Archive for May, 2009|Monthly archive page

New Native Awareness website

BowsJames Watson, founder of the Native Awareness School has relaunched his website this week. As I posted a couple of months ago, I am due to attend James’ bowmaking course in a couple of weeks’ time, which I am really looking forward to.

The new site, which is beautifully designed and features pages of useful information, now includes a section of published articles, including a two part article on bowmaking which James wrote for Bushcraft Magazine in December 2007 and April 2008.

The article goes through the process of creating a bow from felling the tree to finishing the bow ready for use. It also talks more generally about the application of traditional skills and their continuing  importance in the twenty-first century.

Part two starts with a story about snapped bows and how losing a bow that you have spent countless hours on – in a fraction of a second – can teach you a lot about yourself.

I agree with this – all too often we assume a subconscious position of mastery over nature,¬† so that when events turn against us we quickly become indignant and assume a victim mentality. Nothing is guaranteed in nature, and we should learn the humility to accept when things don’t always go our way. I hope my new bow doesn’t snap and that we have many years together, but if things don’t turn out that way I hope I am humble enough to accept that it wasn’t meant to be.

Check out the website at


Cosmeston Medieval Village

I went to Cosmeston Medieval Village last weekend. Cosmeston is a reconstructed fourteenth century village based on archaeological evidence unearthed in the 1980s. It is now a living history village open to the public, with guided tours and re-enactment events held throughout the year.

Taking the guided tour gave me a sense (albeit superficial) of what it must have been like to live there in the fourteenth century. Cosmeston would have been on a busy trade and pilgrim route from the City of Llandaff westwards, eventually to St David’s and the western ocean. Life would have undoubtedly been hard in the village, whatever rung of the social ladder you were on … and I imagine unbearably so for those robbed of their trade through injury or illness, both of which were rife.

Cosmeston is holding a re-enactment event tomorrow, which I’m hoping to go along to. I’m especially hoping to see some medieval archers.

I hope everyone is enjoying the Beltane fires and the inspiration of Spring!