The Middle Ages

I just finished a book called The Middle Ages, by Morris Bishop. Given that it was a 99¢ Kindle book, I wasn’t expecting much but I really enjoyed it. In particular, I like reading new books about topics I’ve previously read about, and learn new things. With that in mind, I present you with the way time worked in the middle ages.

No one … knew surely what time it was. The Angelus ringing in the village church was a sufficient time signal for most people. Night and day were each divided into twelve hours measured between sunrise and sunset. Thus, the length of an hour or minute varied every day and from one latitude to another.

Morris Bishop, The Middle Ages, 2015

So not only did the length of an hour vary between latitudes, but it would vary as the year progressed. That’s so bizarre.

Mom, again

In this latest instalment of ‘crazy shit my mother says,’ I’m sitting and watching television when the phone rings. Mom picks it up and from her side of the conversation I figure out one of her medical specialists is calling to book an appointment for next year. Given that it’s March, it’s a long lead-time, but not unexpected for reasons I won’t get into here.

Before she hangs up, she says to the medical admin person in a cheery voice, “Okay, I’ll see you then … if I’m still alive!”

Crowded music?

…sometimes I say I’m providing a house and you can provide the furniture. It’s a soundtrack, there’s space, and the audience put their own thoughts to it. Sometimes jazz musicians, we fill up all the fucking space, so people can’t lose themselves in it.

Robert Glasper, jazz pianist
regarding extended solos

The top hat!

Lord Liverpool climbed out of his carriage at Kensington Palace on June 15, 1837, under blue summer skies. He was wearing a grey suit and a top hat — the top hat was now considered the mark of a gentleman, even though the first man to sport one in public, forty years earlier, was arrested on the grounds that it had “a shiny lustre calculated to alarm timid people.” (Four women had fainted upon seeing it, and pedestrians had booed.)

Julia Baird, Victoria: The Queen, 2016

Can you imagine? Woman fainting and the wearer being arrested!