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Archery Blogg – Archery Through the Ages.

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Glenribbeen Archery has moved on and while still offering 1-on-1 lessons in archery (and traditional Irish music) since the accommodation has closed I now have a new business teaching medieval archery and telling stories based on the 30+ arrows I have dating from Mesolithic to 16th century. Each different and each with a different story.

See more at: archerythroughtheages.bloggspot.com

Deirdre decided to be daring

 

 

All ages catered for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Families or individuals everyone gets 1-on-1 coaching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chain mail and copper wrist-band, a handful of arrows and a bow – ready to go.

TripAdviser comments: Glenribbeen + Archery in Waterford Museum.

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Glenribbeen Eco Lodge – +35354499 or call Peter direct on +353866017176

Glenribbeen Eco LodgeTripAdviser comments

Glenribbeen:

“Friendly, Quiet, and Great Food!”

Reviewed 8 November 2011

We were greeted with a toasty warm wood stove going, and Els right away brought out some tea and cookies, which we enjoyed by the fire while reading their many books about Ireland and the local area. The lodge is very tastefully decorated, without all of that stuffy Victorian pink lace and doily decoration you can typically find in a B&B. Upon reading the other reviews, I have to agree that the breakfast was amazing. Our first morning we had Dutch pancakes with rashers and maple syrup. I’m still dreaming of it. Second morning we had the baked eggs, which were also fantastic. And the coffee was strong and delicious, a serious concern of ours in a country that drinks a lot of tea.

Peter is an incredibly interesting man and he would come out in the morning to talk to us while we waited for breakfast. I could have sat there all day listening to him (and eating Els’s pancakes). He recommended several things for us to see and do, while giving us mini history lessons in everything from the Titanic to why they drive on the left side of the road. I wish we made some time for an archery lesson with him.

The whole place is very clean and everything has been thought of in an eco-conscious way. Yes, the bed is creaky as are the floor boards. We got used to it after our first night. Once you convince yourself it’s all part of the charm, you start to roll with it. The surrounding countryside is totally quiet and peaceful. A squeaky bed is a very small price to pay for a fantastic stay in a beautiful location with great hosts and insanely delicious breakfasts. I’d go back in a heartbeat. Make sure you get a chance to feed the hens some grapes!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple

 

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“Lovely would definately recommend Baked Eggs for breakfast!”

Reviewed 25 August 2011

I stayed at the Lodge as we were attending a wedding locally, our room was lovely clean and bright there was everything you need hairdryer, kettle, books, local guides etc right down to a chocolate snack biscuit on a tray and a carafe of water, we were asked what we would like for breakfast and as a I don’t eat meat I have gotten used to beans on toast with a tomato thrown in but as Els and Peter are vegetarians I received a wonderful plate of fresh fruit garnished with flowers, followed by the house special of baked eggs delicious! fresh orange, breads, cereals you name it the choices. I work in Tourism and I was very impressed with the hospitality and service received, B&B prices were very reasonable.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple

 

 

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“Wonderful hospitality in a beautiful place. Top notch!!!”

Reviewed 14 August 2011

Peter and Els are wonderful people and right from the moment we met them, I knew we made the right choice of a place in Lismore. Their home is in a beautiful setting a short distance from the town of Lismore and quite an experience with gardens, hens, two wonderfully friendly dogs and within an easy walk to a river where the salmon fishers are busy. The house itself has a wonderfully large and comfortable dining/sitting area where breakfast is served and where we often found ourselves spending time chatting with Peter and/or Els and enjoying a cup of tea or coffee after a day of sightseeing. We learned A LOT of history about Ireland and Peter let us read books from his extensive library…one of which we borrowed and will send back. I had thought the breakfasts were great up to this point on our trip, but Peter and Els really go over the top with beautiful presentation and extraordinary and delicious food. I guarantee that you will not get a better breakfast in Ireland!!! Peter and Els are very approachable and helpful. A couple of evenings, we picked up some meat to BBQ and Peter set up the grill and provided the dishes, etc… We never felt rushed in our time with them as they always seemed to have time for whatever need or question we had. The room was comfortable and clean and had a TV/DVD combo in it. I loved the snacks and waters! Overall a great experience and highly recommended!!!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family

 

 

“BEST B&B in Ireland”

Reviewed 2 August 2010

From the moment we arrived we were in heaven, we were treated with such a warm welcome. Peter was always willing to chat and eager to make our stay as pleasent as possible.we ate amazing breakfasts- such good options on the menu with fresh fruit and amazing homemade brown bread on the side! the atmosphere in the lodge was very relaxed and we made the most of the amazing servies which the lovely couple provided such as use of their canoe, bikes, various fishing equiptment, instruments, books, garden hammock, kites and BBQ… Iv never even heard of such extras being provied in another B&B… expecially as its half the price!! we even had a 5 star hotel booked for the last night and cancelled becuase we would rathar the tranquil surroundings of Glenribbeen lodge!! they made our stay amazing, offering information, conversation and even lifts to and from the pub. would recomend it to absolutly everyone and cant wait to return.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple

 

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Experience Medieval Archery

Reviews from Museum of Medieval Treasures, Waterford.

TripAdviser reviews of Archery Through the Ages.

http://www.tripadvisor.ie/Archery & Waterford

Getting a strainght-line.

Demonstrating ‘Tip – nock – hand – elbow’ to create a straight line to enhance accuracy.

“Visit to the Medieval Museum of Waterford”

Reviewed 14 July 2015

I’ve had a delightful weekend in Waterford city and the Museum was one of the best experiences of all. However what really stood out by me was the archery lesson I got in the museum. The person ‘Peter’ who introduced me to archery was greatly animated which made it an altogether enjoyable experience for me. He managed to introduce me to some skills and I was able to shoot arrows successfully and this was all combined with his abundance of knowledge about the history of archery. His lesson was like a throw back into medieval times; no visit to the museum would be complete without an archery lesson!

Visited June 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r288682037-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

Reviewed 7 January 2015

Waterford’s Museum of Medieval Treasures has a great policy of bring things to life and getting enthusiastic people in to show some real crafts and skills as practised in 9th – 16th century Waterford (Ireland’s oldest city). A famous glass-cutter is working in the foyer and below are figures from history demonstrating coin-minting and archery (have a go!!) as well as displaying wood and leather work and tools.

Visited January 2015

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“wonderful museum”

Reviewed 19 July 2015

Interestingly laid out history of the area. Not just the usual dusty chronological arrangement. Best part for us was the medieval archery tutorial and lesson given just inside the door by a local savant, Peter O’Connor .

Visited June 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r290531037-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

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“Peter, the medieval archer, was the best part!”

