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Indoor week - Fossil Hill Journal
June 30th, 2007
11:39 am


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Indoor week
Since Ms TK's surgery (minor and elective so don't panic) I've had to stay in the house with her much of the time. The plethora of outdoor projects go undone, but are not especially missed as I've had enforced time to read and learn. Since huge blocks of reading time tend to bore me I've been doing some more specific research for the bits and pieces of needed background for the story I've been calling "My Mother's Harp".

The word 'harp' itself is less of a worry than it was 2 years ago, since I confirmed that it is more correct than 'psaltry' or 'zither' even if the instrument's structure is unsupported by a pillar. The key need is for it to retain a single rather than double arm/arch design. Also, even with such huge gaps in archaeological evidence one can presume local evolution is a viable alternative foreign dissemination ... at least that's my way of looking at it. The reader can quickly figure out that it is not a concert floor harp and that is what that matters.

The action itself is mostly written or at least outlined; the human intrigues of love, hate, adultery, companionship, loyalty and betrayal would be much the same from age to age. Such people would have less time for our modern indulgences but those emotions would be universal. What makes one of these yarns different and more readable is in the details of its little known background facts.

I've come across some really interesting ones such as the reason that prehistoric pottery vessels were more often pointed than flat bottomed and the fact that clay sculptures preceded pots in many cultures by up to 20,000 years. Of course the 20,000 isn't really important to the story as much as the fact that some cultures can exist which have sculpture but no pots.

Trivial but important: I've also stumbled onto the specifics of the ancient Celtic head preservation technology, and an internally consistent cosmology of why they were headhunters in the first place.

Also I've been working on the drawings for the new blacksmith's shop. Unfortunately the old building isn't so movable as I'd hoped unless I can borrow a bigger truck and trailer. I'm beginning to believe that I want to make a more authentic looking shop, made of cedar poles and old barn boards, so not being able to move the old one is not entirely a loss. Speaking of cedar poles, Its been so dry I have had to dig post holes for the new fence one stage at a time, pouring water into them to loosen up the next layer of soil! (They'll probably be dried out again and have to be re-soaked but I've promised myself I won't think of outdoor work until next week.

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