Having tried to keep a low profile ‘up north’ (Master Christopher is trying to avoid swordsmiths in search of groats) imagine how Master C. and Mistress A. felt to find that their souls had been stolen, not once but twice and that their presence in Birmingham has been revealed for all to see on the official press release photographs for Who Do You Think You Are? Live.
In the absence of a sword, last week Master Christopher donned armour and headed across the border to Poundstock Gildhouse. Many thanks to our hosts at this wonderous venue and to the good folk who came from far and wide to learn how to trace their seventeenth century ancestors and a little about their lives. Mistress A. talked of researching family history for our time and then made sure the participants knew how to dress properly. She described the homes, food and lifestyle of her day. She even let Master Christopher loose on the audience with his nice, gentle, inoffensive, surgical instruments. Talking of said surgical instruments, Master C. has been invited to be ship’s surgeon on an upcoming Baltic Cruise. He thought this might be a good opportunity to lie low for a while and to earn enough money for his new sword. Being a law abiding type he checked with the customs about the practicalities of getting his instruments of torture healing on board and they said write a list and it will be fine (well it will be when Master C. learns to write). Sadly the powers that be who run the ship were less amenable. Ok, saying ‘can I bring axes, saws and knives on your ship?’ might strike fear into the heart of whoever heads up ship’s security but how can he perform without? Anyone who has been ‘treated’ to Master C.’s particular brand of medicine will realise that without his tools he is nothing. He was asked if he could show pictures of them on PowerPoint instead. Now Master C. has plenty of power but not much point in this option we thought and indeed not many points to his tools either. These implements are regularly taken into schools and pass school risk assessments. Master C. has not held anyone up at clyster point yet and were he planning to do so during the voyage he would probably have had the sense not to ask if it was acceptable to bring his tools aboard. We have sent descriptions of our blade-less razor, blunt axes and definitely-not-sharp-in-any-way knives and are hoping our appeal will be successful. There are many things amongst cruise-goers’ luggage that are potentially more lethal than a trephan. Watch this space for further developments.