Log in

No account? Create an account
Colonel Gaffneyis Regiment of Pike and Shotte's Journal
20 most recent entries

Date:2009-10-21 21:15

Who is Nicholas Nelson?  He seems to know Clann but I don't know if I've met him...

1 comment | post a comment

Date:2009-04-01 11:29
Subject:Check it out!

A good friend of the Regiment is now on LJ.  Please welcome BJ, who goes by carpe-nocturnum-93.  She's the young woman who lived with the Baldwin family one summer and came to dance and shows.  She now lives with her father, who doesn't want her to participate, but she's on Facebook under her real name, and she's here.  It would be good for her to have friends.

2 comments | post a comment

Date:2009-01-14 22:33
Subject:Reenactor Maifestio

One of the blog I check in on put this up, it have been making the rounds in some of the other eras out their and thought I would share it here.

1. I am a member of the Clann Tartan and I am committed to developing and practicing the most historically accurate portrayal of a person from the highlands of Scotland circa 1630 now possible. The only limitations I place upon the accuracy of my impression are due to a prudent concern for maintaining modern standards of health and safety, and those limitations naturally enforced by lack of information resulting from the passage of time since then.

2. I obtain the most historically accurate clothing, equipment, and other relevant items available to me. I insist upon the use of proper materials and construction techniques available in all reproduction items. Matters of comfort, convenience and finance shall never limit the accuracy of my impression and I shall obey the decisions of my quartermaster regarding all materials for which accurate reproductions are not available. I shall always explain any deviations because of availability to any spectators and explain to them what would have been available.

3. I recognize that many vital aspects of era--death, disease and much else--cannot be re-created effectively in a living history context. I do not see this failing as an excuse to be lax about other aspects of my impression, but as a challenge to insure that all I can portray is presented as accurately as possible.

4. My impression is based upon serious research into and careful analysis of reliable sources of information about the experiences of commonfolk during the era. It is dependent upon the legitimate interpretation of literary and archaeological evidence. I recognize the need to employ the historian's skills, including the ability to evaluate possible sources of information, and I do not base my impression upon the claims of those who manufacture goods for the reenacting market, reenacting traditions and customs, superficial or outdated publications, entertainment media or other suspect sources.

5. I am prepared to change my impression to incorporate improvements dictated by new historical information as it becomes available to me. I recognize that our understanding of the details of history changes over time. I welcome constructive discussion of such matters, and I share information freely.

6. I portray the common person of the era as my knowledge of history leads me to believe him to have been. I limit the items I use to those items which were commonly available to the common person of the era. I use my research into period society to determine what equipment I should have, display and carry.

7. My impression shall reflect regional variations in clothing and equipment seen by the relevant culture I portray. Except in very special circumstances, however, I avoid presenting exotic impressions.

8. I recognize that persons of the time suffered from many of the same disabilities that people experience today but except for life-threatening conditions shall not use them and inappropriate visual apparatus during public hours.

9. Although I maintain a primary interest in a single culture, I am able to portray the common folk of other cultures appropriate to a particular event, scenario, or historic site. I am willing to change my personal impression to fit various situations and apply the same standards of historical accuracy to such portrayals that I apply to my campaign impression.

10. Camp cooking should be representative of what was generally available and done in the period, even if it is just in a "best case" scenario. Foods should be limited to what has been found to exist and be used by people of the time, and no inappropriate cooking methods should be used during public hours. Coolers, refrigeration and other modern conveniences needed for modern hygienic practice should be kept hidden from public view both.

11. I handle and maintain weapons in a manner intended to insure my safety and that of others around me, and which reflects period practice in a way consistent with modern safety requirements.

12. I stand shoulder to shoulder with all other serious historical reenactors and especially those of our chosen era. Living history is not a competition, and participants should seek to learn and perform historic arts and crafts because of the affection of the craft and satisfaction of the work, not because of any desire for recognition or awards.

