Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Academia and Research’ Category

Today’s post is inspired by a trip to the supermarket to replenish the cereals cupboard. Mr Kellogg must be feeling festive, as the normal Cornflakes packet design now features one of Norman Rockwell’s illustrations of the Christmas carol Deck the Halls, brought together in a book in 1997. The packet also features Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ (1844), which begins

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house       
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;                                  The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,                                In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;                                  The children were nestled all snug in their beds;

Today’s feast is in the next line:

FInal sugarplums
(more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Yesterday’s blog post was, quite literally, sugar sweet, so today seems like a good day as any to spice the dish with something rather more sinister.

When I was still in primary school, I occasionally went to the secondary school in which they worked, where, to my delight, there was a school library, run by one of my earliest real life childhood heroes, Mrs MacKay. I spent a lot of time in there, and while I had already read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I was, at age 7, yet to encounter the rest of the Chronicles of Narnia. Mrs MacKay lent me the rest, and, when there was a fire in the school – don’t panic: the library survived intact, and replaced the small amount of smoke-damaged stock. For me, despite the initial horror, there was a silver lining to this dark cloud of smoke, as she sent home with my parents a full set of the Chronicles which smelt only slightly smoky. They were wrapped in strong plastic covers, and still have the typed library cards inside them. They are some of my most treasured possessions.  The Magician’s Nephew and The Silver Chair are my two favourites, and to my mind definitely the strangest.  As a lifelong medievalist (albeit unconsciously, at first), I suspect that part of the attraction are the mysterious women to be found loitering in woods and by lakes; for an authentic medieval example of such a woman, may I direct you to my post about Marie de France’s Lanval, also part of this Christmas Feast blog sequence? Given that C. S. Lewis was a real medieval scholar, not a dabbler like me, I’m pretty sure that such stories were, at least partly, his inspiration for Jadis and the Lady of the Green Kirtle, but that’s a discussion for another day. Now on to the feast! (more…)

Read Full Post »

Yesterday’s post (now with English translation!) looked at the surroundings in which a feast is set, in a medieval setting. Today, I move considerably closer in time and in space to home.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

A true feast must look beautiful as well as taste beautiful. It must take place in rich surroundings, and those attending should wear their finest raiment. While yesterday’s post focused on the hard work of kitchen staff creating the feast, today’s is all about the setting of the stage.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

The last few posts have focused on feasts as they are happening, with no attention paid to how the feast came to be. That changes tonight, with a visit to the Great Kitchen of Stirling Castle. After an extensive refurbishment project, the castle reopened in 2011. My family and I visited it more times than I can count when I was a child, so it was the perfect place in which to celebrate Mum’s birthday after the reopening.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Despite my continuing to wrack the old brains, I still have not identified the floral feast from an also as yet unremembered childhood tale. Today’s post is nonetheless still redolent of flowers, albeit flowers put to a deadly purpose. May I present Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema‘s The Roses of Heliogabalus? (more…)

Read Full Post »

As almost everybody I know is currently saying, how can it be 20 years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer first aired? It’s been such an important part of life, and I can still remember the first time I saw it, completely by accident. I was at university, with less than regular access to a television, so had somehow managed to miss the first series. One day at the family seat, I was channel hopping, and stopped at the sound of Cibo Matto. Hello, ‘When She Was Bad‘, where have you been all my life? Note: before you proceed, if you’ve never watched the show, there will be spoilers in this post. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »