Saturday, August 05, 2006

Great day (s)

Looking forward to next weekend. Going to the Festival of History. Praying it won't tiddle down like last year. Don't want it too hot either, as those in armour will be dropping like flies, and the rest of us won't be far behind. It's a field in the middle of Northants and there are no nice facilities such as showers. A few yers back, the Festival was at an agricultural showground. Although soul-less, the big advantage was easy access to cooling showers, plus there were loads of water points. When it was hot, I just used to throw myself under a cold shower after arena shows, and I'm sure those in heavy armour did the same. Can't to that in the Northants field.

Will be meeting one of my best friends. She's coming round the show, and then we're going out for dinner in the evening. Don't know what we'll do with our respective partners - suggest they prop up the bar together, whilst we natter for England, I suspect :-)

Had an interesting day Thursday. I volunteer at a small museum. There's a tiny core staff, and they rely heavily on volunteeers. So there were four of us volies in, and three of us staffed the entrance desk. But I'm thinking I should do something else. There's another chap there, who's on the staff, but also comes in and works on making authentic shoes for re-enactors. A couple of times I've asked him if he's got anything I could do, like sewing up shoes, or some such. It can be very quiet on the desk, so I might as well be doing something. One week he showed me how to do tunnel-stitching, and I tried it out on a couple of scrap pieces of leather. But nothing happened after that. This week I asked him again and suddenly he said he'd really like me to help out. He'll teach me how to do shoemaking and may pay me! The Museum Boss said that the Leather Chap has been after an apprentice for a while. Cripes.

Due to preparing for the Festival of History next I'm not at the museum week. So whilst I'm away, the Leather Chap has said he'll prepare some stuff for me to do. Here's hoping he keeps to his threat ... At the very least, I may be able to repair my own shoes, and perhaps even make myself a new pair when the time comes.


At 1:29 pm BST, Blogger Sarah Cuthbertson said...

Ms Prospective Shoemaker, I'll give you a while to practise, then can I put in an order for a pair of those neat little Roman sandals such as Lepidina wore at Vindolanda, please?

Good for you, to put yourself forward for another skill to add to the cooking, doctoring, mosaics, tablet-weaving and archery - sorry, I can't resist this: plenty of strings to your bow!

At 2:50 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

Do you mean this type?:

At 4:59 pm BST, Blogger Olga said...

Alex, sorry I disappeared - I couldn't comment as I'm not a blogspot member. I hope you're doing fine. Have lots of fun at the Festival of History, and here's to a future shoemaker!

At 7:41 pm BST, Blogger Sarah Cuthbertson said...

Yes, those are the ones. I'll start saving now.

At 10:23 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

Hi Olga, good to hear from you :-)

Sarah, I'll do you a special rate, if you can wait till I know what I'm doing.

At 10:37 pm BST, Blogger Devon Ellington said...

That will be fascinating -- learning how to make shoes. Will you write about it, please? I want to hear how it goes.

Have a wonderful time at the Festival of History. It sounds grand.

Ink in My Coffee

At 11:44 am BST, Blogger Carla said...

That sounds a great opportunity! I always wondered how re-enactors gained their skills and if they passed them on to other people.

At 1:30 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

The Leather Man was on some sort of shoe-making course many yarns ago. Not quite sure how he got into the re-enacting market. A lot of re-enactors go on a relevant course, eg. basketmaking, and then research the type of baskets (or whatever) that were around in their period of interest. This is where archaeology really triumphs for the earlier eras, and particularly on shoes (eg. Vindolanda, Coppergate, etc.)

As you say, it's a great opportunity. Hopefully, I won't be inept at it :-) Funny enough he made the offer after I commented that I don't mind doing boring and repetitive tasks ... I didn't add 'as long as they have a point' but I think making historically-based shoes count.

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