There's now a big Latin shaped hole in my week - the 8 week course delving into the mysteries of medieval Latin finished yesterday. No more homework; no nouns to decline or verbs to conjugate today and the photocopied sheets we have pored over and tried to read remain in the folder. The crabbed handwriting of the clerk will remain undeciphered....
No, no, no. I am curious enough to continue - and nosey enough too. Court Rolls, Parish Registers, Deeds, Charters and Wills afford a look into lives far removed from our own. Go beyond the jargon - and I feel even the clerks grew tired of jargon with their shorthand of curls and squiggles - to find the minutiae of life. (Their shorthand incidently makes extra work for the transcriber - not only must medieval Latin be translated into English but the handwriting must be interpreted too. Master that only to find that writers used a series of abbreviations in place of parts of words.....) Drill down to catch a glimpse of the lives of the common man. It's all there: 'litle calffes', Ewe shippes', 'Brasse potts' and 'Brandardes'. (Bequests of 'peticoats' and gowns too - who wants to wear dead mens' shoes these days?)
Life in the small mountain kingdom of Trelystan is not much different in some ways even now - I feel the husband's spelling and that of the medieval clerk have much in common....the shippes on the hill nibble peacefully and we have litle calffes in the barne. The fire of Oke and Ashe which rises from our hearth, its pungent smoke wafted by a brisk north westerly wind tonight, would be familiar too.
So a sort of aimless day here; planted a tulip bulb or two, swept some floors.....photographed a sunset. Went to bed.