RESEARCH IS SUCH HARD WORK...I'm writing this Tuesday night because tomorrow I'm going with my CP to take her baby for another pre-surgery appointment for his eyes. Some of you may know about this little fellow- he was born in March, weighing just barely one pound. Now he's home, and passed seven pounds a few weeks ago. Because he's so fragile and I tend to pick up infectious illnesses easily, this will actually be my first time meeting him. So I won't be home till sometime late in the afternoon.
So I thought I'd just show you some of my research pictures from our trip to the Mediterranean last fall. Notice, these are research photos, not the magnificent and sensational views the usual tourist takes. I'll tell you about the Mediterranean from a tourist point of view another time, but my purpose here is to demonstrate the arduous and sometimes grueling business of researching.
Barcelona was an excellent place for research. Its recorded history goes back through Roman times, and its medieval history is what really attracts me.
Inside Barcelona Castle, toward the upper castle yard In order to study the centuries of building and evolution of the castle, it was necessary to walk over the entire grounds, view the buildings and walls, watch a medieval circus,listen to drum bands, and observe the gardens below from the outdoor cafe on the grounds.
There's an incredible collection of weapons in the armoury, from ancient times through medieval, the early modern era, all the way through recent times. Naturally I meticulously recorded as much of the collection as I could. In order to see this magnificent collection of swords, pistols, muskets, rifles, pikes, helmets, cannons, and other weapons, it was necessary to fly across a continent and an ocean, take rooms in a tiny Spanish village by the sea, take the train into Barcelona, and ride first a tour bus then a tram to the top of the mountain where the castle sits above the sea. And that's not saying anything about all the steps.
This is Count Raymond Berenger, 1035-1076. As Count of Savoie and Provence, he also governed Barcelona. If he's who I think he is, he is known to have established an order of lady knights. You'll find him in one of my future books.
Researching contemporary European music at Barcelona Castle. This is Houba. I worked especially hard to get an accurate recording of their music, but the sound quality was poor. Fortunately, you can hear them here:Houba
(Okay so the link doesn't work. I'll have to do that in the morning so I don't wake hubby. See what I mean about research being arduous?)
Plaster over brick column construction at Pompeii. You thought they were all stone, didn't you? Of course my arduous research determined the Romans went to great lengths to hide the brick underlying their great buildings. A true researcher pays attention to these little details, rather than to all that touristy stuff.
Researching contemporary cruise ship French cuisine.
More research in Rome. The Coliseum, that is, not the centurions. Although constant and consistent attention to detail did confirm my hypothesis that there is no such thing as an ugly Italian man.
My husband insists there are no ugly Italian women either, but I was not interested in researching that subject.
All in all, it was an exhaustive study. You can see why I find it necessary to limit such efforts to once a year.