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 The Singing Bird Lane
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By: Anonymous: Jean Dagenais () on Thursday, February 04 2010 @ 03:14 PM EST  
Anonymous: Jean Dagenais

Famines during the Middle Ages

Medieval societies always feared having a lack of food. Crop surpluses were rarely enough to create viable storage systems and even the greatest lord could not keep enough grain to outlast a famine. By the beginning of the 1300s the population had grown to such an extent that adequate amounts of food could only be grown under the best of conditions. There was no margin of failure for crops. The problem this century saw was a changing climate, with cooler and wetter summers and earlier autumn storms.

Malnutrition had always been present, but few actually died. But the cold and wet springs and summers of 1315-17 decimated crops and all classes of society suffered. People resorted to killing their draft animals and eating seed grain for food. Dogs and cats disappeared there were even rumors of cannibalism in some villages. Oddly enough, it was the Black Death that alleviated some concerns over famine, as the survivors found they had more food available.

Rumors of a famine usually preceded the actual crisis. Hoarding would begin and black markets for food would find plenty of customers. Bakers may try and fill bread loaves with fillers other than grain to match required weights and shapes. The elderly often voluntarily stopped eating so younger members of the family could survive, and there were numerous reports of cannibalism.

Medieval stories like Hansel and Gretel, like most of Grimm's Fairy Tales, has a basis in reality and illustrated the harsh possibilities of famine.

By: Anonymous: Jean Dagenais () on Thursday, February 04 2010 @ 08:03 PM EST  
Anonymous: Jean Dagenais

Village Life in the Midevil times

Medieval villages consisted of a population comprised of mostly of farmers. Houses, barns sheds, and animal pens clustered around the center of the village, which was surrounded by plowed fields and pastures. Medieval society depended on the village for protection and a majority of people during these centuries called a village home. Most were born, toiled, married, had children and later died within the village, rarely venturing beyond its boundaries.

Common enterprise was the key to a village's survival. Some villages were temporary, and the society would move on if the land proved infertile or weather made life too difficult. Other villages continued to exist for centuries. Every village had a lord, even if he didn't make it his permanent residence, and after the 1100's castles often dominated the village landscape. Medieval Europeans may have been unclear of their country's boundaries, but they knew every stone, tree, road and stream of their village. Neighboring villages would parley to set boundaries that would be set out in village charters.

Medieval peasants were either classified as free men or as "villeins," those who owed heavy labor service to a lord, were bound to the land, and subject to feudal dues. Village life was busy for both classes, and for women as well as men. Much of this harsh life was lived outdoors, wearing simple dress and subsisting on a meager diet.

Village life would change from outside influences with market pressures and new landlords. As the centuries passed, more and more found themselves drawn to larger cities. Yet modern Europe owes much to these early medieval villages.

By: Anonymous: Jean Dagenais () on Thursday, February 04 2010 @ 08:05 PM EST  
Anonymous: Jean Dagenais

Medieval Literature

The Middle Ages saw the beginnings of a rebirth in literature. Early medieval books were painstakingly hand-copied and illustrated by monks. Paper was a rarity, with vellum, made from calf's skin, and parchment, made from lamb's skin, were the media of choice for writing. Students learning to write used wooden tablets covered in green or black wax. The greatest number of books during this era were bound with plain wooden boards, or with simple tooled leather for more expensive volumes.

Wandering scholars and poets traveling to the Crusades learned of new writing styles. Courtly Love spawned a new interest in romantic prose. Troubadours sang in medieval courtyards about epic battles involving Roland, Arthur, and Charlemagne. Literature exploded from the universities as scholars began to question convention and write social commentary, as well as poetic fiction.

Language saw further development during the Middle Ages. Capital and lowercase letters were developed with rules for each. Books were treasures, rarely shown openly in a library, but rather, kept safely under lock and key. Finding someone who might loan you a book was a true friend. Some might rent out their books, while others, desperate for cash, might turn to the book as a valuable item to be pawned.
_____________________________________Finished for now.

By: Anonymous: Jean Dagenais () on Thursday, February 04 2010 @ 08:13 PM EST  
Anonymous: Jean Dagenais

Click on image to download

By: Anonymous: Jean Dagenais () on Thursday, February 04 2010 @ 10:05 PM EST  
Anonymous: Jean Dagenais

Click on image to download

am not sleepy. Gee I dislike that when I feel it and then can't sleep. I see I am in trouble I poked an extra bookmark by mistake to the Singing Bird Lane, Thelma where are you Dear..... I wish I didn't have to as you to do it it would be so simple for me to take it off but guess FGorums are run different in case..... Sometime next week this computer will go it the hospital for a physical sure is doing some funny things... lately.
So Here we go again this time I hope sleep comes...

By: Velma Flann (offline) on Friday, February 05 2010 @ 01:04 PM EST  
Velma Flann

Hi Jean. That post looks okay to me!!!! If you want something done, let me know. I'll check when I get home tonight. I'll be at my daughter's all day today.


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Lillooet, B.C.

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By: Anonymous: Jean Dagenais () on Friday, February 05 2010 @ 03:59 PM EST  
Anonymous: Jean Dagenais

Click on image to download A picturesque photo of the Mealy Mountains. The Mealy Mountains National Park, a sprawling, 11,000-sq.-km protected area, will be the single largest federal conservation zone in Eastern Canada.Photograph by: Handout, Parks Canada. Iam really happy to hear this for Canada. It is very beautiful country there.

By: Anonymous: Jean Dagenais () on Friday, February 05 2010 @ 05:07 PM EST  
Anonymous: Jean Dagenais

Click on image to download


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