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Food….surviving the test of time!

Life in medieval times was generally hungry.  There’s really no way to hide that.  There was however a big variety of food available and if you are lucky enough to attend the Abbey Medieval Banquet, you will have a chance to sample.  However, depending on your social class, food was either more available or less.  For some, the Gentleman’s or the Lady’s hounds, as related by Sir Justyn, ate better.

Meat was very available, just not to everyone.  People from the higher classes ate fowl, game, beef and lamb.  Spices and preserves became a fashionable way to show wealth (brag factor was always big in the higher social circles) and breads from milled flour, dairy products and fish were readily available, if you were lucky. If you were unlucky, your diet was a little less varied.  Perhaps the ‘Peasant’s Medieval Diet’ is something we should all partake in every now and then, as by all reports it was low in fat and high in fibre.  However, it was also low in nutrition, which for the people of that time was no joke.  Famine was always a reality and people constantly lived in fear of not having enough food.

The subject of food, or lack thereof, permeates through many fairy tales resonating the harsh realities of life as it was in the middle ages.  One of my favourites is the Grimm Brothers story of Hansel and Gretel.  Earlier versions of the story relate how both parents partake in the decision to abandon the children, rather than see them starve.  This was apparently a common occurrence at this time.  The evil witch, whose house is made of food, symbolises the pre-occupation of the time with food.  Little Red Riding hood also explores the subject of food…the wolf looming large!

Sickness and injury was a constant fear for both the rich and poor in the middle ages, but at least if you were rich, and well nourished, and were able to pay for a physician to attend, there was some chance of survival.  Our recent guest bloggers wrote about herbs and medieval surgery, giving us a vivid picture of what may have been.

So, much like today, food was available to some in the middle ages, and not so for others. And many of the foods eaten in the medieval era, have survived the test of time and appear on our tables today. Many of course have not, but we are happy to report that the Abbey Medieval banquet gives us an opportunity to experience the tastes of yesteryear in an ambience which is both authentic and tasteful.

Have fun on Saturday night!

 

 

 

 

Abbey Medieval Festival and Channel 9’s The Voice: transformations of a kind!

Hello, my friends, again.

I have been asked to  ‘please explain’ and realise that I have been dropping a distinct word in my last few posts, without clarifying it.

That word is ‘Transformation’ – not one that we as adults use a lot, but ask any eight year old what a ‘Transformer’ is!

So, it’s kind of the same – kind of different! Let me explain!

Let me introduce Joe and Jim! (aka Joseph Pine and James Gillmore).  These two writers are my ture heros on the subject of experiences and transformations.  They will tell you a transformation is in fact an economic offering, just like goods or services – which as it turns out, are yesterday’s news.  Transformations are what consumers want and demand today.  Joe and Jim have further explained a transformation as: “Guiding customers to gaining a deeper understanding to some part of themselves“. (2011-The Experience Economy)

Interesting…… I’m hoping I dont’ lose you here, but actually, you know…it’s not that deep.  We experience transformations everyday.

Last week, I brought my son to his karate lesson. I sat watching.  The children were intense, serious and  focussed.  I remembered my son on those first few lessons; he was giddy and skittish; his attention everywhere.  I wondered if he would ever get it.  Now, as I sat and watched him, I was able to see something new; a strong gaze in his eyes, a serious face; he was absorbed.  He was actively engaged and I had just realised that before my eyes, he had escaped. Yes…..NAPLAN and all the stuff-of-the-week were left far behind.  He had undergone his own little transformation. And was I happy about that?

Channel 9’s ‘The Voice’ – why are we all so hooked? One word: Transformation.  Each of these wonderfully talented contestants are being guided through a transformation; it’s life changing, a personal journey. Let me even use the word ‘walkabout’  here.  There’s no going back.

Everyday, people fall in love, we experience grief, we have children born to us, or….. maybe no baby comes.  Each of these are every-day, life-transformations that we as human beings experience; each bringing us to a deeper and ongoing understanding of something inside us.

Ok, so what’s this got to do with the Abbey Medieval Festival, you ask?

