< link rel="DCTERMS.replaces" href="http://trappedcivilservant.blogspot.com" > Aginoth's Retirement Ramblings: Absolutely Knackered....and 20,000th Visitor :o)

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)


Blogger silentmum said...

Wow this looks fantastic- one of things I really miss is the heritage, although we do have mediaeval enactments here in Calgary, they are not quite the same as when they are done on the castle grounds...still looks like so much fun- I remember some enactments in Dartmouth and some bloke had to wear an amour and it weighed 7 stone and when they shot the cannon, we all had to open our mounth- something to do with the vibrations banging your brain around- to this day, I still have no idea if that was true or not- do you know A>?????

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 8:00:00 pm  
Blogger Aginoth said...

Yep it's true.

We have a cannon in the group and the public are asked to cup their hands over their ears and open their mouths when it is shot, this is to protect their eardrums from the shockwave.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 8:13:00 pm  
Blogger craziequeen said...

Yep, they suggest the audience to do the same thing during the siege of Berkeley Castle... :-) It's to prevent percussive damage to the eardrums.

I recognised your tent, A!! :-)

Fantastic - and well done to OOL for catching that magic 20,000!


Tuesday, April 18, 2006 9:34:00 pm  
Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

Aw that was so cool! Loved the pictures! I've seen various re-enactments here in the U.S., but to have the castle around you was something special. As for your decription coming home smelly, could you define "pong?" I've never heard that word before and was just curious about a definition for it. Thanks. :-)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 2:37:00 am  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

That is SO interesting!! :-) glad you're feeling well enough to enjoy these activities again.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 4:40:00 am  
Blogger Dodderyoldfart said...

"... Sausage, Bacon, Eggs, Black pudding,..lamb stew..Great huge bit of Beef...

Bugger me, book me in for lunch.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 8:35:00 am  
Blogger Dave said...

VV - Pong as 'you don't arf pong mate!' means 'perhaps you skimped on the deodorant this morning!'

Mr A - Looks suspiciously like a modern tent, where's your jousting tent then?
Also you really must post a picture of yourself in all the gear.

Good post.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 10:18:00 am  
Anonymous Lifecruiser said...

Sounds like FUN!

Maybe you're interested of our medevial posts:



Thursday, April 20, 2006 9:51:00 pm  

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