Reviewed 4 August 2015

Visited this museum in July 2015 and the best part was meeting Peter, the archer! He’s stationed right at the front door, ready to give you an amazing talk about medieval archery and teach you how to shoot the longbow. He’s an absolute wealth of information and very engaging to speak with. I enjoyed meeting him so much I’ve taken to following him on his Facebook page “Archery Through the Ages”, where he regularly supplies interesting historical points and plenty of posts of his daily visitors at the museum. It’s obvious he enjoys what he does!

The museum was fantastic. It takes approximately 45m to go through with the provided audio guide. The Cloth of Gold Vestments from the 1400s are the highlight of the exhibitions.

Visited July 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r295813650-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

 

“Medevial times bought to life”

Reviewed 23 July 2015

this is a great museum and shows what life in Waterford was like in the dark ages with great displays and live action such as the archery display with the long bow. well worth a visit. unfortunately we didnt give ourselves a lot of time as we were only intending to visit the Crystal factory and stumbled across this museum and teh viking quarter. I would recommend that you ive yourself a full day to visit these three attractions as well as Waterford city itself which is stunning.

Visited July 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r291686087-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

 

“Interesting day out”

Reviewed 9 July 2015

Fantastic fun. We had a 6 year old and a 2 year old with us and they both enjoyed it. We got a guided tour from the Curator himself and he made it very interesting and quite funny also. There was also a man in the lobby who was teaching archery and all about different types of bows and arrows….needless to say that the 6 year old LOVED that! It only cost €14 for the guided tour, and we were able to go back around as often as we liked on our own afterwards.

Visited July 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r287096441-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

House of Glass

“Thoroughly enjoyed!”

Reviewed 2 July 2015 via mobile

We visited here on Wednesday 1st July and on arrival, we were greeted by an archer. What a lovely and knowledgeable man! Very much enjoyed our chat with him and my husband loved the small archery demonstration. Then we had the luck of being on the guided tour with the museum director….what a treat! A pleasure to view the museum with a man so truly passionate about it…full of interesting anecdotes and stories. My husband is NOT a fan of museums….he came purely because I wanted to go. But he loved it and really enjoyed the tour. I would highly recommend this to everyone…in my eyes, it’s a must-do in the wonderful city of Waterford.

Visited July 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r285035117-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

 

“Above expectations – better than Wford Crystal!”

Reviewed 31 August 2015

Was thinking about going to Waterford Crystal but realised how boring that would be. Ducked into the Medieval Museum and went on the guided tour. Found it highly informative and good fun. Archery lessons on hand for 5euro! Downstairs cave is great and the coin press is fun. Floors one and two have some interesting stuff but really do recommend the guided tour to get the most out of it. Our tour guide was really excellent, nice young lady, good humour. The shop is FANTASTIC with helmets and glass cutting live.

Visited August 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r305189201-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

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And release…

“never knew waterford was so interesting .”

Reviewed 26 July 2015

we were met at the entrance by a chap in medieval gear who offered to demonstrate the intricacies and development of medieval archery . what followed was one of the most interesting and absorbing 45 mins in a museum ever . the guide , peter ,was a mine of fascinating and enjoyable facts and figures coupled with an encyclopedic knowledge of his subject , all delivered in a witty and friendly manner. an expiring parking meter forced us to leave or we would have stayed much longer .
we returned the next day and spent several hours touring the rest of the museum .a well laid out series of exhibits explained by knowledgeable guides armed with lots of relevant background information meant we spent a thoroughly enjoyable and informative day .(still preferred the bows and arrows) . wonderful !

Visited July 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r292614211-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

Proud Papa lll.png

“A Must-Do Experience In Waterford”

Reviewed 10 September 2015

Notwithstanding that we have been in Waterford on a few occasions since the Medieval Museum opened in 2013, we just thought it would not be worth the time.

Then, earlier this week, we were invited on a tour of the museum and thought we would see what’s on offer.

Well, we were very impressed.

This is much more than a museum; more a series of living history experiences that is brought to life by a team of passionate staff. As soon as you enter, the experiences unfold in front of you with archery demonstrations. You can even get an archery lesson for an additional €5.

Being on a guided tour will make a huge difference to your experience. Our guide was excellent and contextualised the history of Waterford against the backdrop of Irish, British and European history.

All the exhibits are presented in an informative fashion. The piece-de-resistance must be the gold-braided vestments and the story about how they were uncovered. We won’t spoil it by revealing more on here.

In conclusion, we thoroughly enjoyed our experiences at The Medieval Museum. It is great value too at €7.

Visited September 2015
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowUserReviews-g186638-d319005-r309205371-Waterford_Treasures_Medieval_Museum-Waterford_County_Waterford.html#

sigtrygg-lord-mayor

Archery in Museum of Medieval Treasures, Waterford.

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Deidre decided to be daring

Deidre decided to be daring.

Have a go archery at the Waterford Museum of Medieval Treasures.

Learn - or die

Learn – or die.    I’ve found teaching medieval archery to be a great way to meet people and help develop their self-confidence.

Getting a strainght-line.

Demonstrating ‘Tip – nock – hand – elbow’ to create a straight line to enhance accuracy.

 

 

 

 

 

Darragh bring home the bacon.

Darragh bring home the bacon.

Knuckles and fingers.

Knuckles and fingers.

 

Experience Medieval Archery has been launched within Waterford’s Museum of Treasures. Workshops on medieval crafts and archery. A hands-on active-display where various and changing working-craft areas will be established and the use of longbows (warbows) will be demonstrated and various arrows from bone-head to flint to drop-forged to tempered armour-piercing warheads. After demonstration visitors will be offered the chance to pull a long bow and loose real arrows.And buy bows and accessories.
This will be facilitated by the Museum and supported by various other state bodies. The workshop will also continue to tour medieval (Heritage) days, folk-festivals, schools and corporate events that help senior staff bring focus and fun to their work.
The whole workshop can be easily moved and set up in an open space where a medieval tent will add colour and protection with professional archery netting to provide safety.

