Warm weather is back which is nice, even if it does make me anticipate the hot weather which is sure to follow. The lilacs are fading, and most of the other fragrant flowers of May. The only wild flower I’ve noticed is buttercups- but then I haven’t been out much. I’m sure they must have started.
This weekend we went to Panteria, It being a long weekend, that means we were packing on Thursday, traveling Friday, and recovering Monday and Tuesday, so that pretty much took up the whole week. I seem to remember events not taking up that much time; on the other hand, the SCA has dominated my life, between being at events and working on projects for them, and working for the SCA. I’m also disoriented because in my mind, May 30th is Memorial Day. I suppose eventually enough of us old folks will die and there won’t be any more cognitive dissonance about holidays hopping around to make long weekends. I’m not sure why they bother since so many people have to work on them anyway.
Thursday was Tiara Day. I am not sure whether Willow wore hers, but Kat and I wore our tiaras, as I was in a tacky house-dress, I’m sure it looked odd. I had hoped to make a lovely afternoon tea, but didn’t get to it. I did make an angel cake, and Willow brought home two pounds of strawberries. I cut out pieces for 3 aprons (my old ones need replacing badly), dug garb out of the great hall, and assorted other chores. On facebook several friends also expressed the ambivalence I feel about events as I age. Is it more work than is worth it for what we need to do to have sufficient comfort at events? I will say that the trailer and Willows car were quite full, once we had in the cots, tables, chairs, tent, bedding, clothing etc. And for Panteria, we didn’t even need to bring food (except snacks). We do, however, need to find another chest for our feast gear. Little woodland creatures have chewed our old one up (and put in acorns!) and the replacement chest we found is too small for all our feast gear. The smaller plates are not an issue at feast, which is eaten in courses, but when going through a buffet line, the larger trenchers are preferable.
We drove up on Friday “the Glorious 25th”, aka Towel Day, aka Nerd/ Geek Pryde Day. We stopped in Milford to get change for the cash box (we still had twentys from the last event), and Willow picked up 4 battery powered bulbs- we hope to use them to create hanging lamps, but this weekend we simply put them in the chandeliers. Sadly they don’t show in the picture I took of the tent. You can see my corner where there were two seats and a table, so I could sit and chat with friends. (And stitch- I finished hand sewing the first apron at the event. The rest I will use a machine on.)
The weather was good, mixed sun and clouds. We heard there would be rain on Monday, so we simply planned to pack before, and go home after, the feast on Sunday. As our usual luck has it, it started to rain as we headed home. I will say that the wind was quite playful while we were trying to put the tent up. It ripped the stakes out of the ground, and collapsed the tent while we only had the corners and center poles up, and ripped the canvas out of my hands several times. I hate that I’m weaker than I expect to be! Tiberius and Kaiya and Zeke jumped in and helped us finish putting it up.
Wolfhere came by and we chatted about plantar fasciitis. I had no idea how many people have had to deal with it until this weekend! It seems like just about everyone has at one point or another! My best observation is that when I stay off my feet it goes away, and if I think it’s gone and walk around too much, it comes back. For this reason I didn’t go down to any of the classes, nor to see the other merchant area. We were invited over to the near side of the hall (closer to the feast hall), because Thor’s Armory couldn’t make it. We decided to set up with the opening toward the road, but I think we should have opened toward the porch (where several other merchants set up). One the plus side, we were able to watch the archery- just across the road, and watch the horses when they came past at the end of the day. I think the swinging target is especially impressive. I’m not sure how they manage to hit that one! Sales were slow. I think we covered our costs, but it would have been nice to bring home lots of money.
Saturday I peeled carrots with Aine (and others whose names I’ve forgotten). I did shop at the porch merchants- got another rustic tablecloth, and a pitcher for only $10. It’s convenient not to have to go to the fountain for each cup.
Raven and his daughter (I can’t remember their SCA names, came by, and went to some classes. I hoped to get to the one on cultural appropriation vs cultural appreciation in the SCA. It does sound like Cricket said almost everything I’d have said, but I enjoy a good discussion. Next week Raven is headed out to the midwest to some Shaman conference. They were only day-tripping, and left before the feast. Panteria now has over 600 attendees, and only 240 people can fit in the hall, so it’s going to be hard to expand the food plan or feast. Many people are perfectly happy to just do their campfire parties, but we love not having that one more thing to do when we’re selling. For breakfast and lunch we go in shifts so that there’s someone at the shop- in case a customer comes by. The hall was REALLY crowded, which was stressful for Kat. Actually, for me too- it’s very hard to hear over that many people in one room.
