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Mega-Talk (Megalithic)
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Not in the least. It is true that colour technology before the industrial chemical breakthroughs (mainly by Germans in the nineteenth century) meant that artisanal wear was in rather subdued shades and only the very posh wore bright stuff but within those constraints the evidence (from medieval woodcuts for instance) is that the peasantry capered around in quite nice gear.

Actually, the constant passing of Sumptuary Laws demonstrates that the peasantry had to be prevented by statute from capering around in rather fashionable dress, no doubt, as today, street versions of haute couture. It's part of the human condition that people want to look nice.

However, fashion is not the point. Just working in the fields and sitting about in fairly draughty houses require very competently put-together clothes. You can't just skin a sheep and tie it round yerself. Well you can but it won't keep you particularly warm. Making woollen clothes can be done domestically of course but it certainly pays you, when the conditions permit, to send off sheep fleeces for making into woollen clothes by specialists.

PS Lecture notes on hold until Thursday.
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Mick Harper
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It is an AE point that orthodoxy (and the human condition) always portrays the past as being drab and awful and uniform (see 'realistic' films passim). We just so love ourselves to be so-o-o-o much better than our past selves in every way. It's a bunch of bollocks as per usual.Nothing ever changes. In fact it's only our own intellectual and Guardian-reading classes that like to be drab and awful and uniform. (I know I do.) I wonder if it was the same then.
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Mick Harper
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Yes it was! The monks were the intellectual and Guardian-reading classes of yesteryear.
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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One thing that has changed is that the monks (who were the intellectual and Guardian-reading classes of yesteryear) tended to live on nice Country Estates (a.k.a. monasteries) where they could live the Good Life, growing crops and rearing sheep to feed and clothe them. Subsidised by collections, taxes or tythes from the poor who thought they must Believe The Belief, otherwise they'd go to Hell.

Sadly, the intellectual and Guardian-reading classes of today have largely forgotten that. Or get the Good Life delivered in boxes from RiverCottage.net

As many of the monasteries' estates that used to be in open countryside are now lost in urban sprawl (drab and awful and uniform), it's easy to see how the intellectual and Guardian-reading classes of today have also become drab and awful and uniform. Except they are now subsidised by stealth taxes from people in Fuel Poverty who still think they will otherwise go to Carbon Hell.

e.g. Tooting Bec.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tooting_Bec
(See the Megalithic connection)

I would be a Guardian reader if I could. Or any kind of newspaper reader. But, living as I do in the sticks, among my hens and vegetables, miles from any newsagent, we don't get a newspaper delivered. I am reduced to reading things on the internet instead.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Boreades wrote:
One thing that has changed is ....... miles from any newsagent, we don't get a newspaper delivered. I am reduced to reading things on the internet instead.


For a healthy rebuttal of all this, you could read the largely forgotten "Jacobs Crackers" from the library, by the much missed Dan Crisp.

The internet provides you the Guardian, On line.

But no, you would rather have a Victorian urchin, delivering a chunk of rain forest through your door.
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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Wile E. Coyote wrote:

But no, you would rather have a Victorian urchin, delivering a chunk of rain forest through your door.


Yes please. While they are here, they can climb up the chimney and clean it. Just because we're Carbon Neutral (burning trees from our own woods) doesn't stop the chimney from needing cleaning!

We'd be helping some oik with a minimum wage as well.
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Mick Harper
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As many of the monasteries' estates that used to be in open countryside are now lost in urban sprawl (drab and awful and uniform)

No, Boreades, it is the countryside that is a drably awful uniform sprawl of muddy greens and browns. Urban areas are vibrant and colourful. I demand a 'Green Belt' to keep the countryside from encroaching on our treasured domain.
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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Mick Harper wrote:
No, Boreades, it is the countryside that is a drably awful uniform sprawl of muddy greens and browns. Urban areas are vibrant and colourful. I demand a 'Green Belt' to keep the countryside from encroaching on our treasured domain.


Ah yes, I saw some of that "vibrant and colourful" last week on a visit to London.



I do have a better riposte to this, along the lines of The Great Wall of China, or The Berlin Wall. Keep the unwashed masses out, or stop them escaping to freedom.

But first I've got to check with the Bollywood film crew I met on the Bluebell Railway last summer. They're doing the CGI to make it look like everything outside Greater London is either a Tourist Theme Park (Pay us ús to go there) or Wild And Very Dangerous e.g. tidal waves washing across the Somerset Levels (Don't go there).

