined to make her self useful so we had her make Daisy tea to be added to the soap (it acts as an astrigent). Her she is doing just that...

In the afternoon there were a couple of demonstrations by the soldiers in teh group, one of Bill Drill done properly....

But then they did have a little encouragement.....

And later the French invaded......

Dinner Was a Great huge bit of Beef cooked over the fire, with Lamb Stew and Trenchers of Bread...Yum

Day 2 (Monday) was much the same excepting the weather if anything improved, we had sun for most of the day and temperature of about 14°C, which meant we all got a little red cheeked and I managed to sunburn my Neck. D'oh.

We finished at 5pm on Monday packed everything away, and other than a few tyre tracks there was little sign of us having been there.

We'll be back at Caerphilly castle in 10 days time to do it all again, and maybe sell some of the finished Soap

If your near by come and see us :o)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I'm sure I was fitter than this...

Packing teh car for this weekends reenactment, It's 9am and I've already been at it for an hour...when any sensible person would be in bed having a weekend lie in. But I have around 500 kilos of kit to shift and pack into the car (thats about half a ton to you Imperial users).

Haven't done this for 2 years, and Bloody hell this stuff is heavy ! I'm gonna be knackered by this evening, still have to drive to Caerphilly and unload, then set-up camp. Still all this hard work must be good for me; at least that's what I keep telling myself. Looking forward to a few bottles of Cider this evening and a glass of 5 of Mead.

Time for a bite of Breakfast then back to it....

I'll try and moblog if the system lets me when we're away, if not I'll post piccies of the event on Monday Evening.

Only downside to this weekend.....I'll Miss the start of teh New Series of Doctor Who tonight :o(

Friday, April 14, 2006

Beer Scooters - Myth or Reality

Thanks to Bionic Dwarf for this one....

As hard as you try, you cannot piece together your return journey from the bar to your home. The answer to this puzzle is that you used a beer scooter.

The beer scooter is a mythical form of transport, owned and leased out to the drunk by Bacchus the Roman god of wine. Bacchus has branched out since the decrease in the worship of the Roman pantheon and bought a large batch of these magical devices.

The beer scooter works in the following fashion: The passenger reaches a certain level of drunkenness and the slurring gland begins to give off a pheromone.

Bacchus or one of his many sub-contractors detects the pheromone and sends down a winged beer scooter. The scooter scoops up the passenger and deposits them in their bedroom via a trans-dimensional portal.

It is not cheap to run a beer scooter franchise, so a large portion of the passenger's in-pocket cash is taken as payment. This generates the second question after a night out 'How did I spend so much money?'.

Beer scooters have a poor safety record and are thought to be responsible for 90% of all UDI (Unidentified Drinking Injuries).

An undocumented feature of the beer scooter is the destruction of time segments during the trip. The nature of trans-dimensional portals dictates that time will be lost, seemingly unaccounted for. This generates the third question after a night out 'What happened?'

With good intentions, Bacchus opted for the EMIT (Embarrassing Moments In Time) add on, that automatically removes, in descending order, those parts in time regretted most. Unfortunately one person's EMIT is not necessarily the EMIT of another and quite often lost time is regained over a suitable period.

Independent studies have also shown that Beer Goggles cause the scooter's navigation system to malfunction thus sending the passenger to the wrong bedroom often with horrific consequences. With recent models including a GPS, Bacchus made an investment in a scooter drive-thru chain specialising in half eaten kebabs and pizza crusts.

Another question answered!!

For the family man, beer scooters come equipped with flowers picked from other people's garden and Thump-A-Lot Boots. These boots are designed in such a way that no matter how quietly you tip-toe, you are sure to wake up your other half. Special anti-gravity springs ensure that you bump into every wall and the CTSGS (Coffee Table Seeking Guidance System) explains the ringbarked shins.

The final add-in Bacchus saw fit to invest in for some scooters is TAS (Tobacco Absorption System). This explains how one person can apparently get through 260 cigarrettes in a single night.

All much clearer now?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

More Media coverage and birthday celebrations

I know I know no blogs for 10 days then I do 2 in the space of 3 hours !!!

The BBC have picked up on the story...we are now on the BBC News Website


Scan of Story in Weston and Worle News Above (Click to Enlarge)

Although theyhave missed out a couple of salient points such as the Approved Code of Practice the Council claims to be following was recinded over a year ago because it was discriminatory to larege and Single Parent Families, and could restrict the chances of children in those circumstances from learning to swim at as early an age as possible.

