All posts by lostinfriuul

Sacuidic: Medieval Weapons

Medieval life was all about wannabe Kings and rebel barons and power-thirsty Popes fighting over who would control that piece of land, no, that one, and that other one too, thank you very much. Well, it was actually about peasants , equally miserable on either side of the contended borders and getting along just fine with their neighbours at the weekly wool market or summer fair and who were instead forced to pick up their pitchforks to disembowel each other. Most of the times without a decent weapon.

The lucky few who had some gold, though, could afford a padded doublet, a piece of armor or even a steel sword, and possibly increase their chances to return to their muddy fields after yet another battle ended.

So if you didn’t have enough after Medieval characters,  Medieval pets  and Medieval parades, here’s another bunch of pics taken in the magical Medieval re-enactment at Forni di Sopra, this time about Medieval weapons.

Enjoy!

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And let’s not forget the strongest weapon of all: MAGIC!

At a time in which you would think yourself cursed if the old woman who lived beyond the pines gave you the stink eye, even a stick purposefully pointed at someone else whilst muttering a barely intelligible but threatening-sounding version of your grocery list (you know, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme and so forth) could be considered as a powerful weapon.

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Sacuidic: Medieval parade

Hello Medieval fanatics! Here’s the latest post in the series of Sacuidic: Medieval tidbits and Medieval whatnots.

A Medieval parade! Because what’s the point of wearing velvet gowns and mantels and doughnut-shaped hats if you cannot strut around in them?

Enjoy!

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Sacuidic: Medieval Pets

If you loved the Sacuidic: Medieval characters post from yesterday, here’s another snippet of Medieval life: Medieval Pets!

Forget cute kittens, what you need is a cute owl or falcon, am I right?

Also featuring a musical dog.

Enjoy!

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Sacuidic: Medieval characters.

This is for you, fantasy epic books reader and also for you, LOTR and GOT watcher, and maybe also for all the other people who would love to dress up as their favourite medieval character (archer-sorceress-elf for me, thanks) but don’t have the guts to.

Enjoy!

 

All I Want for Xmas is Books

…or where I had a Rory Gilmore moment or three when I had to pack a book for a two-hour train journey ahead and had to bring a couple more instead.

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Books for a train journey Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Sea of Poppies, Notti in Bianco, Baci a Colazione

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh, “A motley crew of sailors, coolies and convicts, including a Bankrupt raja, a French runaway and a widowed opium farmer” as the blurb goes, recommended to those who enjoyed Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy for the magical atmosphere of  historical India. Borrowed from the Foreign Languages section of my local library.

Notti in Bianco, Baci a Colazione by Matteo Bussola, “An ironic and heartbreaking book on the magic of fatherhood”, bought at the book presentation the disarmingly charming author held at the historic Caffè San Marco in Trieste where freshly roasted coffee is served at tiny cast iron tables squeezed around bookshelves filled to the brim with anthropology essays and historical tomes. Trieste is worth a visit if only to enjoy the experience to have an espresso in this cafè.

Aaaand last but not least, a truly magical book:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child special rehearsal edition script, brought to Italy by my lovely Canarian on one of his business trips to London. I will of course #KeepTheSecrets so for those of you who haven’t read it yet (I’m only half-way myself), I can only tell you: buy it! Read it! Cry and laugh and throw it out of the window and then run after it and start re-reading it! Then let’s meet and have a day-long natter about it.

… and then I had another Rory Gilmore moment or several more when it was time to travel back and I stopped at a pre-loved books library on my way to the station and bought some other books:

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More books for a train journey, River of Smoke, Graceling, Beastly, Cloud Atlas North and South

River of Smoke also by Amitav Ghosh, the second book of the Ibis Trilogy, where we get to follow the motley crew after they depart from… *SPOILER ALERT* a lush island and then  *SPOILER ALERT*  land on a bustling  city. Looking forward to read what becomes of them all.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore, this will be a total surprise for me as it was recommended by a librarian friend of mine who in reality is my pusher of fantasy/YA/dystopian books (hello Roby!) and unlike other books that I borrow or buy following reviews or recommendations, I don’t know a thing about the author or the plot so it will be an utterly enjoyable experience to get to read a book with no expectations whatsoever.

Beastly by Alex Flinn, a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in NY, full of witty dialogues and comic scenes and clever plot twists. I read it as an eBook twice or three times already but it’s one of those books that you just need to have handy for those dark moments where you need a paper friend to lift up your mood.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, another eBook-to-paper purchase for me. Elizabeth Gaskell is one of those lesser authors shadowed by other great novelists of her time, Dickens or the Brontës sisters to name a few, who needs to be appreciated more. She’s compassionate, witty and loves her female characters as human beings not just as heroines in search for a good match. North and South could well be considered one of the first fan fiction re-telling of Pride and Prejudice, with the brooding aloof male protagonist and the strong-minded heroine we all wish we could be.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Loved the Wachowski siblings’ movie based on this book. if the book is only half as good as the movie, I have bought me a precious read indeed. But then, books which inspired movies usually are, so…

Wished the train journey back lasted longer so that I could read and re-read them all. Also wished for a bigger backpack and wealthier wallet. Oh well, Xmas is coming and all I want for Xmas is BOOOOKS!

 

Bright Shiny Morning

James Frey’s Bright Shiny Morning (HarperCollinsPublishers Inc. 2008) was a blast. It’s Jack Kerouac’s‘On The Road meets James Sallis’ Drive meets Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford and it is mostly a book about love.

Love for the city of Los Angeles first and foremost. Every chapter is preceded by a short paragraph on the history of El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula since a group of forty-four men women and children established a settlement there on September 4, 1781. A short paragraph of official, documented history and a longer chapter of unofficial, fictional stories on characters who might or might not be based on real people.

Amberton, an incredibly famous actor and his incredibly beautiful wife who share a secret. Maddie and Dylan, a couple of teenagers who run away from their troubled past in the middle of nowhere in Ohio following the American Dream. A couple of Mexican illegal immigrants who struggled to cross the border so that their baby girl Esperanza could be born on American soil. Esperanza as she grows up pretending to be an illegal immigrant herself in order to get a job cleaning houses and finds love nevertheless. Old Man Joe and his kaleidoscopic group of homeless friends on Venice Beach who attempt to save a teenage girl from a rival gang.

Love and murder and violence and blackmail, all mixed beautifully in syncopated sentences which seem to go on forever as the higways and junctions which crisscross LA. Frey keeps the reader hanging until the very end, you don’t know what will happen to the charachters, you hope they’ll make it but you fear they won’t, you’re afraid to turn the pages and you cannot stop reading.

Recommended reading for whoever loves stories on the American Dream and is not too squeamish.