Irish Radio Treasures

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New Natural History series on RTE 1 and Cape Clear courses

Subtitle for your message

IWDG were once again delighted to be invited to contribute to a Crossing the Line natural history production and the “whale” show recorded off Dunmore East on Martin Colfer’s MV Rebecca C back in Jan 2012 will air on Sun 9th June on RTE Radio 1 at 7:00 pm.  A full schedule of this 10 part series is given below.  For those of you who have missed the first two shows, they are available at:  

NATURE ON ONE 10 x 30min Natural History Radio Documentary Series STARTS SUNDAY 5th MAY 2013 on Radio 1 at 7pm Bringing the sounds of Ireland’s natural world to Radio 1 listeners This ten-part radio documentary series sees Emmy award-winning wildlife cameraman and television presenter Colin Stafford Johnson turn his talents to radio. Colin travels across the country on the hunt for some of our most remarkable animals and wild places. Tune in and allow yourself to be transported to Skellig Michael, with its noisy storm petrels, manx shearwaters and puffins; or into the midst of a grey seal colony on the windswept Inishkea Islands; venture below ground and imagine yourself being surrounded by swarming bats; or experience the sounds recorded inside a starling roost under a Belfast bridge. Over the course of ten weeks, Colin will guide his audience on an intimate tour of Ireland’s natural world. A Crossing the Line Production on behalf of RTÉ Radio One & BAI Sound & Vision   EPISODE 1  A Night on the Skellig Rocks In 600AD early Christian monks chose Skellig Michael, 11km off the Kerry coast, as a location for a monastery ‘on the edge of the known world’ which they believed would bring them closer to God. In this episode Colin Stafford Johnson spends a night on Skellig Michael, to record the wild sounds to be heard at this World Heritage Site – introducing the puffins, storm petrels and manx shearwaters who also choose to make their home on this rocky outcrop. In addition to meeting its wild inhabitants, Colin talks to OPW guides who spend the summer living on the island, and tourists who have made the day trip; as well as a local diver who describes the Skellig landscape below the surface.   EPISODE  2  The Burren: a special place for bumblebees, plants and people Colin Stafford Johnson visits Slieve Carron Nature Reserve in the Burren, Co. Clare. The Burren is unique and is known throughout the world for its vast limestone pavements, but far from being a barren landscape, as Dr Brendan Dunford explains, the Burren holds a diverse flora, a mix of Mediterranean and alpine plants found nowhere else in Ireland. It is also home to some of Ireland’s rarest bumblebees. When you hear Ecologist Dr Jane Stout’s take on bumblebees you will never see a passing bee the same way again, but as furry, endearing creatures! Colin learns about the Burren Farming for Conservation Programme and meets local farmer Pat Nagle. We also meet 13-year-old Jack McGann, graduate of Ecobeo, a course for young people on the natural, cultural and archaeological heritage value of this landscape.   EPISODE 3 The Seal Colony of the Inishkeas Colin Stafford Johnson joins grey seal expert Dr Oliver O’Cadhla on a visit to South Inishkea, off the Mullet Peninsula, home to one of Ireland’s largest grey seal breeding colonies. Having spent years researching the seals at this colony, Oliver is passionate about this place and these animals and explains their struggle to survive in this harsh environment. It’s mid-October and very cold. There are lots of pups on the beach, but they won’t all make it. The mothers are busy feeding their young, while the large dominant male seals protect their harem. On this remote wild island, we get a peek into the secret lives of the grey seals that are born there.   EPISODE 4  Species in Danger In this episode of ‘Nature on One’, Colin Stafford Johnson seeks out one of our most endangered species, the curlew. Searching across bog in Co. Mayo, Colin sets out to record the once familiar call of this iconic bird of Irish peatlands and Ireland’s largest wader. Anita Donaghy, from Birdwatch Ireland, explains why the curlew is in decline and their ‘Cry of the Curlew’ campaign. [see http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/Ourwork/CryoftheCurlewAppeal/tabid/1106/Default.aspx] Colin also wants to find out how some of our smaller, lesser known species – our snails and slugs – are doing. With a third of Irish mollusc species facing extinction, Colin is delighted to hear some good news for one species in Co. Longford as he meets up with Evelyn Moorkens to investigate a recently discovered site for one of our most rare animals, Desmoulins Whorl Snail, Vertigo moulinsiana.   EPISODE 5  Rise of the Pine Marten Historically widespread throughout the country, the pine marten suffered serious population decline due to habitat destruction, hunting for the fur trade; accidental poisoning and persecution by game-keepers so that, by the 1950s, it had become one of our rarest animals. But now the pine marten is on the rise once again and sightings are increasing across the midlands. Colin visits a small school in Co. Leitrim, in which a female pine marten chose to set up home and the pupils explain how they felt about this new addition to their school. Colin also explores the impact of this spread of the pine marten on other animals, meeting up with Emma Sheehy from NUI Galway in an Offaly woodland, where she is studying the interesting relationship between the pine marten, the red squirrel and the introduced grey squirrel.   EPISODE 6   Sunday 9th May, 7:00 pm Whaling off Hook Head Colin Stafford Johnson heads offshore with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, from Dunmore East, Co. Waterford, to try to find the second largest animal on earth, the fin whale. No less than 24 species of whales and dolphins have been recorded in Irish waters, ranging in size from the harbour porpoise to the blue whale, the largest animal that has ever lived. Will they manage to track down what is known as the greyhound of whale species, the fin whale?   EPISODE 7  The Secret Life of Irish Caves – from swarming bats to ancient bones Late one Autumn night, Colin Stafford Johnson heads underground to explore what wildlife might be found in Irish caves. Colin meets bat specialist Conor Kelleher in Dunmore Cave, Co. Kilkenny, where they hope to witness the autumnal swarming of Natterer’s bats. This phenomenon of Autumnal swarming in caves was only discovered in Ireland last year, and it is still not known why the bats do it – using up valuable fat reserves just as their winter hibernation approaches. In addition to this living wildlife spectacle, caves are also important repositories for our extinct fauna. To find out why this is and what has been found in Irish caves, Colin heads to the Natural History Museum to meet Nigel Monaghan, Curator, and to examine some of the ancient remains found in Irish caves.   EPISODE 8 The Wild Side of Belfast We tend to think of wildlife as living in pristine countryside, in woodland, rivers and bogs, but this week Colin Stafford Johnson heads to the bustling city of Belfast to find out what wild stories it might have to offer. The River Lagan flows right through the centre of the city. Ronald Surgenor, is a Wier operative, Department of Culture, Arts, and Leisure, and RSPB volunteer, who knows the river intimately and Ronald kindly takes Colin out in his rib, to visit Albert Bridge, the site of an amazing wildlife display, a starling murmuration, and they venture right under the bridge for a close encounter with the birds as they roost for the night. Colin also meets Lucille Coates and some children from ‘Watch this Space’, a Belfast City Council monthly nature club; as well as a team of volunteers who are hedgelaying, with the Laganscape Project, which works to manage Lagan Valley Park, with involvement from local communities, school groups, businesses and volunteers.   EPISODE 9        Birdsong – why do birds sing and what does it mean to us humans? Colin Stafford Johnson explores that wildlife sound we often take for granted – birdsong. At the Devil’s Glen in Co. Wicklow, he meets up with Animal Behaviour expert and Head of the Zoology Department in Trinity College Dublin, Dr Nicola Marples, to ask her why birds sing, and how they learn their tunes. Colin also travels west to meet with Gordon Darcy, Natural History author, artist and environmental educator, to discuss what birdsong might mean for human beings and how it may enrich our lives, whether or not we recognise it.   EPISODE 10        ‘An Amphibian Love Story’ – Singing frogs and Nattering Toads How does one attract the opposite sex? It could be good looks, physical fitness, a nice home, or even how you smell! But what about how you sound? In some animals it’s all in the voice. Toads and frogs have developed impressive calls to attract a mate. In this episode, Colin Stafford Johnson looks at two of Ireland’s amphibians, the common frog and the Natterjack Toad, and sets out to record their unique calls. In February he explored a mass frog spawning site at Glendalough in Co. Wicklow with Rob Gandola, from the Irish Herpetological Society; and in April, Ferdia Marnell, National Parks and Wildlife Service, and local conservation ranger Pascal Dower visit a Natterjack Toad breeding pond at Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry.     IWDG Cape Clear Whale-Watching courses There are still some places left on the 1st of our summer weekend whale-watching courses May 31- June 2nd on Cape Clear, Co. Cork. These courses are available for members at a discounted rate of €70.  Over the weekend participants will learn both practical field-skills during land and boat based watches, as well as attend a series of talks covering cetacean ecology/biology, species identification and whale watching.  Given reasonable weather conditions these weekends generally provide sightings of porpoises, common dolphins and minke whales and at this time of year, we can’t rule out basking sharks, although admitedly this has been a very poor year to date for this species, due to the lower than normal water temperatures.   Enquiries to email: padraig.whooley@iwdg.ie or Ph. 353 (0)86 3850568   Whale Watch Ireland 2013, Sunday 18th August 2013, 2:00-5:00 pm We are once again delighted to announce that Inis, Cologne www.perfume.ie are providing funding support for All-Ireland whale watch day on Sunday 18th August. As always this event requires watch leaders willing to lead and promote your local watch.  If you have land- based whale watching experience, are good with crowds and have some energy and time to spare, we’d appreciate your contacting us, so we can start to compile a list of sites that we can cover on this event, which is one of the largest events on the Irish wildlife calender.  Please contact event organiser on email: padraig.whooley@iwdg.ie or Ph. 086-3850568

Add-ons;- Lismore area; http://youtu.be/GizCoPx45_Q

St Declan’s Way

 

Short clip on Tramore’s Metal Man; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7cTcenRev0&feature=youtu.be

Recitations.

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The Man From God Knows Where

Into our townlan’ on a night of snow
rode a man from God knows where;
None of us bade him stay or go,
nor deemed him friend, nor damned him foe,
but we stabled his big roan mare;
for in our townlan’ we’re decent folk,
and if he didn’t speak, why none of us spoke,
and we sat till the fire burned low.

We’re a civil sort in our wee place
so we made the circle wide
round Andy Lemon’s cheerful blaze,
and wished the man his length of days
and a good end to his ride.
He smiled in under his slouchy hat,
says he: ‘There’s a bit of a joke in that,
for we ride different ways.’

The whiles we smoked we watched him stare
from his seat fornenst the glow.
I nudged Joe Moore: ‘You wouldn’t dare
to ask him who he’s for meeting there,
and how far he has got to go?’
And Joe wouldn’t dare, nor Wully Scott,
And he took no drink – neither cold nor hot,
this man from God knows where.

It was closing time, and late forbye,
when us ones braved the air.
I never saw worse (may I live or die)
than the sleet that night, an’ I says, says I:
‘You’ll find he’s for stopping there.’
But at screek o’day, through the gable pane
I watched him spur in the peltin’ rain,
an’ I juked from his rovin’ eye.

Two winters more, then the Trouble year,
when the best that a man could feel
was the pike that he kept in hidin’s near,
till the blood o’ hate an’ the blood o’ fear
would be redder nor rust on the steel.
Us ones quet from mindin’ the farms
Let them take what we gave wi’ the weight o’ our arms
from Saintfield to Kilkeel.

In the time o’ the Hurry, we had no lead
we all of us fought with the rest
an’ if e’er a one shook like a tremblin’ reed,
none of us gave neither hint nor heed,
nor ever even’d we’d guessed.
We men of the North had a word to say,
an’we said it then, in our own dour way,
an’ we spoke as we thought was best.

All Ulster over, the weemin cried
for the stan’in’ crops on the lan’.
Many’s the sweetheart and many’s the bride
would liefer ha’ gone to where he died,
and ha’ mourned her lone by her man.
But us ones weathered the thick of it
and we used to dander along and sit
in Andy’s, side by side.

What with discourse goin’ to and fro,
the night would be wearin’ thin,
yet never so late when we rose to go
but someone would say: ‘do ye min’ thon’ snow,
an ‘the man who came wanderin’in?’
and we be to fall to the talk again,
if by any chance he was one o’ them
The man who went like the win’.

Well ’twas gettin’ on past the heat o’ the year
when I rode to Newtown fair;
I sold as I could (the dealers were near
only three pounds eight for the Innish steer,
an’ nothin’ at all for the mare!)
I met M’Kee in the throng o’ the street,
says he: ‘The grass has grown under our feet
since they hanged young Warwick here.’,

And he told me that Boney had promised help
to a man in Dublin town.
Says he: ‘If you’ve laid the pike on the shelf,
you’d better go home hot-fut by yourself,
an’ once more take it down.’
So by Comber road I trotted the grey
and never cut corn until Killyleagh
stood plain on the risin’ groun’.

For a wheen o’ days we sat waitin’ the word
to rise and go at it like men,
but no French ships sailed into Cloughey Bay
and we heard the black news on a harvest day
that the cause was lost again;
and Joey and me, and Wully Boy Scott,
we agreed to ourselves we’d as lief as not
ha’ been found in the thick o’ the slain.

By Downpatrick goal I was bound to fare
on a day I’ll remember, feth;
for when I came to the prison square
the people were waitin’ in hundreds there
an’ you wouldn’t hear stir nor breath!
For the sodgers were standing, grim an’ tall,
round a scaffold built there foment the wall,
an’ a man stepped out for death!

I was brave an’ near to the edge of the throng,
yet I knowed the face again,
an’ I knowed the set, an’ I knowed the walk
an’ the sound of his strange up-country talk,
for he spoke out right an’ plain.
Then he bowed his head to the swinging rope,
whiles I said ‘Please God’ to his dying hope
and ‘Amen’ to his dying prayer
that the wrong would cease and the right prevail,
for the man that they hanged at Downpatrick gaol
was the Man from God knows where!

=====================================

Dan McGrew WARNING – OVER 18’s ONLY
This is a story of downfall and shame
The end in Alaska of a very proud name

The boys were all drinking and talking of ass
Of virgins and whores and rolls in the grass.

Of fairies and cocksmen and old moby dick
Who drove the girls crazy with a wart on his prick

Now over all this commotion
In the corner sparks flew
For there on the floor, on top of a whore,
Lay Dangerous Dan McGrew.

