May 16th, 2006

Portrait as a Renaissance artist-enginee

National Mills Weekend

Fresh off of a transatlantic flight, I was collected from the airport on Sunday morning by S.W., A., and C. for a full day of mill visits, inspired and aided by it being National Mill Weekend. The biggest complication was the staffing of mills by volunteers, resulting in most of them only being open between 2-5 or thereabouts, not exactly condusive for seeing multiple open mills in the same day. Despite all the time driving around, touring the lovely Chiltern hills and surrounding countryside, I spent most of the travel time between mills sound asleep. Unable to sleep on the airplane, I couldn't help but fall asleep at every other available opportunity.

I started my mill-themed weekend on Saturday, at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City, with cliosfolly, where, as part of an exhibit on the development of cutlery, there were a few molinets (literally, little mills), devices especially designed for stirring hot chocolate.

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We didn't have the best luck with working mills on Sunday, but we did see mills, and in great variety. Happily, we saw a few functioning mills, and did find a mill which had had the water levels to grind earlier in the day. We all went home with bags of flour.