A LIVING HISTORY BLOG.

18TH CENTURY LIVING HISTORY IN AUSTRALIA.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Authenticity and Survival.

Authenticity and Survival. (copyright).




The majority of living historians strive for authenticity in the equipment they carry and use, but equipment authenticity requires more than just having the correct equipment for the period, it must also be correct for you. There are many historical variations in knives, axes, shot pouches, carrying methods, hats, you name it. But only some of these when put to the test of use in the field will be suitable for you. Why does it matter? Well safety for one, using a knife or tomahawk that does not feel right in the hand can result in an accident. A knife sheath that falls out of you belt is not desirable. So think about these things when putting your gear together, you have choices within the bounds of authenticity.



I have seen many a person wearing a shot pouch which hangs down to mid thigh, I can only assume it is worn this way because it is easier to get into. However, there are other considerations to take into account when wearing your accoutrements. A shot pouch worn so low in the field will lead to problems, mostly through lack of control when moving through the woods, or running or even kneeling. The pouch will swing about when on the move and touch the ground when you bend down or kneel. So sometimes there is a priority beyond ease of use.



I read that French woodsrunners often carried a knife attached to their garters. This may be true, but how? Under the garter, or tied to the garter? The garter secures the leggings below the knee, this means that if a knife were attached to the garter, it would be constantly in motion when walking, and when dog trotting or running it would be shaken about severely. This in itself is not damaging, but the likelihood of losing the knife is high. So I carry my legging knife in the top of my legging. It is secure there and I can feel it without it causing discomfort, and there is far less chance of losing it.



So think about these things when putting your gear together, try things out, and if they don’t work, do not just accept it as a period fact. Do something about it. On a long trek your survival may depend on you having the right equipment carried in the correct manner, and you having the necessary skills. Just as it was 300 years ago. If you are a woodsrunner, man or woman, act like one, be one. Think about your personal needs and combine this with authenticity so it all works for you.



The Loss Of History.

The Quay (trailer) from Richard Fleury on Vimeo.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

A Little Birdie Told Me So! Learn to understand & pay attention.

Most animals have a way of communicating danger to other animals, and that includes us humans. The Blackbird in the British Isles is a typical example, and I will bet that many a deer hunter in Scotland has cursed them for it. But you should learn to understand these warning signals, and pay attention to it. I was just outside picking some fresh greens for my lunch. I was just about to reach into the garlic chives when a Fairy Wren nearby gave its warning signal that there was a snake. I pulled back just in time as the red bellied black came out of the chives!
And yes, I did thank the Fairy Wren.

A female fairy wren.

Red belly black.

The Old Foodie Blog. Casserole or Stew?

A good post here for "casserole or stew?" http://www.theoldfoodie.com/

Defining Bushcraft.

What is Bushcraft?



Bushcraft appears to be something that encompasses a large variety of outdoor pursuits, and, the making of equipment and tools used in those outdoor pursuits. So how did this start, where did it come from?


My main reason for writing this article is because I have just been rebuked for posting our latest promo video on a bushcraft forum that I belong to. I might point out that this video has been accepted on other forums and I have received good feedback on it. But on this particular forum I was told not to post any more videos that advertise our group. I might also point out that this forum, though a worldwide forum, has members mostly from the UK and the USA, so if I were angling for members it is unlikely that anyone would want to travel 14,000 miles to attend meetings once a month.


The reason given was that the video did not contain items relating to bushcraft. Well most of you will have seen the video in question, the 30 second one my son produced, and I think you will agree that everything in the video bar the 3 second sword scene was in fact an outdoor pursuit. If the sword part is what offends the forum moderator then I think it is a rather petty complaint. Basically the video is a promo for the pursuit itself, not just our group. It was made to encourage people to think about the things that we do, and perhaps encourage them to give it a go themselves.


So with that in mind, where did bushcraft begin? I think it must have started as survival skills which then became “living Skills”. Later on pacific names were given to people who spent time in the woods and practiced these skills, they were called woodsmen, foresters and Rangers. These people went into the woods armed, for their own protection, and in the case of the 12th-14th century Rangers, for the protection of others who lived in and around the forests.


Later these Rangers spread from England and Europe to the New World, where it was again their duty to range the surrounding forests looking for sign of any enemy that might threaten the local community. Once again these men went armed, and this was a time when the sword was still considered an important piece of equipment, so much so that the local militias were bound by law to carry a sword.


So where am I going with this? It is easy to get sidetracked when you have so many thoughts in your head all at the same time. My immediate thoughts shortly after the rebuke were; I wonder if Horace Kephart would not have been taken seriously as a bushcrafter had he carried a sword? Of course I don’t carry a sword in the woods, I just enjoy the use of the sword when not trekking and camping. The sword fighting is only a very small part of what we do, however the "hunting sword" was once a part of the hunter's equipment, and as hunting knives and guns recieve mention on bushcraft forums then I don't think the hunting sword is out of place.


I guess my reason for writing this is to bring people’s attention to the meaning of Bushcraft/woodscraft/woods lore, to get them to think about it so they don’t rebuke someone out of hand for posting a non bushcraft topic without seriously thinking about it. Had I been a new member and posted such a video, then I agree my motives may have been in question, but I have over 140 posts under my belt on that forum and the feedback from those posts are always encouraging.


To quote Horace Kephart: “As Richard Harding Davis says, " The same article that one declares is the most essential to his comfort, health, and happiness is the very first thing that another will throw into the trail.
A man's outfit is a matter which seems to touch his private honour. I have heard veterans sitting around a camp-fire proclaim the superiority of their kits with a jealousy, loyalty, and enthusiasm they would not exhibit for the flesh of their flesh and the bone of their bone.
 On a campaign you may attack a man's courage, the flag he serves, the newspaper for which he works, his intelligence, or his camp manners, and he will Ignore you ; but If you criticise his patent water-bottle he will fall upon you with both fists."


Maybe that is how I feel at present, I am being criticised for my choice of bushcraft material, and not only that but my post was removed from the site.


I think to be fair the most I could be accused of is being proud of my son’s efforts in producing this video, and I wanting to share it, I don’t really think it is fair to accuse me of feathering my own nest at the expense of someone else’s forum.

Monday, 22 November 2010

New England Colonial Living History Group 1680-1760 LOGO.

Not a big post, just thought I would post our group's new logo. When my son Kaelem edited the new promo video, he wanted a logo. I could not remember what ours used to be, so I said go ahead and design one for the video, and if I like it we will use from now on. Well I liked it.
It is one of the hardest things trying to explain to a public about who and what you are in so few words, especially when the majority of that public has no idea what living history is.
No matter what I say, and no matter what image I use, different people will read and see something different in that poster to what I intended. So I hope people do not look at our logo and think that is what we are all about.




Friday, 19 November 2010

Sashes & Garters.

These are actually for sale. The sashes are woven from pure wool, and the sword straps and bag straps are of cotton and copies of originals which can be seen in the "Encyclopedia Of The American Revolution". These straps and sashes do of course pre date the revolution period.
My wife does the weaving, and I do the beading.

Beaded French & Indian War period sashes. These are once around and tied with the fringe as per originals, and vary in length from roughly 6 feet to a little longer. 

These are later 18th century to 19th century sashes worn by Coureur De Bois and are 2 metres 700 in length.

Early to mid 18th century garters. Please note that it was not traditional to wear matching garters and sash.

Straps for cartridge boxes, swords and bags and pouches.

Same as above only narrower.

Unfinished sashes. The fringe is not corded or beaded and is left as is for anyone who wants a less expensive sash and wants to do the finishing themselves. These can of course also be used for bag straps.

All straps and sashes are loom woven.

Lions Of The Sea.

Good video, but I don't like the music! I turn the sound off! Your choice.

Award Winning Promotional Video!

