Archive for October, 2011

Today I am so happy to welcome author and Medieval enthusiast Joyce DiPastena to the Blog-String Fest. Joyce is an accomplished author and shares another side of herself and her talents with us here today. Welcome, Joyce!

Silly + Cake = FUN

Let’s admit it. Even grownups need to be silly sometimes. And as a medieval history geek, one of my favorite silly things to do is to celebrate Norman Conquest Day each year. On October 14, 1066, the Norman army, led by Duke William of Normandy (later known as William the Conqueror), invaded England and in a great battle now known as The Battle of Hastings, defeated the Saxon rulers of England. On December 25, 1066, William was crowned King of England.

William’s defeat of the Saxons imposed a French speaking monarchy and aristocracy on the Saxon population. Eventually, the two races intermarried, blending cultures and languages into one. It’s popular in modern literature to paint the Saxons as noble and peace loving and the Normans as murderous and bloodthirsty. Needless to say, this is a very simplistic view of the whole subject. And in the end, whatever your opinion of the Normans vs the Saxons, the bottom line is, without the Norman Invasion, those of us with English ancestors, quite simply, would not be who we are today.

Also if the Normans had never invaded England, when we went to a restaurant, instead of ordering “beef” (Norman), we would have to order an entrée of cow (Saxon). Instead of ordering a pork chop (pork/Norman), we would have to order a swine chop (swine/Saxon). Personally, I’d much rather eat a pork chop than a swine chop!

Now for the silly part. One year, just for the silly fun of it, I decided to buy a cake to celebrate Norman Conquest Day and decorate it with some little pewter knights I’d collected through the years. It has now become an annual tradition. Here’s a picture of my Norman Conquest Day cake this year. (I used plastic soldiers instead of pewter ones this year, just to be different.)

Everyone should have one day a year to celebrate something silly. It can be a historical event like mine. Or you can choose a truly silly day by checking out this link (http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/index.htm), where you will find such silly “holidays” as Bubble Bath Day (January 8), Mother Goose Day (May 1), Wiggle Your Toes Day (August 6) and more! Just don’t forget to include a cake.

If you’d like to see my Norman Conquest Day cakes through the years, you can do so on my JDP NEWS blog at this link, http://jdp-news.blogspot.com/search/label/Norman.20Conquest.20Day

<strong>Joyce DiPastena fell in love with the Middle Ages when she first read Thomas B. Costain’s The Conquering Family in high school. A graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree specializing in medieval history, she is the author of two sweet medieval romances: Loyalty’s Web (a 2007 Whitney Award finalist) and Illuminations of the Heart (a 2009 Whitney Award finalist.) Her third medieval romance, Dangerous Favor, will be released in January 2012. (All of her titles are available on Amazon.)

Joyce lives in Arizona with her two cats, Clio and Glinka Rimsky-Korsokov. Read more about Joyce and her books on her website at http://www.joyce-dipastena.com, check out her author’s blog, JDP NEWS, at http://jdp-news.blogspot.com, or follow her as she researches her novels at Medieval Research with Joyce, at http://medievalresearch.blogspot.com.

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