Sunday 8 July 2012

Scurvy or the Black Death

I realize that no one cares, but I spent another day over at Brendan’s working on his garage. This has been the two hottest days of the year so far. I spent it doing grunt work, silly me.

There is a sense of satisfaction that comes with starting with a bare concrete pad yesterday morning and when we finished today there was a structure that will more than likely outlive me. Well, that’s assuming the sheeting and shingles get put on the roof, and the stucco guys come and do their thing later in the summer. Perhaps if I am frozen and come back to a future where they have conquered death I might outlive the garage. I guess there will be a lot more things that I start and probably won’t see the end of as I continue to grow old.

I am currently reading “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett which is an entertaining read that gives an insight into the way life was in the early 1200’s. If you weren’t royalty or…no, well, it was only royalty that was immune to the hardships of life. However, even they would oft times be invaded and imprisoned for years or months at a time, sometimes even put to death. That is the way royalty was treated, can you imagine how the rest of us poor slobs fared? I am sure that life was for the most part pretty good. I don’t think you could expect a long life with a full indexed pension, medical and dental. The dental wasn’t a problem really, because by the time you got old your teeth would have been worn down to nothing because of the bits of grindstone in the flour.

I am getting off topic. People would work for perhaps their entire lives on the mega projects of the time. It wasn’t unheard of for castles to be continuously worked on for a century or more. Cathedrals would take from ten to fifty years depending on the size and scope of the project. You only have to look the decorations that adorn the buildings from that era to realize just how much time it must have taken. The furniture was gorgeous, the artwork sublime and I suspect that the same care was put into the grounds. I think I could have been very happy living and working in that time.

Well, except for the “Black Death”, leprosy, starvation, lice and bed bugs, outdoor toilets, or worse, indoor toilets, being owned and traded and everyone in the village would smell like the worst stinking guy on the subway.

You know, come to think of it, I think I will just be satisfied with helping my friends out with their building projects from time to time. It leaves me tired and exhausted, but I don’t have to worry about Scurvy or the Black Death.

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