13. I acknowledge that I am working to be a legitimate force in living history and seek to promote education among both participants and spectators. I shall not unilaterally confront members of other groups when their standards fall below that of Clann Tartan except when the authenticity regulations of Clann Tartan are in effect, and I shall never publicly demean or denigrate the efforts of others in the living history community. At all times, shall I seek to demonstrate by example.

14. Although I employ a third-person impression, I take great care to avoid behavior, language, and comments that might disrupt accurate living history activities except to put these activities into the proper perspective for spectators. I strive to attain a mental attitude appropriate to the person I portray when in character.

15. I take advantage of situations that allow me to share my knowledge of the realities of the era with fellow living history enthusiasts and with the public. I participate in living history activities mainly for educational purposes.

16. I restrict my discussion of politics or religion at events to that appropriate to the era. Whenever I mention a political or religious perspective or action that is inappropriate for the era, it shall be to cast light upon a period perspective or action. Appropriate political or religious beliefs and actions shall in no way have any relationship to actual personal beliefs, and these personal beliefs shall never be discussed while in kit.

17. The greatest pleasure I derive from living history comes from the knowledge that I am re-creating the experiences of the persons of the era with the greatest fidelity to history I can manage. I realize the enormity of my task and seek to be part of only one force among many. I do aspire to stand out by virtue of the accuracy of my interpretation and practices and to present an ideal that may be seen and emulated by other reenactors.

post a comment

Date:2008-10-09 11:11
Subject:Trying to do it all

A year and a half ago I started spinning worsted so I could weave a tartan fabric for an arsaid, which is essentially the feminine equivalent of a greatkilt; three widths of fabric pleated into a belt, capable of covering the wearer from her head to her heels.  These are generally a tartan pattern on a white background, so I have a lot of white worsted spun up and I've been dying wool to spin into stripes.
It's gotten complicated...Collapse )
Wish me luck . . .

(Cross-posted to  handspinning   and my own blog.)

1 comment | post a comment

Date:2008-10-07 11:52
Subject:The White Bear Event

This is the second year that colgaffneyis has provided ornament to a Scottish-themed party in White Bear Lake.  I thought I would post the details of what we did so that those who come after have some idea of how to work it.  Our hosts were RM and his wife EM, and his general factotum JB.  A preteen girl in a tiara was presumably a daughter of the house.
So, how was that for you?Collapse )

After that we doused the fire and headed home.  An easy, pleasant show.  He wants us back next year; there was some loose talk about bringing a mortar or maybe a musket.  We tore down the next day.


3 comments | post a comment

Date:2008-08-05 15:32

Woot!  I found the most amazing thing in the free bin at the Weaver's Guild.  It's an antique, two-harness table loom.  Almost all wood; wooden ratchets, wooden pawls; just a few metal screws and some mild steel rods.  It's set up for thread heddles, which I will have to make, and get this:  The reed is actually made of reed!

My God, what a find!

I wonder how to care for a reed reed.

2 comments | post a comment

Date:2008-07-24 16:07
Subject:For our Gallant Captain

You-know-who has had *two* going-away parties, and hugs and best wishes, and just called me to say that she needs to drop by tomorrow with the hailshot and Captain's armor.

Therefore, dear Captain:

She is the girl that will not go
And I could say I told you so
Some people made her Captain
Not knowing what she was,
And she'll be here forever, Col. Gaffney, just because:

She is the girl that will not go . . .

(tto Song that Does not End, if you didn't figure it out...)

Love you, dear!  ;)

post a comment

Date:2008-07-18 21:36
Subject:Review of Merlin's Rest

We had a lovely Pub Night at Merlin's rest; just Yoders, Sarah and Myron, ourselves and my mother, on a night that was quiet enough we could easily have had another table or two; unlike some past pub nights.

The bad news:  It's going to get more crowded.

The good news; it's going to be Folks Like Us.