At the moment, they are filming the remake of The Great Storm of 1703, which fits in nicely.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Mick Harper wrote:
No, Boreades, it is the countryside that is a drably awful uniform sprawl of muddy greens and browns. .



Boro, this train carriage is in fact, painted in what we call "blue" and "orange." I know it looks garish to your eyes.......To be fair, it lacks perspective.

You need to appreciate that development always comes from "cities" . These developments' enabled the ancient city dweller to eventually "see" or rather "think" in a new range of colours.

On the other hand, the ancient countryside dweller would have still thought, and easily picked out, the various subtle shades of green and brown of the Engish countryside. This helped him or her in their daily tasks....and... they could of course use their exceptional knowledge of landmarks, and the "shades" and "shadows", of a limited range of colours, to skilfully navigate around....

Most probably your ancient country yokel would have been unable to differentiate a "blue" at all....such was their concentration on greens.

The age of agriculture was truly a darker and flatter age, in the sense that country dwelling folks' could not "see" or "think" some bright colours, and had no real notion of perspective as depth.

You probably hate the planting of rape seed..........
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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Arrr. As us country yokels down 'ere in the West Countrrry lack the urban wit of our city-dwelling cousins, so we have to acknowledge our limitations.

Obviously colours like blue and orange never existed "in the wild" until they were sneakily introduced by the Graphics Department of the Theme Park Companies, to make our drab landscape more appealing to city slickers patronising our 'umble habodes.


Clever genetic engineering example.

That strange colour above our heads is because of Rupert Murdoch (c) Sky, which we never noticed until after we got satellite dishes and 1200-baud dial-up connections to big cities.



We're still not sure what to make of all the white holes in the roof at night. We've heard you don't get them in London, is that right? Maybe that's where all the rainwater we've got leaks in while we're asleep in our straw beds.

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Chad


In: Ramsbottom
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Wile E. Coyote wrote:
Most probably your ancient country yokel would have been unable to differentiate a "blue" at all....such was their concentration on greens.

Good thinking Wiley... but I rather doubt it.

You have developed this idea from an earlier discussion on colour perception among the Himba... whose environment is pretty much an unchanging landscape of greens and browns.

But the British countryside (as Borro has illustrated) is awash with colours that change throughout the seasons.

The dominant colour in our native woodlands in May is "blue"... and throughout spring and summer our ancestors would encounter a wide variety of colourful wildflowers (unencountered by such as the Himba).

Then by the autumn and through winter, a well developed perception of red would be essential when gathering berries.

While I agree that much of our current agricultural landscape is rather drab, the colour perception of our yokels is probably inherited from a more colourful past.
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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Chad wrote:
The dominant colour in our native woodlands in May is "blue"


Quite right Chad!. Here's what it looks like, hardly a megalithic stone's throw from Avebury. The ground is blue, as far as the eye can see.



Actually, it's in West Wood, just west of Marlborough. Usually c. the first week of May.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Boreades wrote:
The ground is blue, as far as the eye can see.



I suspect you might have been taught this colour at some stage.......knowledge from the city will eventually reach the countryside..........but, then again....maybe, you got there all by yourself...

If so, well done! I am happy to concede that you can independently recognise a modern interpretation of the colour blue without any prior help, or teaching.

Excellent.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Chad wrote:

While I agree that much of our current agricultural landscape is rather drab, the colour perception of our yokels is probably inherited from a more colourful past.


I am most disappointed, you, of all avatars, should understand the primacy of red over blue.

Humpf.
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Boreades


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Wile E. Coyote wrote:
... you can independently recognise a modern interpretation of the colour blue without any prior help, or teaching..


Oh dear, just when it was all going so well !!! Mrs Boreades might strongly object to that idea. I must reluctantly agree with her, given the recent trauma of a two-hour session in a Laura Ashley shop, looking at colour swatches for fabrics, wallpaper, cushion covers and paint. My idea of "blue" was very clearly not the same as hers, and completely unacceptable.



Thankfully, I know my place. I also remember a past life in the printing and publishing industry, where the Pantone Colour Chart was the Volume of Sacred Law we referred to, and we got the customer to choose, and put it in writing.

Here's just a few of the Pantone Blues.



I recommend it to all AE Brethren as a route to domestic harmony and peace.
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