Before you watch this masterpiece, I must explain. We, our group have had trouble with our forum. Things were not working and we could not get any site help. I changed to another forum, and found it too was not working, and once more no site help. I moved again to "freeforums", it was fine but I had problems setting it up. I contacted the site help, and got an ammediate response, and all the help I needed. Great, but now I come to the point.
When this video was made, the editor copied the group forum address from one of my videos. You guessed it, it was the old address! So here is the correct address, just in case it is too late to re-edit the info on this video.
http://eighteenthcenturylivinghistory.freeforums.org/

I still think that this is a brilliant video, far better than the ones I have produced and I am very proud of my son for making such an excellent job of it. Anyway, see it for yourself and see what you think.
Regards.
I suggest you click on the video and go to YouTube and watch it full screen. It is produced in High Definition.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Pauline's Pirates & Privateers. Tools Of The Trade: The Buccaneers Gun

This post I have copied from the following blog that I have just started following:
http://paulinespiratesandprivateers.blogspot.com/2010/11/tools-of-trade-buccaneers-gun.html
A good post and a good read. Go to the blog to read more.



They name the musket their gun and have used it with great ingenuity to make up for their lack of resources.



Thus wrote Triple P’s house physician Alexander Exquemelin of the famous boucaniers of Tortuga. They were, said the Doctor in his eye-witness accounts, reliably efficient marksman who could be compared to “… the finest of the French Musketeers”. This is a statement not to be taken lightly when one considers the facts surrounding it. First, the flintlock musket, with its long barrel, smooth bore and uneven shot, is ungainly and ill suited to accuracy in the eyes of modern marksmen. Second, the French Musketeers had a reputation in their day comparable in many ways to modern special ops snipers.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Bee Hunting.

Michel-Guillaume-Jean de Crevecoeur. 1735-1813.

Life on the Frontier. 18th century. Bee Hunting.
I take with me my dog,
as a companion, for he is useless as to this game; my gun, for no
man you know ought to enter the woods without one; my blanket, some
provisions, some wax, vermilion, honey, and a small pocket compass.


With these implements I proceed to such woods as are at a
considerable distance from any settlements. I carefully examine
whether they abound with large trees, if so, I make a small fire on
some flat stones, in a convenient place; on the fire I put some wax;
close by this fire, on another stone, I drop honey in distinct
drops, which I surround with small quantities of vermilion, laid on
the stone; and then I retire carefully to watch whether any bees
appear. If there are any in that neighbourhood, I rest assured that
the smell of the burnt wax will unavoidably attract them; they will
soon find out the honey, for they are fond of preying on that which
is not their own; and in their approach they will necessarily tinge
themselves with some particles of vermilion, which will adhere long
to their bodies. I next fix my compass, to find out their course,
which they keep invariably straight, when they are returning home
loaded. By the assistance of my watch, I observe how long those are
returning which are marked with vermilion. Thus possessed of the
course, and, in some measure, of the distance, which I can easily
guess at, I follow the first, and seldom fail of coming to the tree
where those republics are lodged. I then mark it; and thus, with
patience, I have found out sometimes eleven swarms in a season; and
it is inconceivable what a quantity of honey these trees will
sometimes afford. It entirely depends on the size of the hollow, as
the bees never rest nor swarm till it is all replenished; for like
men, it is only the want of room that induces them to quit the
maternal hive. Next I proceed to some of the nearest settlements,
where I procure proper assistance to cut down the trees, get all my
prey secured, and then return home with my prize. The first bees I
ever procured were thus found in the woods, by mere accident; for at
that time I had no kind of skill in this method of tracing them. The
body of the tree being perfectly sound, they had lodged themselves
in the hollow of one of its principal limbs, which I carefully sawed
off and with a good deal of labour and industry brought it home,
where I fixed it up again in the same position in which I found it
growing. This was in April; I had five swarms that year, and they
have been ever since very prosperous. This business generally takes
up a week of my time every fall, and to me it is a week of solitary
ease and relaxation.

Language! Part One.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue
by Captain Grose et al
DICTIONARY OF THE VULGAR TONGUE.

