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    Thanks for commenting on my weight loss. It was several months of being careful what I ate. So 5 years after starting on SP I am approximately at the same place I started. But I will continue to take it a day at a time.
    50 days ago
    Thanks for responding to my blog, and my trophy. Glenn
    53 days ago
  • v CHEBBA
    Ahh - which side am I on in our American Civil War Re-enactment hobby? Well, in fairness, we intellectually lean toward the Confederacy, but due to the states rights issues, not - of course - the slavery. In our hobby, though, we found ourselves in the Union camp, the 19th Indiana 'Black Hats' - but that was not intentional. We had gone to an event where the ACWS was re-enacting, but although the Rebels were in the first part of the venue, nobody picked up on the fact that an interested couple was hovering. However, someone saw us from the Federal Staff and asked if he could help us. He has since become a friend and he is extremely good at directing people to where they are best suited, even to the Rebel units if he thinks they would fit in better or that is where their heart lies - and by the end of the day, DB had signed up to the Black Hats and so had I, albeit as a non-combatant. I never planned or foresaw myself doing this, it did seem rather weird even though Roger has for many years been incredibly knowledgeable about the ACW (we were at Gettysburg on the day of 9-11, which was horribly surreal, after a 2-hour private guide-in-our-car tour 2 days earlier. I had zero interest in it at that time, I only perked up when we got to the Round Tops because I remember the then rather yummy Jeff Daniels playing Chamberlain in the film, and got out to stand on the Round Tops myself!) Re-enacting can be a bit geeky, oh yes it can and that's the truth - but it is also, without glorifying war, a lot of fun. It is educational for someone like me, because I make it my goal to research, learn and present myself as authentically as possible. I enjoy interacting with visitors to the lines and engaging them in the Living History bit, but it is also an opportunity for escapism from the hectic, somewhat stressful pressures of ageing parents, ageing MIL and my difficult sister. It is a family hobby, and it is lovely to see the children making their own entertainment without smart-phones, iPads, game apps etc., and running around having fun. They learn to interact with each other and with adults, and we all look out for them, across both sides of the camp. When the public have gone, we have a lot of fun sitting around campfires, wandering into the lines of the other side too, making music, singing songs of the time and generally relaxing.

    The fact that we are in a Union regiment is not because we are heavily into their motives of the day. We are interested in the entire period and the complexities of it all. The motives of both sides, for those of us deeply interested in the ACW and who have read copious books or articles, have watched many programmes about it, visited many ACW battle sites and museums and listened to many knowledgable speakers either in person or on television documentaries, were far more complex than just the slavery issue. Some people fought for states rights, many fought over the slavery issue, some fought due to petty grievances nothing to do with politics of the day and took up arms to avenge wrongs on a much more personal level - and families were often hugely divided. Over here in Britain we not only had quite a lot of mercenaries go over to sign up and fight, but we also had quite a hand in things by supplying uniforms, boots, weapons, ordnance and, even, built ships! Indeed, the very last act of the ACW was the signing of a declaration of the end of the war right here in the ship-building city of Liverpool!

    The 19th Indiana 'Hoosiers' or 'Black Hats' were part of the Iron Brigade, and coming from farming stock in the main, were generally physically strong, healthy men used to fending for themselves. They were, certainly in the beginning, a troublesome bunch, ill-disciplined and very much 'loose cannons'. But they proved to be intrepid fighters, very recognisable by their tall Hardee hats, and usually referred to as 'those damned black hats!'!!

    I have a thirst to learn and a passion for different experiences as I move through the stages of my life. The adage 'We pass this way only once.' has always been a spur for me to cram many different experiences, hobbies and interests into my life. I bake huge amounts of goodies which I take around the lines (they are a terrific way of getting to talk to people and I am now famed as The Cookie Queen - it's a great way of getting a lot of hugs from a lot of chaps, too, haha!!), I make cartridge tubes, polish muskets, repair uniforms and put ladies hair up into period styles, and am hand-sewing a massive quilt of homespun squares whilst sitting outside our tents! Our sleeping tent is always open during the day and, unlike most others, is constantly being used for photographic backgrounds because it is so 'of the day'. Having said that, I've noticed that a bit more effort seems to be being put in by people adding authentic stuff to their tent interiors too, which is great, and there are now authenticity inspections by the Big Cheeses before the public come through the show gates. What I am learning about the period is being added to my list of experiences and - I feel - keeps me young. (It sez 'ere!!)

    So, Twinnie, I've ended up writing a lot in answer to a simple question - but that's me, I love to write. I hope you don't mind, as a Canadian, my ACWS mini-report.

    I was incredibly cold last night, in my tent, and when I get cold I cannot sleep. I finally nodded off at around 04.30! It's lovely and toasty here, back in our own bed, and everything is catching up with me and I'm falling asleep! So, speak soon……

    Night night!

    J. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    56 days ago
  • v IMEMINE1
    Thank you,
    Have a great weekend. emoticon
    56 days ago
  • v DJC2021
    Happy Canada Day emoticon
    58 days ago
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