I don’t do well on the wooden benches. It’s hard to get into the middle spot, and the legs are too far from the ends, so that when one of the end people stands up, the other tends to go down, as if on a see-saw! That started to happen to Kat once and Marieke grabbed her to steady her without thinking, and that triggered her anxiety her, which didn’t enhance the rest of the evening. The rest of the campground may have been singing around campfires, but we happily went right to the comfortable beds we’d brought. I love sleeping outside!
I was, as often, the oldest peer in the hall, so I got to toast the King and Queen. Herald and Marieke got the Heirs and Cooks. (It seems another toast has joined those traditional three: “To absent friends!” I suppose after more than fifty years, there will be a lot of us who’ve died.
Sunday was pretty similar. The King and Queen came up on Sunday (they were at another SCA event on Saturday- reminds me of us). They had the Competition for the Kings and Queens Thrown Weapon champions. I continued to be sedentary, chatting to friends who came by- like Anjuli, and her daughter, with her children! There were a lot of cute babies.
Since we were leaving, we packed down starting around four. We were lucky to get Frostalf (Tom) and his friends to help us break down and pack. All too often when we get help it’s strangers, and they are trying so hard to help, I am not able to direct, resulting in unbalanced packing of the trailer. (It really is an art form.) This time they were so competent, Willow was able to get everything in where it belonged, and we were done by 5:30- while court was still in full session.
We DID get to see the toy box go past with its “wild hunt”. This is a new tradition in Eastern courts. There’s a box full of toys, kept full by donations, and about midway through court when the little kids begin to squirm, they are called up, and some poor soul is given the “honor” of running away with the box. All the children stream after him, and when they catch him, as they always do, each is allowed to select a toy from the box. I expect that gets some of the excess energy out, as well as giving them something to do for the remainder of court.
We went down to the feast hall rather that go to court (our chairs were, after all, packed) and I asked if there was anything I could do to help : sitting down. They were making bowls out of melons (later served filled with lamb pate, and garnished with an orchid- which Willow ate). I helped scrape out seeds, and made a new friend- Sunna. We got engrossed in a discussion of the implications of the double brooches and conversion. How marvelous! I am not the only one who has considered this!
Sadly, court ran late and the feast didn’t start until seven. But happily we were able to fill the table with friends- Tom and his friends brought it up to 7, and Jamie (Weehawk- my apprentice) was also available to sit next to me. Frostalf (Tom) was there, with his new Lady Sean, and her adorable daughter. There were a LOT of cute babies around this weekend. Most of the times I saw him Weehawk was carrying around a REALLY clever and cute baby a bit older than a year, I think she’s a projecting empath because I had no problem talking to her although she technically doesn’t talk yet. She’s the daughter of a room-mate/ longtime friend of his, who has really become attached to him (and vice versa).
Once again (still oldest) I was called upon to toast the Crown, reminded by Æthylhaflok that they style themselves Emperor and Empress. Trying to remember that, I forgot to actually mention their names- and after I’d rehearsed to myself how to pronounce them (Brennan isn’t hard, but Caoilfhionn is pronounced close to Caylin). Once folks were cheering, I burst out “I forgot to say their names!” I think I heard them laugh. I did notice that Brennan had lost a lot of weight, but was still surprised when he came over to chat. Honestly, I simply didn’t recognize him. He HAD taken off his crown. And over a hundred pounds! I was wracking my brain to recognize this familiar-ish looking fellow when I noticed the embroidered crown on his hood. Oops! So I admired his new figure, gave him a hug, and once again suggested the Merchant Award Master Steffan and I have been pushing for this several years. He challenged me give him suggestions for who I think should be in such an order, which indicates to me that he’s more open to the idea this year. (The blue is Sunday, the picture with Brennan in black, Osgkar, Arwen and Quintin is from my elevation three years ago.)