ABBESS, or LADY ABBESS, A bawd, the mistress of a
brothel.
ABEL-WACKETS. Blows given on the palm of the hand
with a twisted handkerchief, instead of a ferula; a jocular
punishment among seamen, who sometimes play at cards
for wackets, the loser suffering as many strokes as he has
lost games.
ABIGAIL. A lady's waiting-maid.
ABRAM. Naked. CANT.
ABRAM COVE. A cant word among thieves, signifying a
naked or poor man; also a lusty, strong rogue.
ABRAM MEN. Pretended mad men.
TO SHAM ABRAM. To pretend sickness.
ACADEMY, or PUSHING SCHOOL. A brothel. The Floating
Academy; the lighters on board of which those persons
are confined, who by a late regulation are condemned to
hard labour, instead of transportation.--Campbell's
Academy; the same, from a gentleman of that name, who had
the contract for victualling the hulks or lighters.
ACE OF SPADES. A widow.
ACCOUNTS. To cast up one's accounts; to vomit.
ACORN. You will ride a horse foaled by an acorn, i.e. the
gallows, called also the Wooden and Three-legged Mare.
You will be hanged.--See THREE-LEGGED MARE.
ACT OF PARLIAMENT. A military term for small beer, five
pints of which, by an act of parliament, a landlord was
formerly obliged to give to each soldier gratis.
ACTEON. A cuckold, from the horns planted on the head
of Acteon by Diana.
ACTIVE CITIZEN. A louse.
ADAM'S ALE. Water.
ADAM TILER. A pickpocket's associate, who receives the
stolen goods, and runs off with them. CANT.
ADDLE PATE. An inconsiderate foolish fellow.
ADDLE PLOT. A spoil-sport, a mar-all.
ADMIRAL OF THE BLUE, who carries his flag on the main-mast.
A landlord or publican wearing a blue apron, as
was formerly the custom among gentlemen of that vocation.
ADMIRAL OF THE NARROW SEAS. One who from drunkenness
vomits into the lap of the person sitting opposite to
him. SEA PHRASE.
ADRIFT. Loose, turned adrift, discharged. SEA PHRASE.
AEGROTAT, (CAMBRIDGE), A certificate from the apothecary
that you are INDISPOSED, (i. e.) to go to chapel. He
sports an Aegrotat, he is sick, and unable to attend Chapel.
or Hall. It does not follow, however, but that he can STRUM
A PIECE, or sport a pair of oars.
AFFIDAVIT MEN. Knights of the post, or false witnesses,
said to attend Westminster Hall, and other courts of
justice, ready to swear any thing for hire.
AFTER-CLAP. A demand after the first given in has been
discharged; a charge for pretended omissions; in short,
any thing disagreeable happening after all consequences of
the cause have been thought at an end.
AGAINST THE GRAIN. Unwilling. It went much against
the grain with him, i.e. it was much against his
inclination, or against his pluck.
AGOG, ALL-A-GOG. Anxious, eager, impatient: from the
Italian AGOGARE, to desire eagerly.
AGROUND. Stuck fast, stopped, at a loss, ruined; like a
boat or vessel aground.
AIR AND EXERCISE. He has had air and exercise, i.e. he
has been whipped at the cart's tail; or, as it is generally,
though more vulgarly, expressed, at the cart's a-se.
ALDERMAN. A roasted turkey garnished with sausages;
the latter are supposed to represent the gold chain worn
by those magistrates.
ALDGATE. A draught on the pump at Aldgate; a bad bill
of exchange, drawn on persons who have no effects of the
drawer.
ALE DRAPER. An alehouse keeper.
ALE POST. A may-pole.
ALL-A-MORT. Struck dumb, confounded. What, sweet
one, all-a-mort? SHAKESPEARE.
ALL HOLIDAY. It is all holiday at Peckham, or it is all holiday
with him; a saying signifying that it is all over
with the business or person spoken of or alluded to.
ALL HOLLOW. He was beat all hollow, i.e. he had no
chance of conquering: it was all hollow, or a hollow thing,
it was a decided thing from the beginning. See HOLLOW.
ALL NATIONS. A composition of all the different spirits
sold in a dram-shop, collected in a vessel into which
the drainings of the bottles and quartern pots are emptied.
ALLS. The five alls is a country sign, representing five human
figures, each having a motto under him. The first
is a king in his regalia; his motto, I govern all: the second,
a bishop in pontificals; motto, I pray for all: third,
