This thread seems to have wandered off in multifarious directions since I've
been away for the last few days. I only had 255 messages to read when I
came back and, to really add interest, CELTIC-L seems to have gone totally
spare again. As I read through the mail, I got responses to queries that
hadn't been asked yet.
Anyway, although I realise that people can get a bit touchy about culture
differences/clashes/etc., and that some are of the opinion that this type of
topic is not really CELTIC-L material, I contribute the following, having
carefully adjusted my asbestos underwear.
To set the scene, I think I mentioned several months ago that a group of us
go fairly regularly to Craggaunowen, Co. Clare. Craggaunowen has, among
other things, a reconstruction of an iron age *Celtic* ringfort where we
undertake various experimental archaeological activities, such as pottery,
charcoal manufacture, making bronze artifacts, iron smithing, etc. In order
to get really into the spirit of things, we also dress the part. Some have
made their own clothing and the rest use clothes provided by Craggaunowen
The group was started by Mikael, who is a Swedish lurker on this list, and
has a cor membership of five - two Swedes and three Irish. However, the
numbers on each expedition vary from three to about ten. On one memorable
occasion, we also had a Spaniard, two French and two Americans (the Irish
were outnumbered 2:1). The American couple were great - they came as
interested tourists and, after a hint of an invitation, they donned the
gear, started on decorative leather work and showed us how to drop-spin wool.
Although our purpose is serious study (the kids study how muddy they can
make each other in the clay pit), we usually attract a good deal of
attention from the tourists and answer any queries and questions to the best
of our ability.
On one occasion, an American gentleman watched Mikael making a bronze spiral
brooch and, after a while, began to ask questions about the brooch in
particular and Celtic jewellery in general. After about ten minutes, the
American gentleman remarked on Mikael's accent and Mikael explained that he
'Gee, I thought you weren't Irish', said the American in a southern drawl,
'but you sure do have good English for a foreigner.'
BTW, Mikael is currently working on a home page for Craggaunowen and will,
no doubt, break his lurker's silence to announce it to the list when it's
ready. If you're visiting Ireland this year, be sure to call (and join) in
to see us. We're there most Sundays.