It occurred to me when I published March is Madness, I was doing my monthly reviews all wrong. Why was I posting a monthly review on the second-ish week of the month? It makes a whole lot more sense to recap the previous month at the beginning of the following month. Kind of a ‘duh’ moment for me. So to put the schedule back on track I am checking in on the last few weeks of March (which is still Madness, by the way) and I’ll put out the next resource post in a fortnight.
International Reenactor’s Day!
March 29th was International Reenactor’s Day. I had never heard of it before, which is unsurprising as the page which was doing it purported it as the first ever. Always happy to participate, I decided to depart from the brocade and throw out something more martial imagery, namely a lightly armored fencer in one of my favorite I.33 wards as seen as the featured image to this article.
As part of a collaborative effort with The Agincourt Soldier I produced a video titled “What Is A Reenactor?” which you can watch if you click. I described the process and purpose of the video previously on the website, which you can read here.
How Two Medieval Podcast
We were lucky enough to have Trevor Clemons, founder of The Medieval Swordsman Guild of Kansas City, as guest for an episode on the dynamics of founding a group. You can listen here on the website, directly on Anchor, or add the podcast’s RSS into your favorite app.
Pilgrim Progress Challenge!
Yesterday, April 1st, started the Pilgrim Progress Challenge, where over the course of the month of April we go out and walk anywhere from 25 – 67 miles (while practicing safe social distance) to simulate the pilgrimage from the Canterbury Tales. Those who make 25 miles over the course of the month will be in a drawing for a pilgrim badge of our design. The full rules and leader board are up on the website. Karley and I kicked off the adventure with a little over four miles, but got smoked by Samuel who jumped out the gate with seven miles! Good job! Continue to tag your updates with #PilgrimProgressChallenge or leave your cumulative totals as comments to our mileage updates so I can keep everyone’s progress relatively accurate. Don’t forget, the entire thing doesn’t have to be done in kit, but if you find yourself out on the trail and feel photogenic there is a photo contest on Instagram running parallel to the mileage contest. The photo contest is period attire and background only, no modern elements. You have to like both The Agincourt Soldier and The Turnip of Terror on Facebook for the mileage prize and both (TAS & TTOT) on Instagram for the photo contest.
Passing the Time on Lockdown
As with the rest of the world we’re working odd hours and schedules here at Neep Manor. The turniplet is home from school and both the Lord and Lady of the house are working (mostly) remotely. This has led to some trying times, not bad times, but definitely requiring flexibility. Taking on the responsibility of home schooling the little one on top of my own schoolwork and vocation has made it difficult to work on other projects. I am working on them, but not with nearly the fervor of the past few months. Understanding the burden of entertaining children all day, by doing it myself, I have been trying to ease the load some by doing Storytime With Uncle T where I find old versions, or different versions from other cultures, of fairy tales and read them aloud on Live Stream. My intent is to do it every Wednesday until the school year would have otherwise ended. If there’s a call for it I’ll do it more often or continue through the summer break.
The Loss of Pilgrim
Pilgrim of Dana Point was a historic tall ship which I spent four years working and loving when I was in my early twenties. She sunk in her moorings, and it is a great personal loss to me on an emotional level. I wrote a tribute to her.
This is one of those projects which has not received the thorough research I would have otherwise wanted to invest in it, though I plan to pursue it further. I put up a question about why gloves in illumination always seem to be white, and received some good responses. I plan to cross post this question to some groups to get more conversation going when I have time to devote to the conversations, and it will either be explained in a monthly review post, or as an article of its own. The current information seems to be leaning towards gloves being white because they were made from animal hides which turn out more white than cow hide tends to. I will get to the bottom of it!
This Month Online
I actually have two cooking related items this review. First is an article by Monk’s Modern Medieval Cuisine, Language of Cookery 3: 14th-century English Pappardelle? I enjoy cooking, though medieval cooking is not something I’ve focused on with any intensity among my other interests. What I enjoy about this article, and the work Monk’s Modern Medieval Cuisine does in general, is watching him tease apart the granularity of nuance and interpretation; the real fine detail work of reconstructing and understanding the past.
The second is a live stream by The Agincourt Soldier on how to make medieval hand pies. The video is available to view on Facebook. Though there were some hiccups on my end, I was able to follow along and make a mighty tasty dish of my own. It’s not really hand pie sized, part of the whole hiccup problem, but still good.
Though not quite what was meant in period, with the Pilgrim Progress Challenge starting and it being a kind of a pilgrimage by proxy… I shared an article from the Medieval Manuscripts Blog, Pilgrimage by Proxy, explaining the medieval Pilgrimage by Proxy in more detail, the idea of having someone else walk your pilgrimage for you and it count as if you did it.
I pushed out two types of Memes recently. One was planned a while ago, and one was impromptu. On the left is one of my favorite quotes from my article about impression specificity set to a picture of me trying to look “call to action-y.” It generated a surprising amount of discussion. It’s the first thing I have posted to Instagram which resulted in a lengthy conversation. On the right is one I made, inspired by something I saw online, to put a medieval spin on a sentiment of support for all the essential workers who are going to their job despite the dangers. While it received tepid support by a few, I suspect there’s much to be learned in the art of single image statements.
Articles and Research Projects
The projects below have no specific order of urgency, so this is an opportunity to voice your suggestions or requests on upcoming content.
- A “Behind the Metal” interview featuring Trevor Clemons of the Kansas City Sword Guild, focusing on his considerable expertise and success with creating a crossover HEMA and living history group.
- A personal musing on making “consolation” purchases when you cannot wait or afford the perfect piece of armor or kit; exploring the boundary between “settling” purchases and ones simply “good enough for now”.
- I have a simple, slender belt from Lorifactor I could review. Anything I wear I could review. Do you want more product reviews?
- In the past, I hand drew some diagrams/floor plans for tents to establish an idea to what extent concepts like “headroom” and “floor-space” exist in any given tent. With access to a CAD program now, I have some far superior drawings of a series of Tentsmith Conical tents I could share as a resource. These drawings are very time consuming though, and with how many size/shape variations exist among the preeminent manufacturers of medieval tents, it will take me years to work through them all (or sufficient support to work on the website full time.)
- I went on a mission to find fixes to a persistent wardrobe malfunction where my hosen would bunch up on my feet and bind with the rough leather of my boots when putting shoes on over my footed hosen. I received a list of possible solutions, some of which I have tried and some of which remain candidates for experimentation. An article on the subject would include trying and documenting my experiments with all the suggestions.
- I am collecting old, dead tents to re-purpose their fabric for an “Archer Lean-To.” This project would be to benefit any group or encampment portrayal. The idea: unlike the Knight himself who would purchase a proper tent, the commoners who joined him on campaign might opt instead to take an old cast off tent which could be purchase for cheap or salvaged for free and use it to erect a shelter for themselves while on campaign. Hanging a rectangular swath of canvas, as a tarp, can allows a variety of options as a shelter. It could ornamented with cheap mattresses and other excess material culture to give the impression of three or four men (representing a few archers and camp servant in their absence) and provide a contrast in quality to my tent. I need to research, however, is if this is a speculative construction, a reenactorism I have seen others do without any primary documentation. Part of the project and the article would be doing said research.
- I have many video ideas, most of them centering around basic medieval concepts and skills which may embarrass the newest among us to ask, such as what’s the proper way to tie an arming point or how do you put on round fibula style brooches?
What topics would you like me to prioritize for you? What are you seeing on the website or the social media accounts you like or dislike? Drop me your feedback by comment or email.