Read here: 


1 comment | post a comment

Date:2008-06-24 22:01
Subject:Dance Tonight

Gee, I wish the Colonel would spring for champagne every dance night . . . OTOH, I suppose I don't want to be giving going-away parties for dear and valued members every week; we'd run out of members awfully fast that way.

Godspeed, Captain.  New worlds to conquer!

post a comment

Date:2008-02-12 09:59
Subject:Some recruiting questions please:

1.    Are there any "nationality" spins for recruiting? (do it for your country/king/queen/honor?)
2.    How much would a pikeman be paid per day/week/month? (how does that compare to other jobs of the time? or our time?)
3.    How often would a pikeman be paid? In what currency?
4.    How much would a musketeer be paid per day/week/month? (how does that compare to other jobs of the time? or our time?)
5.    How often would a musketeer be paid? In what currency?
6.    What other jobs could I do for the regiment other than pike or musket line?
7.     Would I have to have my own sword?
8.    Would a musketeer be required to have his own musket?
9.    Would a musketeer be required to provide his own powder/ball/match?
10.    Would Col Gaffneys regiment be in a uniform or just wear what ever everyone had?
11.    What would be the term of service for signing with the regiment?
12.    Can I quit or leave before the end of that term?
13.    Are there death benefits provided to the soldiers family?
14.    Besides my body what will I have to provide for out of my own pocket? In Training? On campaign?
15.    Will there be looting rights?
16.    I own a horse, can that get me a higher position in the regiment?
17.    I own land, can that get me an officers position in the regiment?
18.    I am a veteran, can that get me an NCO position in the regiment?

3 comments | post a comment

Date:2008-02-02 22:04
Subject:123 Things Angus Can't Do in Clann Tartan

Part of an on-going list . . .

14)  Schedule Staff Meeting back-to-back with the Members' Meeting; resulting in five hours of contiguous meeting for much of Clann leadership.

15)  Schedule any meeting for more than three people in coffee shop where everyone has to try to be heard over the hiss of the espresso maker.

2 comments | post a comment

Date:2008-01-01 17:32

Anyone still pay attention to this blog?

I was going through some of my books looking for something unrelated and I noticed in the book The Dawn of Modern Warfare by Hans Delbruck I had a couple references to Robert Monro that I had bookmarked. On page 191 there's a short paragraph saying:

The English customarily shouted aloud while attacking, whereas the Scots moved silently against the enemy. The Scot Monro made fun of the imperial soldiers, who shouted "Sa, sa, sa" during the attack; he said they did this like the Turks, as if shouting would frighten brave soldiers. The Danes and Swedes, too, advanced in silence."

I always thought it sounded dramatic when we charged our pikes and made a staccato shout as the pikes dropped (Some of our pikemen used to turn it into a long yell which I found annoying -I always thought a short staccato shout sounded more impressive and disciplined.)

I probably used this quote at one time or another when I edited the newsletter way back when, but it suggests our noise may have been stretching things, although it's probably something that could be left to the discretion of the Captain since a single, audience pleasing, shout at the charge of the pikes followed by silence while advancing might be a reasonable compromise.

1 comment | post a comment

Date:2007-04-30 10:14
Subject:Musket Cleaning

I was confronted with this problem at Charles City. I had read about this but never actually done it before. Eventually one the more experienced members came by and showed me how to do it his way. I watched carefully, and am here recording what I saw. I have amplified this with additional comments where appropriate.

My intent here is to describe

  1. What needs to be done.
  2. How to do it with the Clann supplies.
I am writing this as reference for other members who may find themselves in a similar position. We need to have this kind of basic camp knowledge widely available so that we are not completely dependent on the the availability of a few experts.

There is a wooden box with supplies for musket maintenance. In it you will find eight dowel sections that screw together to make two long rods that can be used to clean the inside of musket barrels. Take the thick set of these and put them together. You will also find a metal piece with a small eye that screws into one end of the rod, and a bag with small fabric scraps. The basic idea is that you want a long rod to which you can attach a small rag. With this you are going to clean, dry, and oil the inside of the barrel. I suppose you could improvise with a 4 ft., 1/2" diameter dowel, drilling a 3/16" or 1/4" hole through one end perpendicular to the dowel axis.

