Reenactment – The Bitch – July 14, 2015

In the not so distant past, around 1430 in fact,  when it was difficult to distinguish the honest and the dishonest … The Lama del Conte have created a play that brings to life the dark times of the late middle ages when bandits ran wild in the country-side and the officials who had been nominated to keep the peace were often as ruthless and dishonest as the bandits themselves.

This is the story of “the Bitch”  a woman who leads her own band of thieves. She’s  captured after the local Judge has provoked two passers-by to duel for his and his lady’s pleasure for a purse full of money.  The duel ends with one of the men being killed and the other wounded. The Judge drops the purse of money near the hand of the wounded man, then runs him through with his sword.

The “Bitch” soon comes on the scene and sees the dead men and the purse so she decides to take the money.  Unfortunately at that moment, some city guards happen on the scene and arrest her for the murder of the two men and theft.  She is then recognized as the famous bandit leader. The next scene is the scene of her execution.  The Judge reads the edict to the public and offers her clemency … but what he wants she’s not willing to give so she spits in his face.

Just as the executioner is about to chop off her head, three of her men intervene.  A battle takes place as the Judge hides behind the priest.  His men lose the battle, the bandits make good their escape, though one of them is wounded. The Judge’s captain of the guard is wounded and he’s holding the money that was found on the “Bitch’s” person when she was captured, not only the purse the Judge had left but quite a bit more money .

The Judge fearful for his life, decides to take the money and make good his escape to his home province and kills his own captain.  Along the trail, the Judge falls into an ambush and is killed, the legend has it by the “Bitch” herself.

Here are some photos from the play:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Arlesega – chained haiku – June 12, 2015


Arlesega:  Photo Credits – © G.s.k. ‘15

refreshing garden
seen from afar in summer
exciting imagination

exciting imagination
dreaming of knights and ladies
just beyond the moat

just beyond the moat
and maybe four hundred years
oasis of flowers

oasis of flowers
caught with my camera
at Arlesega

© G.s.k. ‘15

Carpe Diem #753 arts

Today Chèvrefeuille explained the relationship of “arts” as a modern kigo to summer … please click on the link for the full explanation and Chèvrefeuille’s wonderful post … below are haiku written by Jane Reichhold using the “arts” kigo and a photo and haiku by Chèvrefeuille.

covered with pollen
looking deep into a flower
camera lens

holding the day
between my hands
the new clay bowl

waterfall painting
dripping enough water
to tint the rock

© Jane Reichhold

© photo Chèvrefeuille

waterlilies reach
from the mud to the bright sun
straight through the water

© Chèvrefeuille

Just a Note – Getting Ready for an Adventure – June 2, 2015

Today is a holiday here in Italy … way back in 1946, the Italians held a referendum and voted out the monarchy in favour of a republic, today in Italy it’s The Day of the Republic in honour of that decision.

However that has nothing to do with this post, except to establish my place in time.  The last couple of weeks have seen me sewing.  Not your everyday sort of sewing either, hand sewing!  Below I’ve put up some photos of what I put together for my trip to Padua and then Arlesega for the Medieval reenactment festival to be held this upcoming weekend.  BTW I’ll be “on the stage” this time too!  I will participate in a feast which will then be a scene of a duel (you can see in the video below an earlier reenactment with the same duel) … I’ll be sitting at the table of my “Lord” and will run away when the fighting breaks out .. but more of that later but for the meantime here’s the video-clip I promised .. the two men fighting are our Simon and Abe from the Lama del Conte:

I’m hoping to be able to write and schedule some posts before I leave.  Of course no posts can be  written the 6th and 7th or linked … we’ll be totally without internet those two days but I may be able to link the mornings of the 5th, 8th and 9th.

Below are a few photos of some of the equipment I put together recently – but before I even began to put in a stitch, I had to do a lot of research looking for patterns and photos … one of my creations is a St. Birgitta’s cap or coif … which turned out to be a bit more complicated then I’d have imagined to construct.  In fact I made it way too big (and having very short hair it looked like I had a total disaster on my hands) so I had to modify it, drastically … however in so doing the cap fits me now perfectly and I even look like I have hair under the cap!

I also made a leather rolled button for my purse which hangs from my belt (it had only strings and was difficult to use) and a  couple of open sided surcoats  that will fit over my dress protecting it and giving me something “different” to wear for the various activities … in my historical period (1400 – 1430) people wore rather shapeless clothes and being an “old lady” mine are also in sombre tones – olive-green linen dress – white linen under-dress and I have a heavy brownish woollen cape for evening use. My long belt with money pouch and purse defines my waste – now that I’ve added some holes to tighten the belt.

Here was the selfie from San Giorgio in Piano:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I found the veil with a semi wimple pretty warm, and that was at the beginning of May (I shuddered to think what it would be like wearing it in June) it’s also rather complicated to use having to fix the thing in place with straight pins, as the ladies did back then … ergo I decided to make myself a Birgitta Coif, which I will wear in camp, donning the veil only for special occasions.  Here are some of my masterpieces (and me too!):

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Below are links to just two of the sites I consulted for ideas about medieval clothing and equipment – The most important one for me was for the cap or coif.  The Spinster Sister and Arachne’s Blog gave me a lot of info and patterns for the coif but I also looked into aprons, surcoats, embroidery stitches, leather working and oodles of other stuff.  Next month I want to try to make myself a midwife’s apron and a book cover for my electronic reader maybe something like this …

book cover

Arlesega being a rather popular Medieval event will have quite a market too .. so maybe I won’t have to do so much sewing (or I’ll find some interesting material)!