It was a fine day for a birthday in Wolfenbüttel! It’s been a cool summer, so the appearance of sunshine definitely added to the festivities. And when it rains? You appreciate what a great place this is to do research. The dukes started collecting books almost as soon as the first ones were off the press. They must have been the techies of their time. I was reading one of their books today, printed in 1530. I’m interested in the reception of New World medicinal plants in the sixteenth century, so it was awesome to read the words of a physician speculating on the medical potential of plants that were still quite new to him. But human interest in medicine is timeless. A book written in 1550 surprised me with a wonderful section on baby and child care. Not just what to do when the baby is sick, but how to soothe teething pain, how to take care of the first new teeth, bathing, exercise, and diet. A regular sixteenth-century Dr. Spock. Of course some mothers might take issue with rubbing warm goose fat on the baby’s gums, but, hey, you use what you have.
And what I have now is a cheap umbrella. I didn’t really think I’d need it, but the weekend after my birthday was rainy, putting a slight damper on the fair in town. Consequently, I got a good view of the stage in the square Sunday morning and enjoyed some fun music and good company along with coffee and a warm cherry strudel.