A somewhere project by Nina Pope & Karen Guthrie
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 – 7:08 PM by Peronel
Yesterday, my Tudor self was woken by dawn and birdsong, and walked down a country lane to work. The first job, of course, is lighting a fire - not unpleasant, and a good way to ease gently into the tasks of the day.br /br /Tomorrow, my twenty-first century self will be woken by the ...
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 – 6:08 PM by Annis Webster the dairymaid
before i begin i did make a mistake on my last entry, i meant to put juice and not huice!!br /br /strongName: /strongAnnis Websterbr /strongAge: /strong16br /strongResidence: /strongA pallet bed on the 3rd floor of the east wing at Kentwell hall!br /strongHistory: /strongCame to ...
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 – 6:08 PM by Annis Webster the dairymaid
well, it had to end sometime didn't it?br /i really enjoyed it and its quite different from the great tudor recreation, but still a good atmosphere and just as friendly.br /managed to make widow may smile, and had a good day in the dairy without her!br /ermmmmmmmmm..... did a ...
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 – 11:08 AM
With language comes power.
Only on the second day of 1569 did I feel my confidence grow enough to proactively engage in Tudor-ese banter with anyone – Tudor or punter. It’s been a long time since we spoke this language (as rare as Cornish or Catalan) – 1556 in fact. At first my personality is utterly constrained by my meagre 30 word vocabulary and verbatim limning-rap learned from Aunt Kate. Kate is the senior limner (miniaturist), whose demeanor and script, like baby ducklings, we have mimicked since first joining her in 1553. It takes gung-ho confidence to jump off this familiar terrain into the minefield of genuine human interaction, ad I have rarely done so under Aunt Kate’s watchful eye and fluent tongue (think of a Tudor Miriam Margoyles).
One’s first attempt at unscripted Tudor chitchat is frequently met with utter confusion from the visitor who meets your eye over your picturesque table. To translate for their easy comprehension would be to come out of role – a Kentwell taboo – so one simply hopes for an awestruck, mumbled ‘Aye’ of agreement. On one occasion at the weekend, I mistook incredulity for an invitation for further conversation and decided to lob in in my most obscure Tudor vocabulary: We were discussing dried cochineal beetles as red food colouring (we have some on the station to show off with) and I succeeded in mentioning cates (small cakes), marchpane (marzipan) and kickshawses (petits fours) in one sentance.
Kate would have been proud.
This leads me to a new-to-me re-enactment term ‘Punterbollocks’, meaning the well-practiced spiel that the seasoned re-enactor trots out to the paying public.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 – 11:08 AM by Peronel
I've now been home from Kentwell for a few hours and - already - the experience is fading. It's amazing: when I'm at Kentwell it's hard to remember that I have a normal life in the real world, one in which there's electricity and running water; when I'm ...
Saturday, August 27, 2005 – 7:08 PM by Annis Webster the dairymaid
I am in the middle of Kentwell's high summer recreation, its really good. have been making lots of butter and cheese because i work in the dairy (i don't know if i've already mentioned this elsewhere) and i am in widow may's good books. i shall be in charge of the ...
Friday, August 26, 2005 – 2:08 PM
... and I am horribly behind with both packing and preparation for 1569 - expect to hear some pretty ropey Tudorspeak from Pope and Guthrie this weekend, as they have not done their homework!
Our ruffs have arrived though hot of the hands of Joan Friend ... also known as the Land Army recruitment lady who may well be appearing on this site very soon.
Thanks Joan they're great!
Thursday, August 25, 2005 – 2:08 PM
One of many amazing dishes prepared by Nel in the Cot
Welcome onboard to our first three sometime bloggers:
Annis the Dairymaid
Lady Judith Jermyn
Peronel (or Nel)
We hope many more will join you ...
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 – 8:08 PM by Annis Webster the dairymaid
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Wednesday, August 24, 2005 – 9:08 AM
We're back to Kentwell this weekend for our first return to Tudor life this year ... we'll be going it alone as Limners without our 'Aunt' and Guide Kate so anything could happen. Get in touch if you're going to be at Kentwell and want to join the Blog role, OR if you're going to be on-line/on a mobile at the weekend and want to receive updates from our 1569 selves.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 – 9:08 AM
Always looking to streamline two activities into the space of one (!) We have managed to shoe-horn some fantastic WW II research into our Edinburgh Film Festival time (we're here for the launch of our film Bata-ville). Following our premeire we took in the Michael Powell classic A Canterbury Tale on the big screen, which was amazing.
