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97 Hours to go!

Aug. 22nd, 2011 | 10:49 am


I think I may have found a riding instructor that suits me!

Went for a really fun lesson on "Barbie" the 24yr old 15hh Thoroughbred that couldn't give a toss whether I was on her back or not. Trotted for at least 20 minutes of the half hour lesson, came up a little sore, test will be to see how I go tomorrow.

It was all very old-school: the horse was sadlled and waiting for me when I got there, I was only introduced to the horse after I had been riding for 10 minutes. I was lunged at the trot - having said that the instrucotr was very caring of the horse and i felt that the whole vibe was very relaxed.

I am looking forward to next week's lesson!

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98 hours to go!

Aug. 14th, 2011 | 05:39 pm

Went "riding" today - well, went for a lesson that turned into groundwork for an 1hr 20mins.

I don;t have an issue with groundwork and think that it is really important, but the woman's horse who I was using knew everything we were asked to do, and i know everything we were asked to do, so I am not sure why it took over an hour and why I didn't progress to learning anything.

I have learned:

- My gorundwork is OK
- I requure a horse to give me their attention
- I require a horse to not: bite the lead line or clip (or me!), to not eat while they are working, to not roll!!! while they are working (the horse didn't actually do this but the instructor said it was ok if they wanted to)!

I am going to try somewhere else next week. The quest continues!

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Noble Shadow Minerva

Jul. 4th, 2011 | 11:16 am

2.5 yrs old approx 14.1hh Freisian X Pecheron and Anglo-Arab


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99 hours to go!

Jul. 2nd, 2011 | 10:19 pm

My horse Ace has real issues with his feet right now and my inexpert riding is not helping him. I am having thoughts about where I am going with my riding and have come to conclusion that I am not allowed to come to any more conclusions until I have ridden for 100 hours starting NOW:

Well, actually, starting about nine hours ago when I had a lovely trail ride with the most delightful Mrs Ermine!

We went to Boomerang Ranch and rode through the bush for an hour in lovely sunshine.


* The horse was a chestnut with a white blaze, a chunky 15hh Clydesdale cross
* We went in the fast group, with one other girl and trotted a but, and cantered a fair bit
* It was nice to have a fair bit of horse underneath me
* The horse didn't really care about me and was taking its cues from the geography and the horse in front of when to trot, canter etc...
* Shitty stock saddles are a little hard on the arse and groin

Had a great time - 99 hours to go!

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What is "Steampunk" or perhaps what does Steampunk define itself against?

Jul. 1st, 2011 | 08:26 pm

Firstly, a cool image:

I love the allusions in this image:

*The White Rabbit
*Hermoine and the timemachine watch
*The devil dingoes from Aboriginal Dreamtime stories of my youth
*The kicker boots juxtaposed against the corset
*The appropriation of the googles of the industrial worker - the welder, the pilot, the miner for this little girl who is supposed to go into the woods and lose her innocence
*The polluting big bad wolf that represents big bad business 

I am working on a unit of work for Year 9 for next year based around the text: "Leviathan" by Scott Westerfeld. I am keen to have a range of activities for a rnage of students of mixed ability and I am still working my way through where this novel fits.

It is:
- An alternative history of the beginning of World War One
- A coming of age story told in two strands: Alek the unrecognised son of Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofie and Deryn the plucky young British girl who has taken the traditional path of running away to sea disguised as a midshipman
- A retro piece of speculative fiction a "What if..." What if Charles Darwin had sequenced DNA and could clone and create hybrid creatures? What if the German army had access to automotive robots that have devastating firepower
- An adventure
- A story of nascent love
- A critique of a reliance on one form of technology and a paen for the advantages of colloboration


What is Steampunk?

It is nostalgic, romantic, it romanticises the past and fears for the future.

It rejects the clean lines of modern designs and looks to the past for inspiration about how to create the future.

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The Baldric Option!

Apr. 28th, 2011 | 11:33 pm

One way that the Swiss marked themselves on the battlefield was with a baldric - this close-up shows two standard bearers wearing baldrics one has a black sash with white crosses and the other has a red sash with white crosses - they are both carrying the flags of their Cantons:

I am assuming that this Diebold Schilling picture inspired this 19thC interpretation:


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More images

Apr. 28th, 2011 | 11:26 pm

Thanks to Mrs Brown I have some other images and am working my way towards some conclusions.

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I need someone to tell me where they get their info from!

