Saturday, September 28, 2013

Two knights kissing on a gravestone

I'm not sure why.

I tried reading some of the back story but it still didn't make sense. I understand that they must have been happy to see each other. I wasn't aware that heterosexual men used to kiss each other on the mouth at all, let alone for this reason. That said, my knowledge of medieval history could be written on a large postage stamp in small letters.

 photo KnightsKiss_zps48b94ac0.jpg
"They took off their helms and kissed each other"

Sir Tristram of Lyonesse
'...At last the knight clad in white spoke, and said:
"Knight,thou fightest wonderfully well, as ever I saw knight, therefore, if it please you, tell me your name."
"Sir," said Sir Tristram, "I am loath to tell any man my name."
"Truly," said the stranger, "if ever I were required, I was never loath to tell my name."
"It is well said," quoth Tristram; "then I require you to tell me your name."
"Fair knight," said he, "my name is Sir Lancelot of the Lake."
"Alas," said Tristram, "what have I done? For you are the man in the world I love the best."
"Fair knight," said Sir Lancelot, "tell me your name."
"Truly, my name is Sir Tristram."
"Oh," said Sir Lancelot, "what adventure is befallen me!" ...
...Then forthwith they went to the tombstone, and sat down on it, and took off their helms, and kissed each other. And afterwards they rode to Camelot.'

Image by A.G. Walker (sculptor). Text from Sunday Reading for the Young, Wells Gardner, Darton and CO, London 1905

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Captain Ketchup versus the Intergalactic Dutch Oven

 photo CaptainKetchup_zps3ea8c559.jpg
Captain Ketchup novelty sauce squirting bottle has a funny side panel.

 photo CaptainKetchupDETAIL_zps244cadc1.jpg

Make your own home grown seed packs

 photo SeedPacketTea_zpsdab19c7c.jpg

Cut open and save the individual paper sachets from tea bags. Reuse them as packets for your collected garden seeds.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Erewhon by Samuel Butler

'If the letters forming the word "Nowhere" are reversed, all except the "wh", regarding them as a sound in themselves, they will be found to make the word "Erewhon". This is the name given by an author named Samuel Butler ... to a book he wrote about an imaginary country. Sir Thomas More had also used the made-up Greek word Utopia, also meaning "nowhere", for the name of man imaginary land.

Like many before him, Butler saw that some established customs and ideas of his own day were foolish. And in picturing such a place as Erewhon, he found it easier to satirise such things. Sam Butler was a young man out in New Zealand...'

 photo Erewhon_zps804fd09d.jpg

'... Pushing on alone, the explorer suffered many perils, and became haunted by the sound of distant music, which prevented sleep and was quite unaccounted for. Having a glimpse of distant plains, he struggled on hoping to reach them, only to find himself enshrouded in mist. Suddenly there loomed up in front of him some gigantic figures, still and silent, but in human shape. After his first alarm was over (when he lost consciousness), he realised that he had come upon a sort of Stonehenge. Ten huge stone figures, partly covered in snow, stood in a group ; their heads were hollow, and acted as organ-pipes. The wind rushing out through their mouths made the ghostly music he had heard earlier. This was the entrance to the kingdom of Erewhon, and he heard later that at a very remote period in the people's history these statues had been put up to propitiate* the gods of disease...

 photo ErewhonHiggsBalloon_zpsb7e294d8.jpg

...It is a modern attempt to portray an imaginary country by one who saw the folly of many things. It is an idea that has fascinated men all through the ages, and will doubtless continue to do so, and many books may yet be written dealing with such "Lands of Desire"

Free to download/read copies of  'Erewhon' by Samuel Butler can be found here and here.

*I had to look this up! Was this a word used by kids back then? Colour me impressed by the quality of education and breadth of resulting vocabulary.

Image and text by Ruth Cobb from children's annual Chatterbox, J Erskine Clarke MA, Wells Gardner, Darton and CO, London 1927