a lawyer in his gown; motto, I plead for all: fourth: a
soldier in his regimentals, fully accoutred; motto, I
fight for all: fifth, a poor countryman with his scythe
and rake; motto, I pay for all.
ALTAMEL. A verbal or lump account, without particulars,
such as is commonly produced at bawdy-houses,
spunging-houses, &c. Vide DUTCH RECKONING.
ALTITUDES. The man is in his altitudes, i.e. he is drunk.
AMBASSADOR. A trick to duck some ignorant fellow or
landsman, frequently played on board ships in the warm
latitudes. It is thus managed: A large tub is filled with
water, and two stools placed on each side of it. Over
the whole is thrown a tarpaulin, or old sail: this is
kept tight by two persons, who are to represent the king
and queen of a foreign country, and are seated on the
stools. The person intended to be ducked plays the Ambassador,
and after repeating a ridiculous speech dictated
to him, is led in great form up to the throne, and seated
between the king and queen, who rising suddenly as soon
as he is seated, he falls backwards into the tub of water.
AMBASSADOR OF MOROCCO. A Shoemaker. (See Mrs.
Clarke's Examination.)
AMBIDEXTER. A lawyer who takes fees from both plaintiff
and defendant, or that goes snacks with both parties
in gaming.
AMEN CURLER. A parish clerk.
AMEN. He said Yes and Amen to every thing; he agreed to
every thing.
AMINADAB. A jeering name for a Quaker.
AMES ACE. Within ames ace; nearly, very near.
TO AMUSE. To fling dust or snuff in the eyes of the person
intended to be robbed; also to invent some plausible tale,
to delude shop-keepers and others, thereby to put them
off their guard. CANT.
AMUSERS. Rogues who carried snuff or dust in their pockets,
which they threw into the eyes of any person they
intended to rob; and running away, their accomplices
(pretending to assist and pity the half-blinded person)
took that opportunity of plundering him.
ANABAPTIST. A pickpocket caught in the fact, and punished
with the discipline of the pump or horse-pond.
ANCHOR. Bring your a-se to an anchor, i.e. sit down. To let
go an anchor to the windward of the law; to keep within
the letter of the law. SEA WIT.
ANGLERS. Pilferers, or petty thieves, who, with a stick
having a hook at the end, steal goods out of shop-windows,
grates, &c.; also those who draw in or entice unwary persons
to prick at the belt, or such like devices.
ANGLING FOR FARTHINGS. Begging out of a prison window
with a cap, or box, let down at the end of a long
string.
ANKLE. A girl who is got with child, is said to have sprained
her ankle.
ANODYNE NECKLACE. A halter.
ANTHONY or TANTONY PIG. The favourite or smallest pig
in the litter.--To follow like a tantony pig, i.e. St.
Anthony's pig; to follow close at one's heels. St. Anthony
the hermit was a swineherd, and is always represented
with a swine's bell and a pig. Some derive this saying
from a privilege enjoyed by the friars of certain convents
in England and France (sons of St. Anthony), whose swine
were permitted to feed in the streets. These swine would
follow any one having greens or other provisions, till they
obtained some of them; and it was in those days considered
an act of charity and religion to feed them.
TO KNOCK ANTHONY. Said of an in-kneed person, or one
whose knees knock together; to cuff Jonas. See JONAS.
APE LEADER. An old maid; their punishment after
death, for neglecting increase and multiply, will be, it is
said, leading apes in hell.
APOSTLES. To manoeuvre the apostles, i.e. rob Peter to
pay Paul; that is, to borrow money of one man to pay
another.
APOSTLES. (CAMBRIDGE.) Men who are plucked, refused
their degree.
APOTHECARY. To talk like an apothecary; to use hard or
gallipot words: from the assumed gravity and affectation
of knowledge generally put on by the gentlemen of this
profession, who are commonly as superficial in their
learning as they are pedantic in their language.
APOTHECARY'S BILL. A long bill.
APOTHECARY'S, or LAW LATIN. Barbarous Latin, vulgarly
called Dog Latin, in Ireland Bog Latin.
APPLE CART. Down with his apple-cart; knock or throw
him down.
APPLE DUMPLIN SHOP. A woman's bosom.