Having just returned from the re-enactment it made the 'stagey' quality of the film seem quite unreal, and at times it seemed hard to believe that you were watching something really made in 1944 rather than just depicting 1945. If we had ended up as Landgirls it couldn't have been better for research as the main protagonist is just such a fiesty young lady despite the opening sequence involving the Glue-man making a strike on her perfect barnet!
Monday, August 22, 2005 – 9:08 PM by Jenn
Lady Judith Jermynbr /emA real person/embr /Married to Sir Thomas Jermynbr /emWho is always away, riding/hunting or just round the corner as I have noone to play him/embr /Lives at Rushbrooke Hall, near Bury St Edmundsbr /emWhich was destroyed in the early 1960's - I think it ...
Friday, August 19, 2005 – 7:08 PM by Jenn
A lot of my really small house is currently covered in bits of fabric and various costumes as I attempt to get ready for the next event - and try not to get distracted by half made stuff. It's at times like these that I wish I were really organised. Of course it also helps to ...
Thursday, August 18, 2005 – 3:08 PM by Jenn
Thought it might be helpful if I answered a few basic questions.br /Where?br /Kentwell hall a href=" http://www.kentwell.co.uk"http://www.kentwell.co.uk/a for more info on the place.br /br /Why? ...
Thursday, August 18, 2005 – 2:08 PM by Jenn
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Wednesday, August 17, 2005 – 10:08 PM
One of the most interesting moments at the weekend was when an elderly lady arrived who had actually apparently been in the Home Guard. The Kentwell Home Guard stood to attention as she hopped out of her wheel chair and into their station for an inspection. Other visitors looked on in a slightly bemused fashion as this little old lady in powder blue chatted to 'our boys'. The exchange prompted quite an emotional response from some of the other re-enactors, and many of them described to us the 'privilege' of witnessing people's memories who come to the re-creation and engage with them directly.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005 – 7:08 PM
Dear Ann - how nice to see you in Suffolk at the weekend, I'm already looking forward to our next visit in October. We met so many new people I've found it hard to remember the names of our fellow WVS workers, never mind all the other local characters.
I hope your return journey to the lakes wasn't too fraught, travelling with so much luggage can be frustrating at the best of times. Life back in London hardly seems to have calmed down, there had been a leek somewhere in the shop on my return and sadly I didn't spot it immediately - I only noticed when I realised the boxes containing some of our precious films were damp ... I removed them immediately but I think sadly a couple maybe irrecobably damaged. We should maybe consider relocating them with you in the North as soon as we can.
I've been thinking how interesting the different 'other' lives of our fellow WVS workers are. Within even that small group in Suffolk there seemed to be a huge diversity of ages and attitudes. Penny (if I'm remembering correctly) seemed almost a natural host for the evacuees she's taken on, but I found myself wondering what she did before the war. Mrs Depp was obviously also from London but I didn't get to find out where,
she seemed to feel the war was providing her with a chance to spend time with her children in a way that just wouldn't have been possible in her 'normal' life (which incidentally I suspect would share little in common with our 'London Lives') Amy seems charming and a very capable woman to be fronting their WVS efforts. I didn't get to meet her husband, although I understand he's in the local homeguard.
I really liked the land girls we met and felt almost sorry not to have signed up myself. I'm sure digging up the lawns at Kentwell in the sun is very different to slogging away in the freezing cold and dealing with all the animals there during the winter. Our WVS work is unpredictable but when we're not needed it does at least allow some time to still make work.
Incidentally I wondered if you would be interested in trying to see some work when you next have an excuse to visit London. As we don't know any of the women who've signed up as 'official' war artists I thought it would be good to try and make appointments to meet some of them and see what they've been producing. Perhaps you could tempt them up to the lakes then, at a later date, to work with your students?
Must go now ... I look forward to your next visit
ps. How are the American visitors I hear have been with you?
Wednesday, August 17, 2005 – 4:08 PM
Glenn Miller's grandson entertains us
I was born in 1907.
