Swords, Spindles and technological troubles #livinghistory

Well, after a short period of ‘Shall we?, Shan’t we?’ Mistress Agnes is moving home. The pending closure of her previous location in Torrington meant that a decision had to be made. Should she continue appearing at history groups and social clubs, as she has done for several years, or should she and her friends be more proactive and expand their work to provide sessions for schools? Should we offer to fill the gap that would be left by the demise of our former employer? Knowing that this would mean a great deal of work and knowing too that if I do something I do it properly, there was a certain amount of thinking through whether I wanted to take this on in my ‘semi-retirement’. Thanks to continual changing of the retirement age, real retirement is still an increasingly long time ahead. This all also had to be done quickly so that we could strike whilst the iron was still warm, if not exactly hot.

Full logoIn the end it was a no-brainer so let me introduce you to the world of Swords and Spindles. We are so grateful to many people who have already supported us. My school friend, Jeanne Perrett, a talented artist, designed our logo in no time at all. Some of her beautiful and exciting art work can be seen here. We have already had booking enquires and our Twitter following @swordspindles is building up. So thank you to all who have helped to spread the word.

So what happens just when one is trying to set up a new business and one needs ones internet and telephone most? The telephone line dies completely. I cannot explain how I do still have an, intermittent and excruciatingly slow, internet connection but I do. After half an hour of ‘your call is important to us’ (but clearly not important enough for you to answer), I got through to a person to whom I could report the non-existence of my telephone. No fewer than seven times I told the same gentleman that there was no sound whatsoever when I lifted my receiver. Finally, after about twenty minutes, he has a light bulb moment and suggests sending an engineer. Unfortunately, at that point I lose the mobile signal. To be honest that was three days ago and I have lost the will to waste another hour of my life starting all over again. It is a bullet that will nevertheless have to be bitten.

Working with young people in the seventeenth century is always entertaining and make you realise that, as L P Hartley said, ‘the past is (truly) another country’ and they do indeed ‘do things differently there.’ Mistress Agnes was explaining, to a group of eleven year olds, how clothes were made when one of her audience asked, ‘What is spinning?’ Another term to add to the list of ‘obvious’ words that need explaining. Spinning is I understand some new form of keep fit torture, not exactly Mistress Agnes’ forte.

My time as a presenter on Unlock the Past’s Baltic Cruise is getting closer – the cruise even got a mention in The New York Times!



One comment on “Swords, Spindles and technological troubles #livinghistory

  1. Caro-Claire Wiles says:

    Another good read .Thank you Janet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s