APPLE-PYE BED. A bed made apple-pye fashion, like what
is called a turnover apple-pye, where the sheets are so
doubled as to prevent any one from getting at his length
between them: a common trick played by frolicsome
country lasses on their sweethearts, male relations, or
visitors.
APRIL FOOL. Any one imposed on, or sent on a bootless
errand, on the first of April; which day it is the custom
among the lower people, children, and servants, by dropping
empty papers carefully doubled up, sending persons
on absurd messages, and such like contrivances, to impose
on every one they can, and then to salute them with
the title of April Fool. This is also practised in
Scotland under the title of Hunting the Gowke.
APRON STRING HOLD. An estate held by a man during
his wife's life.
AQUA PUMPAGINIS. Pump water. APOTHECARIES LATIN.
ARBOR VITAE. A man's penis.
ARCH DUKE. A comical or eccentric fellow.
ARCH ROGUE, DIMBER DAMBER UPRIGHT MAN. The
chief of a gang of thieves or gypsies.
ARCH DELL, or ARCH DOXY, signifies the same in rank
among the female canters or gypsies.
ARD. Hot. CANT.
ARMOUR. In his armour, pot valiant: to fight in armour;
to make use of Mrs. Philips's ware. See C--D--M.
ARK. A boat or wherry. Let us take an ark and winns, let
us take a sculler. CANT.
ARK RUFFIANS. Rogues who, in conjunction with watermen,
robbed, and sometimes murdered, on the water, by
picking a quarrel with the passengers in a boat, boarding
it, plundering, stripping, and throwing them overboard, &c.
A species of badger. CANT.
ARRAH NOW. An unmeaning expletive, frequently used by
the vulgar Irish.
ARS MUSICA. A bum fiddlle.
ARSE. To hang an arse; to hang back, to be afraid to
advance. He would lend his a-e and sh-te through his ribs;
a saying of any one who lends his money inconsiderately.
He would lose his a-e if it was loose; said of a careless
person. A-e about; turn round.
ARSY YARSEY. To fall arsy varsey, i.e. head over heels.
ARTHUR, KING ARTHUR, A game used at sea, when near
the line, or in a hot latitude. It is performed thus: A man
who is to represent king Arthur, ridiculously dressed,
having a large wig made out of oakum, or some old swabs, is
seated on the side, or over a large vessel of water. Every
person in his turn is to be ceremoniously introduced to
him, and to pour a bucket of water over him, crying,
hail, king Arthur! if during this ceremony the person
introduced laughs or smiles (to which his majesty endeavours
to excite him, by all sorts of ridiculous gesticulations), he
changes place with, and then becomes, king Arthur, till
relieved by some brother tar, who has as little command
over his muscles as himself.
ARTICLES. Breeches; coat, waistcoat, and articles.
ARTICLE. A wench. A prime article. A handsome girl.
She's a prime article (WHIP SLANG), she's a devilish good
piece, a hell of a GOER.
ASK, or AX MY A-E. A common reply to any question;
still deemed wit at sea, and formerly at court, under the
denomination of selling bargains. See BARGAIN.
ASSIG. An assignation.
ATHANASIAN WENCH, or QUICUNQUE VULT. A forward
girl, ready to oblige every man that shall ask her.
AUNT. Mine aunt; a bawd or procuress: a title of eminence
for the senior dells, who serve for instructresses, midwives,
&;c. for the dells. CANT. See DELLS.
AVOIR DU POIS LAY. Stealing brass weights off the counters
of shops. CANT.
AUTEM. A church.
AUTEM BAWLER. A parson. CANT.
AUTEM CACKLERS, AUTEM PRICKEARS. Dissenters of every
denomination. CANT.
AUTEM CACKLETUB. A conventicle or meeting-house for
dissenters. CANT.
AUTEM DIPPERS. Anabaptists. CANT.AUTEM DIVERS. Pickpockets who practice in churches;
also churchwardens and overseers of the poor. CANT.
AUTEM GOGLERS. Pretended French prophets. CANT.
AUTEM MORT. A married woman; also a female beggar
with several children hired or borrowed to excite charity.
CANT.
AUTEM QUAVERS. Quakers.
AUTEM QUAVER TUB. A Quakers' meeting-house. CANT.
AWAKE. Acquainted with, knowing the business. Stow the
books, the culls are awake; hide the cards, the fellows
know what we intended to do.
BABES IN THE WOOD. Criminals in the stocks, or pillory.





