ROUTINE MAINTENANCE AND UPKEEP
All links are sound with very few updates required to keep it all current. Nothing was sent to the morgue in any of the lists this month, and since it was empty, there were no resurrections to speak of. On the 27th I updated the cosmetics of my heraldry which required a scouring of the website for instances of the old image for update. As far as I can tell I got to all of it. There was a bit of fiddling to get the og:image and site token correct, with much gnashing of teeth and rending of shirts as I repeatedly scraped the Facebook debugger and uploaded the site repeatedly on different screens in different browsers in a variety of cog and incognito. I’m certain there is something I have missed, but as far as I can tell there are no errors which leave empty gaps or image errors.
I also took some time, with the new heraldry in hand, to go through and work on the featured image of many posts. The recommended size of the featured image seems to have changed, and this is in addition to the change from the old template to the new one. The automatic resizing of some of the older featured images leads to grainy, overblown pictures. I started reformatting many of the older pages, since the older posts were the worst offenders which the least compatible aspect ratios. One thing I noticed was the How Two Medieval posts all seemed to have a different style featured image as I was deciding how I wanted it to look over time. I have gone back and added uniformity to the posts, both by giving them all the same featured image, as well as shoring up the formatting of all the posts to resemble each other. I noticed I missed a couple episodes as pages on the site here, and I will add them over the next few weeks to avoid bombarding everyone with emails. I don’t know how to stop WordPress from sending an email to the subscribers every time I make a new post, even if it’s adding backdated posts. Between Medieval Herauld, the newsletter, some upcoming videos, and announcements for the ending of the #stabthecovid contest an email a day for a while is more than enough. Sending out three or four in a day is too much, I respect your inbox.
Pilgrim Progress Prizes
Matt and I are pleased to announce the pins for prizes in the Pilgrim Progress challenge has come in at last (blame Covid not us) and are already in the mail!
Winner of #stabthecovid
With everyone who has liked, shared, retweeted, etc. placed in a spreadsheet and using a random number generator (and after a finger drumroll on my keyboard) Michael Allender has been selected to win the #stabthecovid dagger! Congratulations Michael!
From Neep Manor
Barley Water Video
In a new series format I call “Medieval Cooking With Children” I explore medieval recipes and get real time, candid reactions of a nine year old with modern culinary sensibilities. This inaugural video is a recipe for a restorative recipe called Barley Water.
Guest APpearance: Living History Live
Living History Live formed during lock downs as an outlet for living history folk to do presentations despite the quarantine utilizing the live stream capabilities of Facebook for audience interaction. I focused on armor of the late 14th and early 15th century.
Troubles in Paradise
I am not entirely certain what is wrong with my computer, but it has been having fits and crashes for over a year now. Since it has been having problems for so long, it’s difficult to know what’s wrong with it this time. I’ve repaired and replaced almost everything at least once. The power supply, one of the fans, the boot hard disc, the graphics card. When changing the graphics card most recently I found the issue was partly the card and partly a damaged PCI slot. I’ve had to reinstall and repair windows… more times than I can count. Now it does this, which is a (much sarcastic) wonderful development. Getting a new computer which can run my editing software is a sizable investment, and even if I decided to stop doing videos entirely I still have to contend with all my notes and files, digital media, pictures, raw footage, records, recordings, etc. are locked up in the hard drive. So even if I can hobble along on other devices for the purposes of things such as this newsletter, it is going to be difficult to keep up with the production schedule and variety of services I have been offering without replacing this machine. I’m not sure when I can do that, as it’s not as easy as going to Walmart for a budget PC tower. If you want to help out, consider signing up for Patreon or dropping a donation directly through the website.