Put a small twig/touthpick/whatever in the touch hole to close it. Pour some hot soapy water (roughly 1/2 cup) down the musket barrel. Cover the end of the barrel and shake vigorously. Take your rod, put one of the fabric scraps through the eye, and thrust it down the barrel. The scrap will scrub the inside. Turn it around and move up and down several times to wipe the inside. Pull it out. The fabric scrap will be dirty black.

Note: The other rod sections can be assembled and have a couple brushes that can be attached at the end. This might be helpful if the musket is really dirty.

Turn the musket muzzle end down to let the water (really dirty water) drain out. Unblock the touch hole. Since the water was hot it should dry quickly, but just to be sure...Take your rod and put another fabric scrap through the eye. Thrust this down the barrel and rub it about to dry the inside. Extract it.

In the supply box you will find a container with a leather closure, filled with a thick gunky oil. In appearance and consistency it seems like neatsfoot oil or mink oil. Take another fabric scrap, cover it thickly with the oil, and stick it through the eye of the rod. Use this to oil the inside of the barrel with the same procedure as above.

Now take a larger rag. Oil it well. Rub all the exposed exterior surfaces of the musket--metal and wood--thoroughly.

There are various references about cleaning muskets on the web. Mostly they talk about about flintlocks, but what they say about the inside of the barrel also applies to us.




post a comment

Date:2006-12-31 14:18
Subject:Fondue for peace

Interesting historical note here.  Ganked from lollardfish

post a comment

Date:2006-12-21 10:56
Subject:Kass McGann is on LJ!

See kass_rants .

post a comment

Date:2006-12-01 17:45
Subject:White Carrots

Hey, guys, I actually dug the white carrots before the ground turned completely to rock!

As some of you may remember, I had planted white carrots because they are period for us. Unfortunately, my resident bunnies decided carrot tops would be delicious, so I did not expect much for size.

In fact, they were thumb-sized at best, and not terribly sweet; I don't know if that's a result of being abused or being white. They were, however, very nice and carroty and we used them in the turkey-squash soup.

They were really white (for rather dirty values of white), and not the pale yellow of  botanicavix's accidentally-white carrots.  I will be planting more next spring and fencing the veggie garden.


2 comments | post a comment

Date:2006-10-26 02:02

We've got probably 3 dozen hand-dipped bees wax candles that we bought for use after hours at events, but discovered they must have cut the bees wax with parafin because they are really drippy especially in warm weather. Anyone want them? They're free.

post a comment

Date:2006-10-14 22:45
Subject:Pikeman's Myspace Group

I stumbled on to a Myspace group aimed at discussing "the LONG SPEAR used by infantry around the world

post a comment

Date:2006-09-12 20:15

What was everyone's opinion of the Des Moines ren faire last weekend? (Other than the weather, that is?) Despite it being far away and wet and miserable, is anyone interested in doing it again?

Your loving contracts rep.

5 comments | post a comment

Date:2006-08-08 09:05
Subject:Highlanders & multiple weapons

Every once in a while I run across a Renfair, or SCA Scot who has on their body practically as many weapons as he can possibly carry, and claims that Highlanders were known for carrying lots of blades/weapons. (In the old days of Clann we had a couple guys like this) But I've never seen an explanation of where this idea comes from.

John Hume, captured by the Jacobites during the Battle of Falkirk, later wrote that the Highlanders appeared as if their weapons were "limbs and members of their bodies. They are never seen without them, they travel, they attend fairs and markets, nay they went to church with their broadswords and dirks."

I've always wondered if this belief of some people that Scots carried multiple weapons them is just an exageration of this quote? Or just an exageration of the classic view of a Highlander with a sword, a targe, a dirk and a sgain dhu?

2 comments | post a comment

my journal