(this shouldn’t be too hard to remember as its my real D.O.B numbers reshuffled)
I live in the countryside near Coniston in the Lake District.
I have a smalllholding which I inherited from an Aunt, and it gives me enough vegetables and eggs to eat.
(not true, it’s owned by the Forestry Commission and we only grow a few handfuls of vegetables)
We don’t get reminded of the war too much up there except for the odd bit of ship trialling on the Lakes.
(true of recent events, though maybe I need to know more about what ships)
We have a lot of evacuees locally – I’m sharing our house now with my sister Alison and her 4 children who left Glasgow six months ago. Her husband Joe has stayed behind as he works in the postal service.
(note to self to research wartime Scotland more in order to embroider this family background better)
Since war was declared I joined the WVS and have dedicated myself to helping out as much as I can.
(as someone who didn’t exactly thrive in the Girl Guides this is perhaps my least credible line, though research shows that the WVS was a broad church)
I spend a lot of time growing vegetables and distributing food in the villages nearby, and driving evacuees from Manchester, Liverpool and Yorkshire to their new homes.
(the wartime routes aren’t so different from todays due to Cumbria’s antiquated road network, and I do spend a lot of time driving)
I am stepping out with a chap called Adam, an antiques dealer with a shop in Ambleside.
(living in sin might be a viable proposition if I can build my role up as a bohemian to support it....Adam’s too old to be conscripted and I think he’d like his alterego to be in this line of work)
I studied art with Mary Pope at the Royal College of Art, from 1926 – 1931, and since then I have worked as an artist – teaching, painting murals and doing the occasional private commission.
(That’s Nina, who didn’t study there but otherwise this is pretty close to my real life, though I have never painted a mural nor intend to do so)
Recently I have been teaching students from the Royal College of Art, as the school has been evacuated to near Ambleside because of the war. It’s mostly female students and tutors of course.
(Though I haven’t found any firm research to support this we do know this evacuation to be true. Where did they all stay? What did they do? Who did they meet? Kurth Schwitters was here at the same time, though he doesn’t appear to have had any contact)
Mary and I try and meet as often as we can and decided to make a trip down to Suffolk for this weekend – we used to come here to sketch when we were students – so we have a soft spot for the place.
(Though wartime transport was erratic and crowded I guess I could have got a train down...but who’s looking after my evacuees back home!?)
Friday, August 12, 2005 – 12:08 PM
There seems to be a fairly sensitive and movable line between when it is and is not appropriate for people to remain 'in role' - meeting someone who wants to recount their genuine wartime experiences being one obvious example when you would be an idiot not to come out of 'character. Sadly at present the fact we're filming also seems to be confusing this line for some people! Due to our early extreme training with our Tudor Aunt and Head of Station (Kate Poole) we have been drilled to remain strictly 'in role' whenever there are visitors present at the re-enactment. Whilst this can provide an entertaining and difficult challenge (especially when also having to speak Tudorese (more no doubt on this later)) it does make answering people's questions about what you're doing there with a film crew quite tough. Generally we noticed far less effort going into remaining strictly 'in role' in 1942 than the Tudor era. As Karen commented with admiration in an early video diary "he spoke excellent tudor without an audience".
Friday, August 12, 2005 – 10:08 AM
Carry-on camping with Karen
So we have returned from camping in 1942, to the chaos of unpacking in 2005 - the combination of camping kit and filming kit is not one I would readily choose to repeat.
Our costume anxiety pre-re-creation was, it seems, totally unnecessary. They may not have been completely correct in every fabric detail but our matching WVS uniforms were the smartest on the manor ... and it seems our ticket to success. As in the Tudor world, your first encounter with fellow re-enactors is always carried out through a ritual costume/uniform comment exchange. Asking a tailor to reproduce an original uniform in beautiful detail, scores (it seems) as high if not higher than slogging away on your own hand crafted effort for months on end (as with our Tudor costumes).
The innovation of the in-authentic armpit shields wasn't entirely successful, but probably an improvement on sweating straight into them.
As WW II birds (a dubious term used by the Spiv - but he is "from the midlands") we at least looked the part, even if we were often completely stumped as to what to say and crippled by our beautiful authentic shoes.