And out of the night as black as a bitch,
And into the din and the smoke,
Came shady old prick right up from the crick,
With a rusty old load in his poke.

He rolled out his cock to display to the flock
And every asshole squirmed

He drew from his belt a big bag of gold
And laid it down with a grin

He turned to the crowd and said in a loud voice:
“I’ve come to give Dangerous Dan a choice.

“This gold is for pleasure and I’m here to say
“I’ll spend every nickel for one damned good lay

“So here’s the deal straight and neat
“That girl you’re on Dan or you in the seat”

A hush still as death came o’er that place
And the only smile seen was on the face
Of that old weezened stranger named Ace

The crowd sat and waited for Dan to get through
And the matter at hand between the two

“You’ll not touch the girl while I’m still on hand.”
Said the stranger, “Then it’s your ass Dangerous Dan.”

The crowd made clearing as the circle round
Each eyeing the other but neither gave ground

The lights went out, I ducked to the floor,
And the stranger sprang in the dark.
His aim was true
And the sparks they flew
When his donnicker found its mark.

Mid might and main and screams of pain
And a man’s voice was heard in the room
There were sighs and moans and farts and groans,
And three bodies lay stacked in the gloom

Then a moan of delight mingled with pain
A scream, then a moan, again and again

The crowd was astounded as the lights were lit
And showed two men locked together all covered with shit

A figure arose from the two locked together
Staggered out of the bar and into the weather
With a satisfied look on his pan.
For there on the floor,
With his asshole tore,
Lay poor old Dangerous Dan.

===================================

Eskimo Nell

WARNING – EXPLECIT CONTENT you have been warned.
When a man rows old, & his balls grow cold
And the tip of his prick turns blue,
It bends in the middle like a 1 string fiddle
He can tell you a tale or two.

So pull up a chair, and stand me a drink
And a tale to you I’ll tell
Of Dead-eye Dick and Mexican Pete,
And a harlot called Eskimo Nell.

When Dead-eye Dick and Mexican Pete
Go forth in search of fun
It’s Dead-eye Dick that slings the prick
And Mexican Pete the gun.

When Dead-eye Dick and Mexican Pete
Are sore, depressed and sad
It’s always a cunt that bears the brunt
But the shooting ain’t so bad.

Now Dead-eye Dick and Mexican Pete
Live down by Dead Man’s Creek
And such was their luck they’d had no fuck
For nigh on half a week.

Just a moose or two and a caribou,
And a bison cow or so,
And for Dead-eye Dick with his kingly prick
This fucking was mighty slow.

So do or dare this horny pair
Set forth for the Rio Grande,
Dead-eye Dick with his mighty prick
And Pete with his gun in his hand.

And as they blazed their noisy trail
No man their path withstood,
And many a bride, her husband’s pride
A pregnant widow stood.

They reached the strand of the Rio Grande
At the height of a blazing noon,
And to slack their thirst and do their worst
They sought Black Mike’s Saloon.

And as they pushed the great doors wide
Both prick and gun flashed free.
According to sex, you bleeding wrecks,
You drink or fuck with me.”

They’d heard of Dead-eye Dick,
From Maine to Panama
So with scarcely worse than a muttered cur
Those dagos sought the bar.

The girls too knew his playful ways
Down on the Rio Grande,
And forty whores pulled down their drawer
At Dead-eye Dick’s command.

They saw the fingers of Mexican Pete
Itch on the trigger grip
And they didn’t wait, at fearful rate
Those whores began to strip.

Now Dead-eye Dick was breathing quick
With lecherous snorts and grunts
So forty arses were bared to view
And likewise forty cunts.

Now forty cunts and forty arses
If you can use your wits,
And if you’re slick at arithmetic,
Makes exactly eighty tits.

Now eighty tits are a gladsome sight
For a man with a raging stand
It may be rare in Berkeley Square
But not on the Rio Grande.

Now Dead-eye Dick had fucked a few
On the last preceding night,
This he had done just to show his fun
And to wet his appetite.

His phallic limb was in fucking trim,
As he backed and took a run
He made a dart at the nearest tart
And scored a hole in one.

He bore her to the sandy floor
And there he fucked her fine
And though she grinned
It put the wind up the other thirty-nine.

When Dead-eye Dick lets loose his prick
He’s got no time to spare,
For speed & length combined with strength
He fairly singes hair.

He made a dart at the next spare tart,
When into that harlot’s hell
Strode a gentle maid who was unafraid,
And her name it was Eskimo Nell.

By this time Dick had got his prick
Well into number two
When Eskimo Nell let out a yell,
She bawled to him, “Hey you.”

He gave a flick of his muscular prick
And the girl flew over his head,
And he wheeled about with an angry shout.
His face and his prick were red.

She glanced our hero up and down,
His looks she seemed to decry,
With utter scorn she glimpsed the horn
That rose from his hairy thigh.

She blew the smoke from her cigarette
Over his steaming knob
So utterly beat was Mexican Pete
He failed to do his job.

It was Eskimo Nell who broke the spell
In accents clear and cool,
“You cunt struck shrimp of a Yankee pimp.
You call that thing a tool?”

“If this here town can’t take that down,”
She sneered to those cowering whores,
“There’s one little cunt can do the stunt,
It’s Eskimo Nell’s, not yours.”

She stripped her garments one by one
With an air of conscious pride
And as she stood in her womanhood
They saw the great divide.

She seated herself on a table top
Where someone had left his glass,
With a twitch of her tits she crushed it to bits
Between the cheeks of her arse.

She flexed her knees with supple ease,
And spread her legs apart,
With a friendly nod to the mangy sod
She gave him the cue to start.

But Dead-eye Dick knew a trick or two,
He meant to take his time,
And a girl like this was fucking bliss
So he played the pantomime.

He flexed his arse hole to and fro
And made his balls inflate
Until they looked like granite knobs
Up on a garden gate.

He blew his anus inside out,
His balls increased in size,
His mighty prick grew twice as thick
Till it almost reached his eyes.

He polished it up with alcohol,
And made it steaming hot
To finish the job he sprinkled the knob
With a cayenne pepperpot.

Then neither did he take a run
Nor did he take a leap,
Nor did he stoop, but took a swoop
And a steady forward creep.

With piercing eye he took a sight
Along his mighty tool,
And the steady grin as he pushed it in
Was calculatedly cool.

Have you seen the giant pistons
On the mighty C.P.R.
With the driving force of a thousand horse.
Well, you know what pistons are.

Or you think you do. But you’ve yet to learn
The ins and outs of the trick
Of the work that’s done on a non-stop run
By a guy like Dead-eye Dick.

But Eskimo Nell was no infidel,
As good as whole harem
With the strength of ten in her abdomen
And the rock of ages between.

Amid stops she could take the stream
Like the flush of a watercloset,
And she gripped his cock like a Yale Lock
On the National Safe Deposit.

