Monday, April 29, 2019

Goats and Good Friends, the perfect day.

    Thank you Norma and Carol for  
     inviting me to the Greeley Goat show. 
 We lucked out on the weather, 
                         and saw some wethers!                                        Sweet La Mancha does.             
 Goats were among the first domesticated animals.          Between 10,000-11,000 years ago, Neolithic farmers in the Near East starting keeping small herds. Today over 300 breeds of goats exist, living on every continent except Antarctica. From tropical rain forests, to dry hot deserts and cold high altitude regions they have survived. 
                      Image result for image Bezoar ibexes alive
  Every breed is adapted from the wild Bezoar Ibex.  
       Glad mine do not have horns this large!
                                       ****
           At the show, there were lots of babies
                           to oooh and aaaaah over.                
                       
                           pygmy goats


 
 

Nigerian Dwarf goats 

                           One of my favorites breeds...
the Nubians
 
                                 
    






For me,"Best in show" was this huge Boer billy goat. Compared to the other animals he seemed massive. Although I know he could stomp me flat if I got inside his pen, he acted gentle, and I thought he was very special. 
   We spent hours enjoying all the goats and friendly folks. Lots of young girls and boys showing animals they had obviously spent many hours working with and grooming. 
                             Boer goat judging
                      
                         We came packin' (lunches) 
        so took a break to refuel before the drive home. 
                        A wonderful relaxing day.


                                   THE END
                                                  
    



Monday, April 22, 2019

Colorado Tartan Day, Celebrating Scottish Independence and the Declaration of Arbroath

     Shared a wonderful day with my sister at the Boulder County Fairgrounds during the Tartan Day festival. Here is the Colorado state tartan!
  There were several tents set up creating a Scottish
village offering sights and sounds begging us to explore and experience all things Scottish. 
  
We discovered armor, antique weaponry, demonstrations of spinning (this nice lady explained the drop-spindle which I have yet to master) beautiful
clothing, and books on clan history. And all the while we listened to amazing Highland Rock and Roll performed by the Angus Muhr group                                               
Image result for angus mohr

          There was a blacksmith demonstration, 

    We had a rare glimpse of a Faerie, as well as numerous Scottie dogs. 
For Steampunk lovers there was a leather helm fashioned after the headgear worn by physicians in the middle ages during the plague years.  
Above items created by Michael Trent 

About Tartan Day 
Originating in Canada in the mid-1980's, Tartan Day is a North American Scottish heritage celebration of Scottish Independence. Held in the Spring, the gathering commemorates the April 6th, 1320 signing of the Declaration of Arbroath.
                
   Submitted on that date, in Latin, to Pope John XXII, the intention was to confirm Scotland's status as an independent, sovereign state, while defending Scotland's right to use military action when unjustly attacked.
     
    Believed to have been written in the Arbroath Abbey by Bernard of Kilwinning, Chancellor of Scotland and Abbot of Arbroath, the letter is the sole survivor of three created at the time. 
                            
                                            Arbroath Abbey
     The others were a letter from the King of Scots, Robert I, and a letter from four Scottish bishops which all presumably made similar points.                                               
 Steeped in turmoil and political intrigue the declaration was part of a broader campaign for independence from England's Norman kings and a plea to lift the excommunication of Robert The Bruce.
  
    Here are the most famous lines from the English language translation by Sir James Fergusson, Keeper of the Records of Scotland. 
  ...for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.
             
               Woot woot thanks for stopping by. 
                                 
 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Bayeux Tapestry

                To the Victor go the Spoils,
                  Image result for images bayeux tapestry
 and the opportunity to record history from their point of view. The amazing Bayeux Tapestry is just such an example.                         Image result for images the bayeux tapestry
 For many years, I have been captivated by the beauty, artistry and mystery of the Bayeux Tapestry, and recently have begun reproducing a tiny portion of this historical treasure. 
 

      Thanks to Youtube, I watched instructions (from Bayeux, France!) showing the two main stitches used throughout the tapestry. One of them is actually known as the Bayeux stitch. 
              Image result for image bayeux tapestry length
  Almost 1,000 years old, the Tapestry is more than 70 meters long (that's over 230 feet). It depicts one of the most pivotal moments in British history--the Norman Conquest of 1066, particularly the battle of Hastings which took place October 14 of that year.
             Image result for image site of the battle of hastings
                     Field where the battle took place.
     Not really a tapestry, but wool embroidered on linen cloth, the extraordinary undertaking is composed of several panels worked separately and then sewn together. 
Image result for images bayeux tapestry chain mail
                       chain-mail and supplies being taken to the ships.
Besides historical information about the political climate and the final battle, there are numerous insights into the style and fashion of Anglo-Saxon and Norman clothing, medieval ship-building, sailing, carpentry, and even battle techniques and what type of chain-mail was used.
       The story also chronicles a cosmic event.
                   
                              see comet, upper right hand side.
When Edward the Confessor dies, the nobles declare Harold the new king. Harold ignores his prior oath to  William, and the fight is on. A hoary star (Halley's comet) shoots across the sky signaling a bad omen for Harold.                                          
A metal replica of the comet in the tapestry. Might need this.
        We also learn William brought horses across the channel from Normandy. Quite a difficult, and  unexpected achievement.
                Image result for images horses in boats in bayeux tapestry
                              see the little horses peeking out of the boat!
Harold Godwinson is, of course, defeated at Hastings, and the "arrow in the eye" legend is validated. But the ending is abrupt and many people speculate the final frames are missing as there is no reference to Williams coronation.                     Image result for images arrow in harold's eye in bayeux tapestry   
       Who commissioned and made the tapestry?
A majority of historians agree the most likely patron was Odo, the half-brother of Duke William, and the bishop of Bayeux.
 Image result for image odo bishop of BayeuxWilliam and his half-brothers Odo Bishop of Bayeux and Robert of Mortain in the Bayeux Tapestry. By special permission of the City of Bayeux. Detail of the Bayeux Tapestry, 11th century
                                He is seen several times in the tapestry.
For a long time William the Conqueror's wife, Queen Matilda was thought to have initiated the project. This view is now out of favor. It may even have been made on the orders of William himself. The mystery continues.
                  Image result for images bayeux tapestry text
     The Latin inscriptions use Old English letter forms, as found in Anglo-Saxon illuminated manuscripts. Some similar designs were discovered in manuscripts at a monastery in Canterbury. Was it made there?
       
        Whoever came up with the idea, the design and embroidery work was most likely done in England, by English hands. How cruel for the conquered to find themselves working to glorify the new king, the usurper.
                What was it's purpose?
The huge tapestry may have been on display at first, and then stored and seen only on special occasions. It may have graced the new cathedral Odo built in 1077 in Bayeux. From at least 1476 onward, the tapestry was detailed in the cathedral inventory.Image result for images bayeux cathedral

Image result for images of bayeux cathedral with tapestry
In the 19th century, Napoleon had it brought to Paris for display as he made plans to invade Britain. In the Second World War the Nazis found it a useful tool (found this to be both odd and curious).

The Bayeux Tapestry has it's share of mysteries, and  I will daydream of all the possibilities as I work on my tiny scrap of history. The story of its creation must hold the makings of a good book---working on that too.