Community and Conversations
Hot Weather Concessions
I put the question to the hive mind: in areas hotter than their temperate northern European climate how did medieval folk compensate? The community was fairly split between two camps. On the one hand there are those who gave some compelling reasons as to why people would just suffer through. It was mentioned travel was slower which gives you time to acclimate. I think back to the last time I went to Hawai’i, it was February, and I got on a plane when it was 40 degrees and got off a plane in the 80s. Traveling by caravan or boat, the body has time to adjust. People who are used to it can put up with heat which we find unbearable once we’ve been made soft and docile by AC. The other camp mentioned entries into things such as journals where it mentioned, such as on the crusades, Europeans “going native” and adopting Saracen attire… motivations unknown but presumably comfort had to be a part of it. There also seem to be societal factors, such as nobles putting up with discomfort in the name of fashion in a way peasants tend not to. My secret motivation was finding a way to make my outfits tolerable to spend time out in them during blazing Kansas summers. My concern with the latter approach is, at least in living history contexts, the more you have to explain your impression the less effective I feel it is. If I’m wearing clothing which makes me appear to be from a different culture, or appear like I don’t know what I’m doing by putting together a mix of elements, it doesn’t make me feel any better if I say “Well I’m just a crusader appropriating local fashion for my convenience and comfort.” Instead I think a combination of tougening up a bit and reducing layers and making the equivalent of “summer weight” suits in medieval analogues with the lightest wool and linen which could have been used at the time is the route I plan to take.
In a desire to get back on the water, but to do so in an authentic fashion, I started a conversation across a number of channels in regards to what style of boat(s) would be used in England on inland waterways, such as lakes and rivers. The motivation being, I have lakes and rivers near me and wouldn’t mind putting out in a medieval boat on them for reenactments or just fun. The long introduction is here on Facebook. Even with the volume of conversation I have had so far, this is a topic in its infancy for me. Not only have I been lead to half a dozen different boat designs which may be applicable, I also now have two thesis’ to read on the subject, so it will be some time in research before I do anything about it. Especially since going from almost no carpentry experience to build a boat is a bit of a jump. Still, who knows, I may build a boat. If I do, I’ll document the process for everyone.
August Hall of Fame
A highlight of some of the most popular things on the Turnip Network. Do you have content you think is a candidate next month? Tag me on Facebook or use the hashtag #turnippicks on Instagram for a chance to be featured on the page, and if you make the top, a mention in the newsletter!
The nine #turnippicks photos posted in August and receiving the most likes in August are by (in order top left to right) Dmitry Makarenko, Nath Dos Reis, terraasilli, Tatiana Nikolaevna, Graue Ganse, Reenactment group “ERMINE”, Queen Elizabeth Richenza, We sew the history!, and Ewa Gillner! Check out these great Instagram accounts!
The top three most liked posts on Facebook in August were:
- Gold: A Moment in Time, a meme about the medieval unit of time – the moment.
- Silver: A photo album by Obrázky kreslené objektivem showing over a hundred photos depicting a siege of a small fort in Lorraine during the Burgundian wars, c. 1476.
- Bronze: A photo album by Pont-Croix 1358 showing the loading and sailing of their 14th century curragh Brioc.
The Medieval Herauld
How Two Medieval
Todd and I had a delightful time reading and responding to your questions in Episode 12 of How Two Medieval. This is the kind of fan engagement I enjoy, and why I have always been so community oriented in my approach to content. I look forward to doing something like this again soon.
The Greenwood Podcast
I had the pleasure to be a guest on The Greenwood, the podcast for the The Company of Little Dunmow. We discuss living history in the digital age and maintaining unit cohesion despite having to interact digitally during these difficult times with Covid. 1 hour 15 minutes.
Every month I release some sort of project for the community, be it a long form written article, an audio episode, or a video, or some blend of the above. The items below are the projects I have in various stages of completion, which are at a stage where they are capable of being the headlining topic for next month. Esquires and Knights of the household who support at high level tiers on Patreon have access to a monthly poll where they can choose which topic I will work on for the next month. If you want to cast your voice, become a Patron!
- 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.
- I have a simple, slender belt from Lorifactor I could review. Anything I wear I could review. Do you want more product reviews?
- More tent diagrams, from other companies or from more tent styles of the companies I already have worked on. Maybe re-do the hand drawn one in CAD like the new one is. 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.) Also, the dead computer doesn’t help.
- 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 purchased 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.
- Can you portray an Atheist or Godless medieval impression?
- How to tie an arming point? (Video and/or print guide.)
- How to use a fibula style brooch? (Video and/or print guide.)
- Practical example against cutting corners, using tent stakes and hammers as a reference. (Video)
- An article/video on medieval camping and comparing/contrasting slavishly accurate camping vs. modern reenactment “glamping.”
- Build a boat?
- Knotwork / ropework guide, either as a single large video/article or in a series (knots, bends, splices, marlinespike skills, etc.)