But Dead-eye Dick could not come quick,
He meant to conserve his powers,
If he’d a mind he’d grind and grind
For a couple of solid hours.

Nell lay for a while with a subtle smile,
The grip of her cunt grew keener,
Squeezing her thigh she sucked him dry
With the ease of a vacuum cleaner.

She performed this trick in a way so slick
As to set in complete defiance
The basic cause and primary laws
That govern sexual science.

She calmly rode through the phallic code
Which for years had stood the test,
And the ancient rules of the classic schools
In a second or two went West.

And so my friends we come to the end
Of copulation’s classic
The effect on Dick was sudden and quick
And akin to an anesthetic.

He fell to the floor, and knew no more
His passions extinct and dead
And he did not shout as his prick fell out
Though ’twas stripped right down to a thread

Then Mexican Pete jumped to his feet
To avenge his pal’s affront,
With jarring jolt of his blue-nosed
Colt He rammed it up her cunt.

He rammed it up to the trigger grip
And fired three times three
But to his surprise she closed her eyes
And smiled in ecstasy.

She jumped to her feet with a smile so sweet
“Bully”, she said, “for you.
Though I had guessed that was the best
That you two poor cocks could do.”

“When next, my friend, that you intend
To sally forth for fun
Buy Dead-eye Dick a sugar stick
And yourself an elephant gun.

“I’m going back to the frozen North,
Where the pricks are hard and strong.
Back to the land of the frozen stand
Where the nights are six months long.

“It’s hard as tin when they put it in
In the land where spunk is spunk
Not a trickling stream of lukewarm cream
But a solid frozen chunk.

“Back to the land where they understand
What it means to fornicate,
Where even the dead sleep two in a bed
And the babies masturbate.

“Back to the land of the grinding gland,
Where the walrus plays with his prong,
Where the polar bear wanks off in his lair
That’s where they’ll sing this song.

“They’ll tell this tale on the Arctic Trail
Where the nights are sixty below,
Where it’s so damn cold that the Johnnies are sold
Wrapped up in a ball of snow.

“In the valley of death with baited breath
That’s where they’ll sing it too,
Where the skeletons rattle in sexual battle,
And the rotting corpses screw.

“Back to the land where men are men,
Terra Bellicum,
And there I’ll spend my worthy end
For the North is calling: ‘Come.'”

So Dead-eye Dick and Mexican Pete
Slunk out of the Rio Grande,
Dead-eye Dick with his useless prick
And Pete with no gun in his hand.

==========================================

6 Ridiculous Myths About the Middle Ages Everyone Believes

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6 Ridiculous Myths About the Middle Ages Everyone Believes

By:Steve Kolenberg January 13, 2013 888,443 views

With grateful thanks to  https://www.facebook.com/MontagueHeritageServices?ref=stream

When you think of the Middle Ages, chances are you picture gallant knights sitting astride brilliant destriers galloping through a sea of plagues, ignorance, and filth. And you can hardly be blamed for that, when everything from the movies you watch to your high school history teacher (who was mainly the football coach) has told you that …

#6. Scientific Progress Was Dead

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The Myth:

They call it the Dark Ages for a reason. Any scientist who dared to actually study the universe would be shut down by the Catholic church, which thought all that bullshit was immoral and that the Bible was all the learnin’ anybody could possibly need. They even thought the Earth was flat, for crying out loud.

Getty
“No, we can’t cross the ocean there, don’t you see that sea monster in the way?”

The Reality:

Aside from the fact that, as we’ve already explained, most people in the Middle Ages did not think the Earth was flat, the church wasn’t responsible for killing science — to the contrary, it was largely responsible for saving it.

After the barbarians invaded Europe and Rome went the way of the dinosaurs, the Catholic church was the last remaining aspect of Roman culture in Western Europe. The church went about setting up monasteries across Europe, and along with the monks came the monks’ massive libraries. Monks were just about the only educated people in the early Middle Ages, and pretty much everything we know about this entire time period was written by them.

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“Look, the monks’ scroll clearly says that all monks had 12-inch dongs, so it must be true.”

As time went on, the church stepped it up a notch and started establishing universities to foster the preservation of knowledge. You may have heard of a few of them: Oxford, Cambridge, and the University of Paris (not to mention pretty much every other top school in Europe). At these universities, students studied more than most college kids do today, with an average bachelor’s degree taking up to seven years to earn, and a master’s or doctorate taking several more. The universities were also big on translation, having successfully translated into Latin guys like Aristotle and Plato, which effectively made the Renaissance possible. All of this despite the fact that beer bong technology was still in its infancy.

Around the same time as universities were popping up all over Europe, the Crusades were bringing Europeans into contact with advanced Muslim ideas of science and technology. Ideas like the compass and the astrolabe came to the West via Muslim Spain and came in handy during the later Age of Exploration. Italian merchants came back from trading in North Africa and gave us another innovation: Arabic numerals.

Sju
Pfft, like people are going to want to learn a whole other set of characters.

Medicine also made massive advances thanks to the university system. Contrary to popular belief, dissection of corpses was actually fine and dandy with the church, and medieval universities often did it in the basement (OK, so maybe it wasn’t totally fine and dandy). By the 14th century, there were functional hospitals, and doctors had learned how to use antiseptic when lopping off people’s body parts.

And that’s a good thing, because everybody was encrusted in filth back then, right? Well, about that …

#5. Everyone Smelled Like Complete Shit

Getty

The Myth:

Even if we know nothing else about the Middle Ages, we know that everyone was absolutely filthy. Medieval peasants looked like something straight out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail …

 Getty
But not nearly as whimsical.

… and the upper classes were hardly any cleaner. People back then took baths with about the same frequency as we go to the dentist — a couple of times a year for the obsessive ones. Just getting to a person’s genitals required a stiff wire brush and a chisel.

The Reality:

They were way into bathing for much of the Middle Ages. Maybe too into it — they continued the Roman practice where a bunch of strangers got naked together for communal bathing, and most towns and even villages in medieval Germany had a communal bath where craftsmen would hang out and bathe together after a hard day’s work. Just sitting there, probably washing each other’s dongs while having loud conversations about how incredibly not gay they were.

 Getty
“You see my new pickup wagon with a bunch of tools in the back?”

Meanwhile, not only was it common for medieval folk to wash their hands before and after eating, it was also customary to offer to bathe with guests when they entered your home, something The Man has repeatedly reminded us is no longer acceptable in modern society. Medieval demand for soap (usually made from animal fats, with a variety of oils and salts added) was so great that by the 13th century, soap was being made on an almost industrial scale in Britain, Italy, Spain, and France.