Daniel Boone. Part One.

It was on the first of May, in the year 1769, that I resigned my domestic happiness for a time, and left my family and peaceable habitation on the Yadkin River, in North Carolina, to wander through the wilderness of America, in quest of the country of Kentucky, in company with John Finley, John Stewart, Joseph Holden, James Monay, and William Cool.


We proceeded successfully, and after a long and fatiguing journey through a mountainous wilderness, in a westward direction, on the seventh day of June following we found ourselves on Red-River, where John Finley had formerly been trading with the Indians, and, from the top of an eminence, saw with pleasure the beautiful level of Kentucky.


Here let me observe, that for some time we had experienced the most uncomfortable weather as a prelibation of our future sufferings. At this place we encamped, and made a shelter to defend us from the inclement season, and began to hunt and reconnoitre the country. We found every where abundance of wild beasts of all sorts, through this vast forest. The buffalo were more frequent than I have seen cattle in the settlements, browzing on the leaves of the cane, or cropping the herbage on those extensive plains, fearless, because ignorant, of the violence of man. Sometimes we saw hundreds in a drove, and the numbers about the salt springs were amazing. In this forest, the habitation of beasts of every kind natural to America, we practiced hunting with great success, until the twenty-second day of December following.


This day John Stewart and I had a pleasing ramble, but fortune changed the scene in the close of it. We had passed through a great forest, on which flood myriads of trees, some gay with blossoms, others rich with fruits. Nature was here a series of wonders, and a fund of delight. Here she displayed her ingenuity and industry in a variety of flowers and fruits, beautifully coloured, elegantly shaped, and charmingly flavoured; and we were diverted with innumerable animals presenting themselves perpetually to our view.

Monday, 15 November 2010

My Favourite Fight Scene.

Pitty this is such narrow screen, but this theatrical version is the only one I have found so far of my favourite fight scene. Watch how Daniel-Day Lewis uses his knife and tomahawk together for fighting.



Sunday, 7 November 2010

Behind The Scenes 1.

This is a scene from the promotional movie that was shot this past weekend. Mark and I were kept on the go all day Sunday moving from one location in Wychwood Forest to another, and from one scene to another. Each scene was shot 3-4 time or more in some cases. We never realised that acting was so tiring! Although the shoot took all day, the main promo will be cut to only 30 seconds! I can't wait to see the finished product.
Due to other shoots on that same day in different location, our film crew were without a jib, reflectors and orange crates! The scene you see here was shot with my own $50.00 camera and a tripod to match. The film crew were using a $5000,00 camera with tripod to match!!! It was tiring, but it was a lot of fun, best time I have had for a long time. If laughing is as good as they say it is for your health, then I should be good for a long time to come after this weekend.
Several people did not turn up for this shoot, which was a pitty, it also meant that there was a lack of equipment as well as actors. Mark is actually using a real sword as against my blunted practice sword, so we had to be carefull!




video

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Great Lakes NSW.

