Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Jan 10, 2006

A Workout, a History Lesson, a Social Activity, and a New Blog

I've been learning the basics of German Longsword over the past couple of weeks. I wish I could say that I'm a quick study, but really I'm just awkward. It is fun, though, and swinging my waster (a wooden practice sword) around is great exercise. It's still too heavy for me as yet, but that means I can grow into it. A real sword would be lighter, but also just a teensy bit more dangerous. Although, as random as my attacks are, probably not that much more dangerous.

On hearing that I was picking up Longsword, my mother came up with one of the many fascinating anecdotes she's discovered by researching our family geneology. She'd discovered that we are, among other things, descended from some Scots that were imported to Ireland, that being the McCabe (McCaba) family. (From what I understand, McCaba means something like "helmet wearer"). This particular group of belligerant Celts was famous for being taller than everyone else, wearing iron helmets, and wielding (surprise) their claymores in battle.

Then she mentioned they were also reknowned for something called a "gallowglass", which I had never heard of before. So I said, "what's that?"

Well, Mom didn't know either, but I wasn't sure how to spell the word so I didn't look for it online. However, when I went to the sword club practice on Sunday, one of the gentlemen involved with ARMA showed up, so I asked him what it was.

He didn't know either. So, I went digging and I found another cool defence group in Illinois named The Gallowglass Academy, which has a blog here with Blogger. So, that is interesting, and I figured I'd give Allen a plug as another new blogger. Hello, Allen!

However, I still remained unenlightened as to the provenance of the term "gallowglass". Fortunately Wikipedia knows more than I, as evidenced by this fascinating and informative article.

Notice the McCabe family is mentioned at the bottom.

I'm famous! Okay, okay, I'm not. My ancestors are famous! Bet those Celtic warriors never thought their legacy to their far-flung many-generations-gone descendants would be a Wiki article.

Personally, I would have preferred a sword, those things are expensive.


Allen said...

Hey, Allen Reed here from Gallowglass Acadmey.

Thanks for the attaboy. If you are ever in northwest Illinois drop me anote.

Jennifer Snow said...

Actually, I'm in East Aurora every once in a while, but I don't think I've been to the Western half of the state in a long time.

Jennifer Snow said...

My mother has informed me that she did TOO know what a gallowglass was. My mistake. She just didn't tell me, so I never did. Oh well.