Apr. 28th, 2011 | 10:33 pm

I'm on the trail of at what point in history do the soldiers of the Swiss Confederacy start wearing white crosses sewed to red backgrounds??

The pictorial record starts in 1375(?) which may be the date of the action being commemorated, but the painting is likely to be older.

Notice the foot-soldier (centre left) who is wearing a read doublet/coat and has a white cross attached above the heart. This picture shows a group of pikemen fighting under the banner of the Swiss Canton of Berne (the very distinctive gules, on a bend Or a bear passant is very visible). The drummer, behind the pikeman is also wearing red and may have a cross on his chest too. It seems unlikely that this picutre is from 1375 as the costumes are later and the Swiss did not use as many pikes in their formation as this image suggests until later in the 15thC. Note too, the baselard (Swiss short sword/dagger) that so many of the pikeman are carrying suspended from their waists.  

The "Tschachtlanchronik" of 1470, the oldest of the Swiss Chronicles shows clearly the wearing of white crosses on red by members of the Swiss Confederacy: 

This image shows the 1422 battle of Arbedo agains the Dukes of Milan (Note the Visconti serpent on the flag). Here the foot soldiers are wearing red with white crosses on their backs and arms.

In this image, the banner of the Swiss can clearly be shown over the beseiged confederates. There is another red sleeve with a white cross.

In the same Chronicle we have the fronts of soldiers clearly showing the white crosses on breast, back, arms and legs. In this image the soldiers are gathered beneath the flags of their cantons including Uri (the bull's face) and Berne (the bear).

The issus that I am having is finding the written evidence from a contemporary author that backs up the oft repeated line of:

"a white cross used as identification for troops of the Swiss Confederation is first attested at the Battle of Laupen (1339)"

I have not yet found the contemporary source where this is taken from, one option is the Conflictus Laupensis which I cannot find a translation of.

What is clear is that after 1470 there is much evidence of the Swiss Confederate troops wearing the white cloth cross on red:

 This one is from 1513 and shows the shift in clothing from woolen jackets that covered the groin, to the tighter doublets and hose. Here the white crosses are founf primarily on the soldiers' thighs.

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Zurich townsfolk 1515

Apr. 28th, 2011 | 02:49 pm

This is from the Lucerne Chronicle and shows the town of Zurich joining the Swiss Confederacy in 1350, the chronicle is from 1513. It shows the townspeople dressed in the Zurich arms of: Per bend argent and azure. It extends to their hose!


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Bakers (and Millers!) Guild Zurich 1443

Apr. 28th, 2011 | 08:22 am

I have found an English translation of the Battle Roll that Miller and Embleton refer to from Johannes Hanes' 1925 work: Militärisches aus dem Alten Zürichkrieg (Roughly translated by google to mean: "Military from the Old Zurich War: On the evolution of infantry").

The English translation is here:
http://feefhs.org/journal/10/zurich.pdf in an article by Albert Winkler PhD.

Winkler describes them as: the Zurich Militia Muster lists of 1442 or 1443. It seems that there were 55 members of the Baker and Miller Guild who were mustered to fight with the Militia.

Winkler suggests that these men were important members of thieir community - each of them having the right to vote for the members of the two councils of Zurich. These men were serious soldiers who presented with a range of weaponry including the range of available "hand" guns: 

Baker and Miller Guild
Overall leader:
C nrat von Cham
Banner carriers: Ott Werdmúller and Hanns von Cham
Men carrying hand cannon:
Cüni Spenly (leader)
Heini Kúng
Hanns von Wil
Heini von Wil
Üli Tollikon uf Dorf [Üli Tollikon in
the village]
Hensly Röist
Cùnrat Werdmúller
Men with cannon (búchsen) and pikes:
Heini Uttinger (leader)
Hensly Petter
Hensly Gamlikon
Üly Tollikon in Niderdorf [“in Niderdorf”–probably to differentiate him from the man of the same name “in the village” listed above]
Jos Büler
Hensly Brunner
Ulman Sager
Bertschy Scherer
Hensly Tägen
Hanns von Uster
Heini Frig
Men with short weapons:
Heini im Werd (leader)
Jekly Hirt
Heini Gruner
Heini Kramer
Kúng in Niderdorf
Heini Föisy
Men with short weapons:
Hans von Räk (leader)
Rüdy Gamklikon
Cüni Röist
Men with short weapons:
Heini Spenly (leader)
Lenhart Sessler
Múller im Werd
von Widen
Meyer von Birch
Hanns Werdmúller

More info to follow...

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