My inconveniently mind went blank. Suddenly all the really remarkable merchants I could think of were out of kingdom or had retired! I spent the next few minutes running around the hall asking friends for suggestions and scribbled them down and gave then to Her Majesty. I should draw it up officially, and send it so a good copy goes into the kingdom files. The SCA cannot really give us anything but a good time, but we try to give our made up awards and ranks as a sign that we’ve noticed that people have been helpful, or talented or otherwise make the SCA a better place to be. Knights, for example, are not just good fighters, but also are supposed to act like the chivalrous knights in fairy tales- as opposed to the blood thirsty goons they often were in history. Some merchants are simply selling things- perhaps like us, to help cover costs, but also to make things available we think people would like. When a merchant helps people find things, and makes event seem more like you’re back then, and helps you know what’s authentic and what isn’t, that’s a benefit to the kingdom, and I think that should be rewarded. Maybe this time it will happen.
Oh, and once again, there were things I would have liked to have been at court to see- Siobhan was created a court Baroness, and Weehawk was given the Silver Wheel- a service award. (He’s organized the parking at Panteria for years and other things. He has in common with my kids the issue of how to create your own identity when you came into the SCA as a kid, and are now an adult. It’s a real problem.)
So we got home around midnight on Sunday, and because of our excellent planning, the tent does not need to be unpacked and dried out! Monday was scheduled as a recovery day, so I happily stayed in bed and finished both the Secret History of Vampires, and Murder in the Forum. When I did get up, I discovered that Willow had already got the car emptied, gone out and replaced her tire (which she’d noticed was leaking- turns out there was a nail in it!), gone to the grocery store and gotten a steak for supper, and some other errands. (At her last visit to Dr. Gunning they decided to try a new medication and we are tentatively hopeful- it looks like it may be working.) That’s not I’d call relaxing and recovering! It rained, so no barbecue, also no visit to graves because they’re up in Farmington. But we did have steak and oven fries for supper, and remembered our honored dead.
I am trying to get the house in better shape, but mostly I’m working on getting the Vampire booklet done. I’d hoped to have it done before the end of the month, but at this point I don’t expect it. There are too many really good stories to choose from among. I also want to get all the pronunciations of the different kinds of vampires in my notes so I can say them correctly.
I watched The Greatest Showman. When I mentioned to John that Phineus Taylor Barnum was his grandfather Alva Taylor’s “weird uncle Phineus, who used to bring him and his brother tickets to the circus when it came to town, he didn’t believe it. I told him to feel free not to believe his great great great uncle was as portrayed in the movie. Like Hamilton, most movies and shows present a version of history that the time when they are made wants to think of as their past. Who knows what the real Barnum was like? What’s the Taylor connection? I very much doubt that Barnum and his troupe were as colorblind as they are portrayed in this movie, but I liked the music and the message. I’m afraid I related too closely to Barnum, how he would get all involved in his ideas, and let his family feel that he’d forgotten them.
I also watched two very B (maybe C) movies this week- Wolfcop which had a few funny bits, and Hydra which was a basic monster movie grafted onto the “most dangerous game” trope. I can’t recommend either of them beyond I don’t want my hour back (although there were some bits in Wolfcop I would like to unsee if I could).
I’m not going into politics this week. It’s not that I haven’t read things that made me upset, but I’m so very tired of it. I did spend (waste?) an hour or more when I discovered the Smithsonian Facebook page yesterday. It’s got links to the website, and unlike the Times and Washington Post doesn’t limit you to how many of their articles you can read per month (at least I think it doesn’t). That I can recommend.
But it’s time for me to wrap up as I’m trying to get back onto a more “daytime” sleep schedule again. It’s hard to keep track of what time it is when you’re on the computer.
P.T. Barnum: No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.
31 Thursday Macaroon Day, No Tobacco Day, Meditation Day, What you think on Grows Day
1 Friday Milk Day, Fish & Chips Day, Dinosaur Day, Children’s Day, Say something nice Day, Go Barefoot Day
2 Saturday Rocky Road Day, Rotisserie Chicken Day, Drawing Day, Yell Fudge at NA Cobras
3 Sunday Egg Day, Frozen Yogurt Day, Chocolate Macaroon Day, Impersonate Authority Day
4 Monday Cheese Day, Cognac Day, Old Maids Day, Audacity to Hope Day, Hug your Cat Day
5 Tuesday Sausage Roll Day, Gingerbread Day, Environment Day, Running Day, Attitude Day
6 Wednesday Applesauce Cake Day, Tailors Day, Drive-in Movie Day, Eyewear Day, Yo-yo Day