We are here to guide you through a medieval transformation.

Nowadays our free time is so precious.  People are working so hard for their families and to achieve their ambitions.  How recreation time is spent is selective and valuable.   The Abbey Medieval Festival acknowledges this!

I examined what I really wanted for my own free time?

I wanted a little ‘escapism’ if that was possible.

Well it is!  Very possible.  You can escape absolutely and wonderfully so… to another era.  You can transform yourself to a different century and live it, for a short time, as it was.  A real medieval experience.  It only depends on you.  Let’s take the Kids’ Medieval Fun Day!  You as a parent can witness your kids’ transformation or even partake in your own.  Watch your kids as their attention towards the activities on offer changes.  First reluctance leading to curiosity, then mild amusement……a little more interest is piqued, then their attention is grabbed.  This leads to physical involvement and then…excitement and elation as they become totally and utterly engaged.

Guiding this transformation is our job.

And guess what! We are aware that some of our readers and followers are already there!  In our recent competition we asked people to tell us what type of experience they would like to have at the Abbey Medieval Festival this year.  Steve Springhall from Queensland said he wanted ‘the feeling of travelling back in time’…..Steve, thank you for this!  That feeling is yours to have and we really would be honoured to guide your transformation.  That’s all we can do.  The rest is up to you.  So who else wants to join in?

So next time you watch The Voice, think of your own transformation. 

Yours to have at the Abbey Medieval Festival!  So have it!

 

 Till next time readers….Caroline

The transformation is starting….Project Gorgeous Garment!

Hello again readers.

Thank you, thank you, oh esteemed colleagues of the Medieval Festival, for the routine reminders that we have less than seven weeks to the Festival.  And more precisely, for me to get  project ‘Gorgeous Garment’ under control.  I now realise how much time I wasted last week,  forcing my poor, poor costume designer to chase me several times!

Look, it is what it is!  And I guess like many Mums out there juggling home, kids, schools, relationship, work,  and not to mention the elusive ‘me time’, I think last week was one for the books.  Take car trouble, take kid’s school drama, take a yucky chest cold and add a mouse in the house (think mouse and think the secret Mother’s Day stash of chocolates, yes lucky mouse!).  And what results?   Well, naturally, you forget to take your measurements and send them to the lovely and gracious Carolyn awaiting in NSW, needle in hand!  (So sorry, C!).

And you know, it wasn’t that I forgot, I just couldn’t put my hand on a tape measure anywhere.  At one stage I was thinking this is a ridiculous prank! I tried at least three places and even considered using my husband’s concrete-covered yellow trady Dewalt one, (Yes, it is true!) but I decided, this wasn’t how it should be.

Anyway, following rugby on Saturday morning……I finally did it! (And I’m fully allowing myself this moment of achievement, because as simple as sending measurements on, it just wasn’t that simple for me last week.)  Finally, I was successful in getting my hands on the right sort of tape-measure at Morayfield shops for the jolly price of $2.50.  Without any further undue waste of time, measurements were taken, on-site, in front of my confused kids and sent via text to the awaiting seamstress.(:

A few short hours later, Ladies and Gentlemen!….the transformation began to unfold.

This is what I received back!

 

I loved the pattern, I loved the colours, the buttons….. well, we can discuss.  But then,  I did a double take on the fabric which the lovely, gracious Carolyn had chosen.  And at once….. I became ‘Medievalised’! On closer examination, I saw something beautiful.  In fact, I don’t think I had ever before laid my eyes on seen such rich, gorgeous, luxurious fabric.  It slowly drew me in until I was almost able to feel the contours and profile of this superbly sensual fabric selection.

My experience was happening and I was having fun!

It was indeed and I was loving it!  And I began to wonder which of my readers out there were having similar experiences and got to imagine themselves in their creations.  Readers, I SO hope you have!  And because it was a personal and rich moment, a medieval magical moment, I wanted to share it with you.  For an exchange, but!  I would really love to hear about your Fashion projects and any resulting experiences.

Let me know, please.  Till next time, my fellow followers of fashion.  Stay safe!

Caroline