So why do we picture everyone as wallowing in their own filth back then? Well, things changed all at once. If only an act of God could change Europe’s epic bathing culture, they got one — in the mid-14th century, the Black Death strolled up and kicked Europe right in the teeth with its pestilence boot. Suddenly, smart people were telling the previously washed masses that bathing was a surefire way to open your body’s pores and invite in all the bad spirits or gremlins or whatever (they weren’t too savvy on what caused illness back then).

 Getty
“The academy is divided down the middle, between Jews and forest pixies.”

As a result, by the early modern period of history, bathing had become obsolete. So it’s entirely possible that George Washington rated higher than Richard the Lionheart on the smell-like-shit-o-meter.

#4. Knights Were Honorable, Chivalrous Warriors

 Getty

The Myth:

Knights were gallant and brave warriors, charging into battle to slay the dragon and rescue the fair maiden.

The Reality:

Knights often had less in common with this:

 Wikimedia Commons
“We shall die for the glory of our randomly assigned piece of land!”

And more in common with this:

 Johan Ordonez/NBC News
Wessex side.

Remember, knights were professional warriors, and when there wasn’t a war to fight, they had to findsomething to do with their war-boners. Most of these guys were relatively young and didn’t have Call of Duty to satisfy their violent urges, so they tended to take it out on the local population. Toward the 11th century, many of the local lords started bickering over who would get a slice of the Holy Roman pie that Charlemagne baked, and the knights were at the forefront of these petty wars. These “wars” were less Braveheart-style epic battles and more knights rolling up into villages and slaughtering everybody.

The church tried to curb these conflicts, because frankly, they were nasty and threatened the stability of everything. First they tried to gather up all the knights and shake various body parts of dead saints at them, but when that didn’t work, the Pope called the First Crusade and exported all these assholes to the Middle East, where they chivalrously ate babies and massacred the entire population of Jerusalem.

 Wikimedia Commons
“Hey, the Pope said we wouldn’t go to hell! No backsies!”

Later attempts were made to get these young ‘uns under control, one being the chivalric code that was adopted around the 13th century. Examples like Sir Lancelot and Edward the Black Prince were raised to show knights how to behave in battle and in peace. Knights were encouraged to “defend the weak,” but “the weak” was commonly interpreted as noble women and children, not peasants. So noble-on-noble violence may have decreased, but it was still totally cool for knights to kill and rape peasants, since, like those beers you had for breakfast, they didn’t really count.

#3. Everyone Was a Prude

 Getty

The Myth:

Casual sex, and even knowledge of how sex works, is a modern invention. During the heavily religious Dark Ages, sex was strictly forbidden outside of marriage, and every single person of consenting age (a term that was very loosely defined back then) led a life that was a never-ending squelch through a pool of their own sexual repression.

The Reality:

You know those really goofy-looking shoes that men wore back then? The extra pointy ones, like something an elf would wear?

 Ziko
We’d still wear those over Heelys.

Well, those points are called poulaines, and apparently they were meant to directly represent the wearer’s dong. And in a revelation that will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone even remotely familiar with the intricate relationship between a man and his wang, these points were sometimes so big that dudes couldn’t walk up stairs. Good thing they were all wearing those elaborate codpieces to protect their actual dongs when their shoe-dongs tripped them up.

And the sexy didn’t stop with their fashion. Prostitution was a big friggin’ deal back then. Although technically against the teachings of the church, everyone collectively agreed that if there were no hookers around, men would be out raping, just, everyone, because some of what you’ve heard about the Middle Ages wasn’t a myth. In most medieval cities, prostitution was completely legal yet confined to certain districts and licensed by a town’s mayor. The church even got in on this deal andlicensed some holy brothels of its very own.

 Getty
“She’ll tickle your schmeckel for only a shekel!”

But let’s not leave out the married folk. Since most upper-class marriages were political arrangements and the people getting married didn’t necessarily like each other all that much, extramarital affairs were where it was at. And man, did these people get down — if you’ve ever watched a show like The Tudors and thought it was all sexed up for a modern audience, you were wrong.

One of the reasons that Eleanor of Aquitaine usurped her husband Henry II was because Henry II apparently had more mistresses than Tiger Woods. Seeing that getting in bed with the king was a good way to get ahead in life, daughters of lower nobility basically became escorts and tried to become the king’s favorite mistress, which worked out pretty well for Anne Boleyn when she married Henry VIII and became Queen of England. Worked out pretty well, that is, until she was beheaded for allegedly banging too many people who weren’t Henry VIII.

 Getty
The Bible is very clear that you’re only allowed three affairs at a time.

But the whole situation was still bad news for women, right? Because women were basically property back then? Well …

#2. Women Were Treated as Cattle

  Nino Mascardi/Getty Images

The Myth:

Europe during the Middle Ages is right up there with Taliban-ruled Afghanistan in the Top 5 Places It Would Suck to Have a Vagina. Women were horribly oppressed and were treated as second-class citizens — their only responsibilities were to cook, clean, and squeeze out (male) babies on demand.

 Getty
“Sweetie? You get that new male heir I asked for? It’s been like an hour …”

The Reality:

Up until about 200 years ago, Europe was a largely agricultural society. And the funny thing about back-breaking and often dehumanizing labor is that it has a weird way of equalizing people — when literally every member of the family is out busting his or her ass every morning just to fend off the very real threat of starvation, gender roles and sexism suddenly don’t seem all that important. Thus, when it came to household responsibilities, women and men were equals by default, since the women had to do all the same bullshit their husbands had to do. So should time travel ever become a thing, never tell a medieval peasant woman to go make her husband a sandwich, because she’ll probably cackle her plague-breath all up in your face before snapping you in half like a twig.

And the story wasn’t much different in the cities. If dad owned a shop or a tavern, his daughters were the ones helping out. Sometimes a daughter would actually take over the family business and run it herself if her father became unable to, something that wouldn’t really happen until much later in modern society. Women also generally ran the taverns in the Middle Ages — in fact, women once ran England’s entire beer industry. It’s not quite clear when that changed, but we have to assume that at some point men realized they had allowed women to become all powerful by letting them be in charge of both beer and vaginas.

 Getty
“Well, at least we still have sports … Oh Christ!”

Women who weren’t busy running taverns or growing crops to survive could join a convent, which may not sound all that impressive until you realize that this gave them access to education in a time when that was extremely rare — nuns could read and write in an age when the most powerful kings couldn’t. And if they stuck with it long enough to become the abbess of a convent, they were in a position of power very similar to a male lord — only, you know, maybe even a little higher, seeing as how they technically reported directly to the King of Kings and all.

#1. Life Was Horrible and Everyone Died Young

 Getty

The Myth:

Life in the Middle Ages has famously been described as “nasty, brutish, and short.” The food sucked, the housing sucked, the work sucked, everything sucked. Luckily, people didn’t have to endure all the perpetual suck for long, since they only lived to see 35, tops. Today, if you see a character older than 60 in a movie set in the Middle Ages, he’s also a wizard.

