Last week, a wonderful welcome from Chagford Local History Society and another lovely venue, Endacott House, in which to present seventeenth century social history. The next day saw me attempt to create a video with little notice and only myself to film, narrate and direct. It was supposed to illustrate our village and needed to show four locations in a minute. Lacking mobile phone or tablet, I was using my camera and I failed to work out how to pause the filming whilst moving from location to location. Running from place to place didn’t seem to work and I was hampered by the noises off of children playing and roadworks. Eventually I hit on the idea of creating a powerpoint using still photographs of the locations. Then ‘all’ I had to do was video the show. I couldn’t film the lap top because of the problems with reflection so I needed to project on to the wall (I don’t have a screen). This required me to hold the camera steady (steadyish) in my left hand, move on the slides using the remote control with my right hand and try to say something coherent with my mouth. This might’ve worked had I remembered to log out of Skype first. Sure enough, in my one minute of filming, up popped a message informing me that x had logged in to Skype. Take 2.……..
Then came the annual excitement that is the Braund family reunion. This involves plenty of eating and chatting, interspersed with visits to places of interest. I had to abandon re-uniting in order to take part in Plymouth Local Studies Day. Up with the lark, or at least up with the sparrows and starlings and off across Dartmoor to Plymouth. We have been instructed to park in a nearby library staff car park, which we locate without incident. Inevitably it is raining, I am in seventeenth century garb and we need to work out how to get from car park to venue. Fortunately we spot our good friend Maureen arriving in the car park; she will know the way. Chris is muttering ‘she’s changed her car’ but to me cars have four wheels and are pretty much of a muchness, so I wave enthusiastically. She waves back somewhat hesitantly. Even Chris is rushing to her car in order to present Maureen with a Guild of One-Name Studies bag that we had promised her. At this point we realise that this is not Maureen after all.
A very appreciative audience for Mistress Agnes’ talk and plenty of books sold, then it is back to the car to catch up with the Braunds at Morwellham Quay. Unfortunately the car park we are in is locked during the day and no-one we ask seems to be able to release us. Chris is eyeing up a narrow gap between two bollards. The question is, is it wider than the car? (that would by my car). It seems that it is.
A lovely, though slightly damp, day at Morwellham. We relive the lives of our ancestors by descending a copper mine, learning how to make rope and being educated in a Victorian schoolroom. The final day of our reunion sees us return to Poundstock Gildhouse for a Tudor Day. Dressed appropriately as sixteenth century peasants, we make bread and ginger beer and attempt drop spinning. I should be able to do this but I have to admit that I am pretty useless at it. Then we move up the social scale and are re-robed as gentry for lunch and dancing. The Braunds, most of whom are of retirement age, essaying a volta are a sight to behold. All agreed that it was our best outing yet.