Captain Cook and Matthew Flinders sailed by the area in 1770 and 1799 respectively. Two ships were wrecked off Cape Hawke in 1816, presumably introducing the first white people to the area. The Captain of one of the ships, his wife, child and two crew reached Newcastle. The rest were presumed killed by the indigenous inhabitants of the area.





In 1818, John Oxley and his party, on route to Sydney after an inland expedition, carried a boat from Booti Booti to Boomerang Beach where they spent the night. One of the party was speared by the local Aborigines who watched them from canoes.


Timbergetters investigated Cape Hawke in 1831 and they appear to have treated the indigenous inhabitants very badly. They later scoured the rainforests for cedar and pine using the Wang Wauk River and Wallis Lake to float logs to the coast. We saw signs of old winches and lots of old wharfs now left to decay. Timbergetting, milling, shipbuilding and fishing were the principal industries in the early days with sailing ships then steamships carrying fortnightly cargoes to Sydney.



We tried to find an old mill that we knew was up one of the creeks, but our passage was blocked by years of disuse and the growth of Cumbungi. Days were spent slowly gliding over crystal clear waters where the bottom was visible and littered with gears from old winches, bolts and water logged timbers from old wharfs. There were little shacks dotted about further back in the bush which we suspect were fishing shacks. We found an old cottage on an island long deserted. Other house foundations lay not far from the shore. These houses and workshops instead of being preserved were destroyed by the government to stop people squatting in them.



It gave us a strange feeling being dressed and equipped as we were in 18th century style, travelling this area that had once been an area bustling with boats and sailing ships. Being in winter we were mostly alone on the lakes, although earlier we had met with four unsavory characters who we assumed must be river pirates. They picked up our trail shortly after leaving the wharf near the town that was still intact. We watched them jogging along the shoreline to keep up with us. They were quite a ways off, so may not have been able to see us well. We lost track of them just before we made camp. We think that they knowing the area better than we did got ahead of us to an area they expected us to camp at, because after we made camp they blundered into us coming from the opposite direction to what we had been travelling. They were surprised to see us there and very morose looking. They passed us by without a word. We think that had we not looked like we did, or had not been who we are, there could have been trouble. I could be wrong, they may just have been curious, but given the long way they had travelled and the reception we received, I don’t think so.



I wish we could have spent longer on the lakes, but Arthur had to return to Armidale for work at the university. There was still a lot left for us to discover on the Great Lakes, so Arthur planned to build a sea going period sail boat with a small cabin, so we could cover more distance in a shorter period of time, and go out of one lake into the sea and back into another lake. But sadly Arthur died from cancer before he could start work on the boat, and that was to be our last trip to The Great Lakes.


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Historical Trekking by Boat. Lessons Learned!

I have been making some improvements to my boat. Many years ago there was another boat just like this one only slightly smaller. It was equiped with a sail and a detachable mast which was carried in the boat. This craft when sail rigged flew like the wind, fastest I have ever been on the water.
However, on one such trek we were hit by a storm. We got the sail down but were still swamped and we had to get out and swim the boat to shore. This was in winter on the Great Lakes.
I almost lost my water bottle as it kept getting washed away.
On another trip my canoe tipped over in crock infested waters! I lost my new 74 calibre buffalo gun that day. I was lucky to make the river bank alive, and I was not about to go diving for my gun!
I have augered holes in the cargo hold stern board for threading rope through.

Also augered holes in the back of the new seat I added at the bow. The threaded rope will form a sort of net that will keep the cargo in the hold should the boat capsize.

I made a removable raised floor for the cargo hold to help keep things dry if water gets into the boat.

These rope holes will also be used to secure guns and anything else that might get lost in a capsize. The water canteen for instance is kept close at hand.

As you can see in this image, there was no forward seating, and I had to sit on Arthur's large bedroll.