Anyway...as I'm here, we're still Dress Making...nearly done now 1 shirt, 2 underdresses, 1 pair of Hose Completed. 1 Kirtle (Sleeved Dress in Wool) Cut and ready to sew. in process of cutting a Wollen Tunic and a Kirtle for LMD. Then just 2 Cyclas to go (Wollen Sleeveless Overdress)

That's the morning taken Care of

We're off out celebrating Cyberkitten's mumbly mumble Birthday this afternoon, going out for Pasta blowout, Bowling and then off to see Ice Age 2: The Meltdown....

What do you mean why am I not at work? It's Maunday Thursday today and all UK Civil Servants get the Afternoon off today as an extra public holiday (taken Annual Leave this morning)...

So what's special about Maunday Thursday that warrants Civil Servants getting a Half day you may well ask....History Lessons are us...So in addition to being a day when all teh Civil Servants in the UK head out to get bladdered down the pub. Follow the link below about Maundy money That's why we Civil Servants have today off.

Courtesy of Wikipedia....

In the
Christian calendar, Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, is the Thursday before Easter, the day on which the Last Supper is said to have occurred.

The Middle English word Maundy, used only in this context, derives from Old French mandé from Latin mandatum novum do vobis, "a new commandment I give unto you, love one another as I have loved you" (John xiii:34), words spoken by Jesus to the Apostles after washing their feet in preparation for The Last Supper. Foot washing is increasingly popular as a part of Maundy Thursday liturgies in many churches. Washing of the Feet has been a traditional component of the Armenian Orthodox Church.

The day has also been known as Sheer Thursday, due to the idea that it is the day of cleaning (schere) and because the churches themselves would switch liturgical colors from the dark tones of Lent. This name is a cognate to the word still used throughout Scandinavia, such as Swedish "Skärtorsdag", Danish "Skærtorsdag" and Norwegian "Skjærtorsdag".

In the Roman Catholic Church, it is generally referred to as Holy Thursday.

In the United Kingdom, the monarch traditionally distributes Maundy money.

In Germany, the day is referred to as "Gründonnerstag," a word built of two roots, "grün" ("green") and "Donnerstag" ("Thursday"). However, the word "grün" probably does not mean "green" in this case. While its etymology is somewhat unclear, many trace it back to "grinan" ("to wail") in Old High German, a word connected with the English "groan".

In the Philippines, a popular Maundy Thursday tradition is the Visita Iglesia (Church Visit), which involves visiting several Churches at which the faithful commemorate the vigil that the Apostles kept while Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. The last Mass before Easter is also celebrated on Maundy Thursday, usually including a reenactment of the Washing of the Feet of the Apostles; this Mass is followed by the procession of the Blessed Sacrament before it is taken to the Altar of Repose.

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Aginoth

1. We Complain well and we complain Loudly

2. Shops and businesses really should beleive me and Mrs.A when we say we are going to go to the media (see the posts before this)

3. I have today off work cos I'm a Civil Servant and it is Maundy Thursday :o)

4. I am covered in bits of lint and thread from cutting out dress patterns

5. Our Medieval reenactment season starts this weekend

6. We'll be at Caerphilly Castle reenacting on Sunday and Monday.

7. Amazingly it looks like the weather forecast is good for this weekend, very unusal to reenact if it isn't raining

8. Looking forward to going to see Ice Age 2 today

9. So far in the last 2 weeks me and the Family have appeared on or in ; The Daily Mail, LBC News, The Wright Stuff (Channel 5), ITV West News, BBC online News, BBC Somerset Sound Breakfast show, Various local newspapers in Somerset.

10. We have learnt The Sun may be interested in running the story

11. What Story....Oh go see my wife's blog

12. It's about now that I run out of things to say...

13. Just been handed a letter by Mrs.A. North Somerset Primary Care trust have granted my funding for the drugs I want to try to keep my Psoriasis under control...cost is £10k a year and it has taken me over a year to get the funding

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

No More Anonymity....

Well I really want to post the story run in the National Press about us today and our ongoing fight against Sedgemoor Council and Sedgemoor Splash swimming pool...see Mrs.A's Blog for full details, posts since 26th March have been dominated by it :o)

Slowly we have been contacted by a wide spectrum of the media in the UK who want to run the story, today is teh first day it has gone national, we warranted a 3/4 page spread on Page 5 of The Daily Mail, and have been featured on one of Londons main radio stations LBC. In addition we have alread been on BBC Somerset Sound, in several local papers, on the ITV West News (Morning Lunch Evening Discussion, and Late Evening)....and now the BBC has called us today as well !!!

Anyway here is the Daily Mail Picture and the text of the story, so all in one go you'll know what we look like and our real names SHOCK !!!

Click to Enlarge

and here's the body text of the story...

