10 days of near perfect sunny hot weather. In Wales. The 4 horsemen and their mate Ronnie Soak must be saddling up. There were a couple of very windy days, making Lynette's nusbacher tent billow like unto a sail before the wind, and proving the value of storm guys, especially when your pavilion is perched on the outer edge of a bowling green on a hill.
Robert and I travelled together w/ Man-and-van (though not our charming Lithuanian driver of 2 years ago, sadly). We put up the big pavilion, and R partitioned the inside so I had a space to change and dump my stuff. I stayed in a Burgundian bell, which was *just* big enough for 1 person and a small amount of kit, but not for hanging gowns or airing sweaty clothing. One of the reasons R always wanted a pavilion was so he could stand upright, to dress and arm himself.
One resolution post-Raglan - invest in a better camp bed. The £10 stretchers aren't sufficient for a good night's sleep.
Our encampment included the usual suspects: jpgsawyer, edith_hedingham, aryanhwy and family, Paul (with Anne for first weekend), nusbacher, and usually some guests for a meal. For the first weekend Edith's brother visited, and took part in the joint cooking effort (putting a professionally trained chef in the mix means you have very speedily diced veg, but some differences of opinion about How Things are Done over the fire); we had maryf and Rick at dinner one day, goncalves and J and baby J another, Cornelia from Austria another day.
Good weather meant camping was relatively easy; wet things dried easily, for ex, and we could sprawl in our usual space. We ate gloriously well, again, as ever. It sounds mad to keep saying how well we ate at Raglan, but honestly it's hard to put into words how terrific the food is.
Gracie the hound proved a welcome fixture in camp, and very popular, as ever, w/ little girls. Delia camped further along the castle wall w/ Tilly, alongside several Thamesreach ladies.
I mostly-finished a heraldic surcoat for Gracie, though didn't get the closure finished, so to model it she had the belly strap pinned in place only. L says that the coat slides to one side on Gracie the same way all her coats do, so perhaps G has a hitch in her stride that shifts her clothing. She looked great though and drew many admirers.
The under-7 yr set were spoiled for canine choice in our camp area, though once Tilly decides she's had enough, nothing can stir her little bulldog heart and she simply stops wherever she is. Gracie is more biddable in that way.
Thomas F brought his prototype pole lathe to play with to keep himself entertained after cooking, and it was fascinating to see it in action, even if it was a work in progress.
I spent most of my own time on fencing: marshalling, teaching and entering tourneys, though once again I avoided melee settings.
I had a very crappy incident where I injured another fencer, and my own analysis is much harder on me than his was. Not happy about it.
It was one of 2 significant injuries on the field (the other one to Lynette during her Academy challenge, which bruised her face) and both required reports.
I ended up teaching my 'stick the pointy end in the other guy' a couple of times, once on the schedule and once ad-hoc, when we had some 'free play' time one afternoon. We got a lot done in free play time, so I'm going to suggest more of it in the schedule.
One of the most effective practice times was 2nd Sunday morning when people were beginning to break down, but still had a bit of time to spare, and once you nudged a few people, they found their kit faster than you might think.
Some familiar faces were missing from the event, because of schedules, I think, and there were fewer pavilions on the bowling green. We were warned that next year camping space may be at a great premium b/c of construction on the permanent toilets; we'll definitely lose some space, the Q is just how much.
OTOH This year I got to know some folks from Lough Devnaree better: Gytha, Orlaith, Thora, Micheal, some of the kids. That was excellent and worthwhile and I might not have spent as much time w/ them if the 'regulars' had been there.
Gytha made a name for herself by training and authorising in combat in less than a week, thanks to Robert and Yannick's efforts to work with her. It was a delight to see someone launch herself into the deep end, thrash about but really enjoy it and come out authorised and fighting-ready.
My peer-populace talk had mixed results - the bits I thought were interesting weren't of interest to others, and I didnt' answer some questions well, though I'm trying to follow up w/ them. It did prompt some discussion round campfires afterward though.
The open party on Friday with Thomas and Edith was excellent and well-attended, and they had an embarrassment of amazing food, almost all of it historic.
nz_bookwyrm gave an excellent talk on spiced wine - he's moved from just offering to get your flavourfully drunk, to researching recipes, translating them, and offering tastings for comparison. I came away w/ a spice mix for one of the recipes (dated 1525) and am hoping to try it myself.
The biggest barrier to making a medieval spiced wine is a common one for re-creation: we don't really know what medieval or renaissance wine tasted like....just like it's hard to recreate medieval clothing w/out medieval sheep and flax to start the process.
But Esbiorn had documented the limitations and identified where he'd made some comprimises to get as good a result as he could. I was impressed all to heck.
Our trip back was a bit fraught. Our man-with-van didn't show for 3 hrs, and when phoned said things like, 'on my way' and 'just leaving' and other similar remarks. His van had failed, he needed to get another from a rental agency, and he kept putting us off instead of explaining the situation, and of course we had no recourse.
It was infuriating, and meant we arrived in Ldn at rush hour on a Monday. Not a great end.
All kit stowed, R and I stared at each other and I suggested takeaway - it seemed the solution for almost everyone post-event, judging by comments In Another Place. One of my knapsacks is still not quite empty, and now as I'm getting ready for another event, seems no point.
The best pics are In Another Place, mainly by Delia of Ely, but a few others as well. Once again, I took almost no pics.