 Getty
“A wizard dies precisely when he means to. Or when the giant eagles show up late.”

The Reality:

As for lives being short, while it may be true that the average life expectancy was 35 years, we tend to overlook one very important word there: average. Infant mortality was brutal, since vaccinations against childhood diseases didn’t exist yet and medicine was still in its “Here, chew on this root and stick some leeches on your junk” stage. So that skews the average way down. But if a male living in 1500 managed to see his 21st birthday, he was expected to live around 50 more years from that point.

The typical perception of the medieval peasant is someone breaking his back doing nonstop labor for lords who gaveth not a single fuck as to his well-being, but your typical peasant actually workedaround eight hours a day, with long breaks for meals and naps. And did you know that peasants got more time off than you do? Sunday was an automatic day off, and when you factor in long vacations at Christmas, Easter, and midsummer, plus all the saints’ days (considering the fact that the Catholic church has even more saints than it does scandals), and medieval peasants were on holiday for a goodone-third of the year. And since much of that time was accompanied by epic festivals, they spent it getting shitfaced on various varieties of medieval ale. So not only did they work less than you, they also partied harder.

 Getty
“Hey, you guys coming to the after-orgy?”

And it turns out they weren’t exactly living lives of “bare bones subsistence,” either. By the late Middle Ages, your average English worker was making around $1,000 a year — significantly better than people in some of today’s poorer nations. And while no one will argue that that level of income would provide lifestyles that would inspire rap song lyrics, it did allow them to afford varied diets, the occasional luxury item, and plenty of ale to cover all the partying they were virtually required to do. Hell, you could get a rap song out of that, right? Quick, what rhymes with “dick shoes”?


For more things you’re totally wrong about, check out 6 Things from History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly and The 5 Most Overrated Jobs of All Time.

Immrama Festival of travel Writers deemed a great success.

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Immrama; Immrama is an ancient Gaelic word used to describe a journey of self-discovery, a voyage of exploration into the wonders of our infinite potential; sometimes even used as a reference to a time in the Gaelic order in Ireland or a journey to challange aspects of one’s faith (see; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immrama).

Enthralled Crowds Journey with International Travel Writers

by Willie Whelan
Crowds of visitors descended upon the heritage town of Lismore, Co Waterford for The Immrama Festival of Travel Writing’ last weekend (9-12 June).Literary enthusiasts from throughout Ireland and abroad congregated in the town since Thursday evening last (June 9) to enjoy a weekend of literary presentations, workshops, a bloggers clinic and poetry readings with international travel writers including Conor O’Clery, Rolf Potts, Alex von Tunzelmann, Sara Wheeler, Theo Doran, William Blacker and Jasper Winn.The four-day festival commenced on Thursday evening, June 9 with the launch of four new books by authors Paul Clements, Áine Uí Fhoghlú, Alan Murphy and David Monaghan in Lismore Castle Arts. Friday morning commenced with schools poetry workshops and on Friday evening Theo Dorgan took his audience on a literary sailing voyage, along with polar traveller, Sara Wheeler, who enthralled with her audience with tales of her vast explorations of the northern and southern hemispheres. Travel writer Pól Ó Conghaile ably and expertly chatted with Theo and Sara to provide a wonderful evening’s entertainment.

Commenting on the festival, County Manager Ray O’Dwyer said, “Once again the Immrama festival has been a huge success. Lismore Immrama is now a recognised brand worldwide in travel writing circles, with visitors from destinations such as Melbourne, Australia; Vancouver, Canada and Florida in the U.S having traveled to Lismore this week especially for the Festival. It is fantastic to know that County Waterford is making its mark on the world map in this way.”

Saturday morning’s  Bloggers’ Clinic, which was a new event on the Immrama calendar, was a huge success and very well received. More than 50 people were treated to some wonderful presentations and discussion about this post modern method of travel writing from the King of Blogging Rolf Potts, travel writer Manchán Magan, couchsurfer Áine Goggins and blogger Darragh Doyle.  This was followed by a lively questions and answers session which proved to be an insightful workshop on self publishing in the electronic era.

On Saturday afternoon keynote speaker Conor O’Clery spoke movingly on his reporting from the world’s conflict zones and the phenomenon of the ‘conflict hotel.’ He vividly described some of his experiences detailing the camaraderie of journalists working within countries in turmoil. On Saturday evening at the Blackwater Community School, Blogger, Author and Travel Writer Rolf Potts gave his insights into the whole travel writing genre, vividly brought to life by his own travel experiences and travel historian Alex von Tunzelmann enthralled her audience with details of the ‘real’ story behind the Cuban Missile Crisis and the fall of the British Empire in India.

The Immrama Festival Committee are deeply indebted to traveler and author Jasper Winn, who stepped in at the last moment to give a wonderful ‘Literary Breakfast’ presentation on Sunday morning at Ballyrafter House Hotel.  Due to unforeseen circumstances programmed author Anthony Sattin was unable to make it and Jasper kindly agreed to speak of his own travels and experiences in various countries around the world, including some fascinating tales of his kayaking trip around Ireland, which is detailed in his new book, “Paddle: A Long Way Around Ireland.”

The rain held off on Sunday afternoon to allow large crowds enjoy a lovely afternoon’s free family fun entertainment in the Millennium Park, including wonderful music by Loudest Whisper and events including stilt-walking, face painting, dancing and a magician. The tempting food aromas courtesy of the Lismore Farmers Market drew many to the food producer stalls on Lismore Castle Avenue.

The festival closed on Sunday evening with a wonderful literary presentation by acclaimed travel writer William Blacker. The theme of the 2011 festival was taken from William’s book Along the Enchanted Way, which is an account of the years he spent in northern Romania, living a life that has hardly changed since the Middle Ages, having discovered the 200-odd Saxon villages of Transylvania, with their fortified churches that have not been touched since they were built between the 14th and 16th centuries. William captivated the large audience with his vivid descriptions of life in the rural mountains, superbly illustrated by a slide presentation of his photos from Romania.

This is the ninth Immrama Festival of Travel Writers’ and the Immrama Organising Committee would like to thank all of those who made this year’s festival possible, particularly those who attended the various events throughout the weekend. At the end of a magnificent weekend of literary events, audiences were left wondering what the 2012 festival would have in store for them.

Note;

Stories

Originally there were seven officially recognized Immram listed in a list of ancient texts. Of those seven only three, the The Voyage of Mael DúinThe Voyage of the Uí Chorra, and The Voyage of Snedgus and Mac Riagla survive. The Voyage of Bran is classified in these same lists as an echtrae, though it also contains the essential elements of the immrama.[4] The later LatinVoyage of St. Brendan also contains a voyage across the sea to various otherworldy islands.