Sunk by safety rules
Lifeguard instructor is told she can’t take children in swim pool
Barred: Keren and David Townsend with their children

A LIFEGUARD instructor and her husband, a health and safety officer, were banned from taking their three children into a toddlers’ pool – because of health and safety rules.

Keren and David Townsend took Ethan, five, Caitlin, two, and Alyssa, one, for a swim in the 2ft 6in-deep pool.

But staff at Sedgemoor Splash in Bridgwater, Somerset, refused them entry because council regulations demand that each child must be supervised by one adult.

Yesterday, 33-year- old Mrs Townsend, a former swimming pool manager, said that such stringent rules put lives at risk because they deter parents from teaching their youngsters to swim.

‘It was absolutely ridiculous,’ she said. ‘The children are all happy and confident in the water and we can hold on to all three of them.

‘This attitude is going to cause more drownings because swimming is such a vital skill.

‘Councils should be encouraging more parents to put their kids into the water so that children can learn in a safe environment.

‘If children don’t go with their mum and dad when they’re young, then they try swimming alone or with their friends in rivers or quarries. It’s a recipe for disaster.’

Mrs Townsend, of Westonsuperhas several diving, swimming and lifesaving qualifications, including the Royal Life Saving Society’s lifeguard trainer certificate.

But her qualifications counted for nothing when the family visited Sedgemoor Splash fun pool on March 26.

The pool, which is run by Sedgemoor District Council, is 5ft 2in at its deepest point of the adult pool, but the toddlers’ pool is separate.

The outing was meant to be a treat after 35-year-old Mr Townsend – an environmental health and safety officer for the Civil Service– had spent time in hospital.

The family were refused entry unless they had a third adult to supervise the children. Mrs Townsend asked the duty manager if he could bend the rules because of her extensive experience and qualifications, but he refused.

The pool was following guidelines issued by the Institute of Sport and Recreation Management, which oversees swimming pool management in Britain.

That advice originally recommended a ratio of one adult per child under five, and one adult for every two children between five and seven.

However, last year the guidelines were relaxed to state that in a ‘controllable non-swimmers area’ one adult can safely supervise two under-eights.

Despite the revised guidelines, Sedgemoor Council has stuck to the more conservative advice.

Mrs Townsend said: ‘What are couples with more than two young kids supposed to do? Find another adult out of nowhere or leave a child behind?’ A council spokesman said: ‘Sedgemoor Splash is a fun pool, with lots of jumping around. That’s why we insist on the ratio.

‘Our customers’ safety is our top priority. We are not killjoys.’ A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said: ‘The council is probably being conservative, but each pool has to be assessed on its own risks.

‘There are lots of reasons why a pool could be difficult to patrol safely, including foliage or furniture, as well as the shape of the pool.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

We work work work work, work work work work, work the weekend through

This weekend we have mostly been playing tailor and seamstress. In preparation for the new re-enactment season we have started amking teh childrens clothes which we hope they won't grow out of to quickly (fat chance)

So far we have completed a linen underdress for LMD, and patterned and cut the parts for a tunic for Agi.Junior, the rest of the week will be spent in a similar guise, with only 2 weeks to go until we trot up to Caerphilly Castle, pictures may become available at some point :o)

For those who don't know we are members of The Company of Chivalry, portraying life in 1370 just before the Black Death hit Britain (1374) and the Peasants revolt.

Our events list is on the group website and your welcome tocome along and see us in action, I'll probably be seen making soap whilst Mrs.A is helping with the clothing and seamstressing display this year.

Caerphilly Castle (From Castlewales.com)

Sunday Joke

A young newly wed couple wanted to join a church.

The reverend told them, "We have special requirements for new parishioners. You must abstain from sex for one whole month."

The couple agreed and after two-and-a-half weeks returned to the Church. When the Pastor ushers them into his office, the wife is crying and the husband obviously very depressed.

You are back so soon... Is there a problem?" the Reverend inquired.

"We are terribly ashamed to admit that we did not manage to abstain from sex for the required month...." the young man replied sadly.

The Reverend asked him what happened. "Well, the first week was difficult.... However, we managed to abstain through sheer willpower.

The second week was terrible, but with the use of prayer, we managed to abstain."

"However, the third week was unbearable. We tried cold showers, prayer, reading from the Bible.... anything to keep our minds off carnal thoughts.

One afternoon, my wife reached for a can of paint and dropped it. When she bent over to pick it up, I was overcome with lust and had my way with her right then and there." Admitted the man, shamefacedly.

"You understand this means you will not be welcome in our church," stated the Reverend.

"We know." said the young man, hanging his head. "We're not welcome at Homebase either."