I've been very cross and out of sorts today...no idea why mind you...can't blame it on hormones anymore and the weather has been alright...nothing special, but the rain has kept away. Didn't sleep very well actually 'cos I was over-tired and then Himself had a funny turn in the middle of the night and we both woke up in a fright...he was making awful noises as though the hounds of hell were treading on his heels...anyway, he was none the worse for the experience. Sort of night terrors I suppose...

I've spent the afternoon trying to make a cover for the mixer...it's a very modest little mixer...not like your Kenwood...and I thought to make it a pretty quilted cover. Feckin' thing would not work out the way I wanted it to...part of the trouble being I was using a piece of old blanket for the batting, 'cos I'm too mean to buy the proper purpose made stuff, and the sewing machine didn't like it...the tension was all wrong and by the time I sorted that out so it wasn't chewing the thread up I was so fed-up with the whole thing I've left it until tomorrow.

But I found a relative who was born in Kilkenny Castle in Ireland and was once described as one of the richest men in England...he made his wealth through the wool trade and owned 76 manors in England as well as vast estates in Ireland...he was yet another chap described as a traitor but he was forgiven for his traitorous dealings so didn't lose his head...his daughter became the Great Grandmother of Queen Elizabeth 1st...

It's all horribly complicated and I do get myself in a bit of a muddle especially when someone had several different titles and I don't realise its one and the same person and add them all and then have a woman with twenty children when she only had five...and the dates can be awful misleading as well. If someone died in a battle or had their head chopped off then the dates are accurate...but sometimes they have a ten year period of coulds and maybes...but I've written before that I don't think it matters too much when you get back so far in time.

I found something interesting about the Four Annals of Ireland...the written historical records...the men who painstakingly wrote down the history counted the beginning of the world...or the beginning of time...as being from the Great Flood. Their dates for various events would truly puzzle anyone unfamilar with the system. So, for example, when they began writing about the first of the old Irish kings they gave the date as the year 3500. It wasn't until the Norman Conquest that they adjusted the dates accordingly and began using the time of Christ's birth as a guideline for the remaining history they included...

But if going back to a wealthy wool merchant in the 1400's has me puzzled and confused, the Four Annals are impossible to decipher...I have tried really hard...but it is a study better left to those who can read Old Irish and Latin...who can interprete the writings for what they are. I do like reading about the lives of those learned men, bent over parchment carefully recording the lives of the kings and even including their causes of death often as not...I like to know they travelled the length and breadth of Ireland in the days when the only transport was a stout pony, to return with their stories, and spend months carefully making inks and cutting goosequill pens...drawing tiny pictures of fanciful creatures within the capital letters...they recorded the minutiae...the first time a chariot pulled by four horses was used as transport...they recorded the lineage of the kings...the battles and the burial grounds, and they were considered so reliable that their knowledge is still used and quoted today. An historian I once met said, if it's in the Four Annals then it can be almost guarenteed as truth.

And the chariot? Forget any images in your head of Gladiators and wheels with sharp spikes...the chariots were simple carts on two wheels instead of four and sound an awful uncomfortable a way to travel..the toghers...the wooden roadways, were designed especially for one chariot to be driven along...don't think anyone had thought of passing spaces in those days...