I used to belong to a number of clubs that dealt with living history. I took it seriously and played as hard as I could…dressed up in medieval clothing, renaissance clothing, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th century clothing. I had a very good time doing so and would recommend it to all.
But I never had a better time than last Saturday in any of those clothes.
Last Saturday was exceedingly cold and wet here in Perth. People in Siberia and Alaska might laugh at our discomfort here in Western Australia at temperatures that seem normal to them, but be that as it may, we were cold and wet and sad. I was until I remembered the Siwash sweater in my closet.
It had been made by my mother for my father some 40 or 50 years ago. In Canada, of course, and carefully preserved when we moved to Australia. Of little use when the temperature is 38º+…
But when Saturday started to be horrible, it proved to be the best thing I own. And it is a tie to my own history and the history of my family – not some imaginary costume bought from a sutler or sewn from an Osprey illustration. A real garment in a real situation.
I am going to dive back down into the family heirlooms and see what other real history is there that might be resurrected to help with life now. If I still use it, it is not dead.