- Celts were famed for their bacon—is it any wonder we still get “Full Scottish/English/Irish breakfasts” at those lovely B&Bs?
- The Romans developed pocketknives and folding spoons to take their utensils with them when they travelled.
- My personal favourite: The Romans thought the British Celts were drunks. The Celts drank Roman wine undiluted, while the Romans always diluted it; and the Celtic ale was said to inspire grand hangovers. Funnily enough, the English translation of the Scots Gaelic word for hangover is, literally, “A headache with regrets.” The things I remember from Gaelic class …
Saturday, 5 November 2011
The Things You Learn When Researching ...
I took a break from Underground this afternoon and did some work on another of my projects—The Harper’s Word. Set in fifth century
, this retelling of the folk story Math ap Mathonwy requires a lot more research than I’m used to doing. I’ve become used to writing late seventeenth and early eighteenth century English stories, and while (being half Welsh) I’ve always had a soft spot for the mythology, my knowledge of the relevant history is sketchy at best. (For more information on The Harper’s Word, visit www.cmgbooks.com/3.html). Wales
So, mostly caught up on labour law readings, I settled in to do some research. An interesting fact for you: I’m blind, which means every book that’s of use to me for research purposes has to be scanned before I can read it. Special software turns the resulting image into text, and then the screen reader reads the text aloud in a Steven Hawking-type voice that I can speed up to about 250 or 300 words a minute, depending on the quality of the scan and the style of writing (legalese goes much more slowly!).
This afternoon, I scanned a copy of Lords of Battle: The World of the Celtic Warrior by Stephen Allen, and the majority of Taste: The History of Britain Through its Food by Kate Colquhoun. While I haven’t had a chance to read either in full yet (I put on an audio book of Terry Goodkind—great fantasy author!—to pass the time while scanning), I did pick out a couple of interesting facts that I thought you might like to know:
I’ll let you know if any other interesting tidbits turn up in either book—or in any others I happen to scan for research in future.
Tomorrow, if I can put the law books aside for a little, I’ll be hunting for information on early curriculum at the Faculty of Medicine of Queen’s University. Standby—Underground, “Chapter Two: A Gentleman’s Education” is coming soon to www.cmgbooks.com/5.html!