Thursday, April 15, 2010

To green

After a morning of work, a burst of power walking to drop off washing machine paperwork to Erika at the office, and grabbing a sandwich, I met Holly at the train station (which is also the bus station: amazingly convenient) to take a trip to the Ulster Folk Museum! My first train ride, quiet and easy. This is the watch tower that was used to guard linen that would be pinned to the ground to bleach (they'd bleach in night air, dew, and sunlight). People caught stealing linen were executed. Hardcore! But it took so much labor to get it to this state that it definitely would be a bad idea NOT to have a guard stationed at night.

I was so excited when I saw all the willow against a building and saw the guy weaving it. Beautiful stuff, everywhere around him. We did mostly just the town and a tiny bit of the rural area. It was a lovely, sunny day, and quiet since the Easter holidays are over and the kids are back in school. I've already forgotten the dates but I think the historic stuff goes no later than 1912. They've essentially found structures and artifacts from all around Ulster that were abandoned or not used, took them apart, and moved them here to create a replica of an historic town and outlying areas. 170 acres! We didn't do the Transport Museum, b/c mostly I wanted to see things related to flax (not much--that mill is in disrepair).

But the best was the print shop. The guy working there was fantastic--as soon as he saw us enter, he did the whole "how to print" demo. We started to talk to him about various things, like paper, and he had great info. He did a beautiful sweep through all the symbolism on the Clymer & Dixon press, and how the free press is vital for the Constitution and how NI doesn't have one.

He talked about how the older newspapers printed on linen (rag) paper are still in great shape, but after cheap cotton from around the world flooded the market and then wood pulp came in and paper was made on cylinders, it all went downhill. When I said I was interested in why flax was used so much for linen but not paper, he said: you need paper when you have people who can read. Ah! Another mystery unlocked.

I wasn't good at taking pictures today b/c I suck at shooting in afternoon light, and b/c I didn't want to make Holly stop at every single cobblestone. We were chatting at one point and inadvertently walked up to a court with a case in progress! All these children in traditional garb and a judge, as well, who asked if we were the next case. Hilarity. Here are the pictures nonetheless.

1 comment:

Velma Bolyard said...

oh, wow, oh. aimee, linen and willow and those structures, too. i LOVE your photo set. amazing stuff.