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Vikings at sea + Jam

It is a source of great satisfaction when a major news venue runs an article on a medieval topic the same week I have proposed a session related to it. This week's coincidence was particularly good: my proposed session is (in part) on Viking navigation - and The Economist ran a news article subheaded "Viking navigation", about the feasibility of Icelandic spar as a navigational tool usable for tracking the sun even under heavy cloud cover.

In an unrelated moment of context, I went to a history of jam event earlier this week. I had far better jam there - raspberry with lime, blueberry with black pepper - than I did at my afternoon tea venture. I also learned, satisfyingly, that Girl Scout/Guide badges were real, valuable, meaningful qualifications before the 1960s. Not just collect-them-all accruals as they have, in part, become. It was also one of two occasions this week that the role of the Women's Institute in jam-making in the UK came up in conversation.

If you ever require an approximate rhyme for "almanac", may I recommend to you the obsolete word "quidaniac"? It's a fruit syrup or jelly, often made from quinces, where "often" is "probably not since the seventeenth century, at least, by that name". Known use from the OED:
1655 T. T. de Mayerne Archimagirus Anglo-Gallicus (1658) cxlviii. 100 To make Quindiniackes of an Apricocke Colour.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 10th, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
You're making me think of my childhood. We used to have a single piece of Icelandic spar at home. I wish I knew where it went so taht I could attempt navigation using it...

And in Victoria in the 1970s those badges were still hard to earn. I have a few handy skills resulting therefrom. (I got my cook's badge from catering afternoon tea for about 150 people. So much cake!!)
Nov. 10th, 2011 11:06 am (UTC)
I am intrigued by those jam flavors...I wonder how hard they are to locate here in the Southern US. :)
Nov. 10th, 2011 11:13 am (UTC)
Neither was commercial, but rather donated, hand-made, by some of the attendees.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )