Bringing the Early Iron Age to Life


Bannocks, Barley, & Oats (& Spelt)

So had a fair trade the other day, with some folks from somewhere south. They were fair strange in their speech, but not so that you couldn’t understand them. They brought some grain they called “spelt” and said that it could be used much like we use our oats and barley. So, I decided to put it to the test by making bannocks to go with our meal. The spelt had a different flavor from the oats, a bit more of a nut-like flavor. It was a distinctive flavor, and stronger than the oats, but definitely not bad. It was a good addition to the barley and the two went well together. Eidiard was quite happy with them and I think I’m going to have to trade for some more spelt to go in the bannocks.

Bringing home the future bacon

So today, Eidiard received payment for a project he was asked to do. His payment? A quarter of a freshly slaughtered, early cull pig. This was a wonderful thing. First thing to do with it, is to put it to salt so that we can smoke it later. It will be wonderful to have some smoked pig during the winter months.


Woke up this morning, slightly before sunrise. The cow and sheep were making more than their usual amount of noise in the byre… the only thing I can think of, is that a strange dog or cat must have disturbed them. I’m not too worried about the possibility of a strange cat, since it was problably hunting some voles. Useful, as there have been a few incursions by voles into the grain bin for the animals.

After checking on the animals, and seeing if the geese had laid any new eggs, I returned to my hearth to stir up the fire, and get some breakfast. I added a few berries that I managed to forage the other day into my cooking pot, to add some sweetness to my barley pottage. As it warms up gently, beside the fire, I puttered around, straightening things up a bit from last night that I missed in the darkness.

Today I will be checking on how the grain plantings are doing. We’re getting close to harvest time, and I don’t want to lose too much of the planting to the ever present wind, in case there’s a late storm. With all the heat we’ve been having, I think the barley and spelt will be ripening quicker and hope to the Gods that we can get it in before any early fall/winter storms hit. After that, I’ll make sure that the pasture i’ve planned for the sheep to move into is good to go… meaning, making sure that the sheep won’t be able to get through the border walls. Of course, this is an ongoing problem, since a few of the ewes are apparently excape artists. I still have plenty of wool to finish spinning, and need to grab another spindle, so I can take it with me. I’ll never get all the yarn made I need for Eidiard’s new cloak, if I don’t get it all spun soon.

Well, smells like my breakfast is ready. Have to go… more later.

A day in the life…. hopefully for at least a year

So, I’ve been thinking about writing up blog posts in the first person for my persona. After chatting with Mistress Melisande about it, I decided to do this online so that perhaps others will join in the conversation. With this journaling, I expect it to generate new research questions for me (and anyone who’s interested in this project).

So, with luck, time and perseverance, I hope to have a two-part posting as Finche (pronounced fin-ka) when I post. The first part being in first person, the second being either research notes or questions to be researched further. In this manner, I hope to flesh out my persona into a living, breathing being, as it were. This may not happen every day, but hopefully, there will be enough that I can get a better idea of what life may have been like, in either Orkney, or the Kingdom of Cait in the 4th-7th centuries. The time and place bracketing is due to how little we actually know about these places, and time period.

(Cross posting this first entry to my Facebook timeline.)