I had an excellent Double Wars: it's the big spring-early summer Drachenwald event in southern Nordmark, where you catch up with so many friends and get to play with people from outside your own region.
This year the event moved sites, to a 'new' location (in quotes because it was one of the early venues, but has much improved since then), and this site is very promising.
There's fewer indoor spaces at this site, but much, much more camping space, with lots of room to grow for a bigger event, while still offering catered food all event, loads of activity space, and a sauna and hot tub.
The biggest 'complaint' was lack of hot showers. The water heaters were a bit underpowered for the demand (guessing that boy scouts don't shower as often?) so most showers after about 8am were free//// brisk and refreshing.
Having a hot tub sat outside the sauna, where you could gaze up at the stars of southern Nordmark, compensated pretty well for me, though.
It was also blessed with almost perfect weather for 10 days straight; warm, sunny early 20s during the day, cool and brisk clear nights. This, after snow squalls and rain and hail the week before, both in England and in Sweden. I'd packed to be wet and grumpy for a week, and found myself shedding layers and begging sunscreen from better-prepared friends.
It'll be 'the really excellent weather year', I think, in peoples' memories.
We flew in to KPN via a real airline that allows baggage, and took the train rest of the way with the last stretch being extended by a few hours, from not knowing local train times or taxi habits. We compensated with a fine pizza in the small town nearest the site while waiting for an available cab.
On site, we stayed in one of the rooms, and were welcomed by friends old and new.
- introducing people who'd not attended Double Wars before round to my friends, and seeing them enjoy the event for themselves
- seeing a friend who has recovered from a stroke last year attend: she's quit smoking, lost weight and looks amazingly well considering her recent health history.
- smooth running courts with well-received awards - happy acknowledgement for recognitions well deserved. The hard work was done by Lady Agnes, TRM's herald, but I got in enough scroll reading and heralding to keep my heart happy and feel connected to the business of the event. And of course got to oogle scrolls up close.
- running a class where at least 1/2 attendees were new scribes: I passed around samples of heavy paper, perg and samples of parchment so everyone could write on them and 'feel' the difference between them. I also talked through different qualities of parchment (passing round samples), how to use pounce, what's in it. It was no contest really - the parchment won out hands-down. :-)
- taking part in the Laurels prize tourney: this event was basically a display where artisans brought their current works, and everyone else gets to ask them about it. I bought the 2 Arabic scrolls (promissory and finished work) to explain what was special about them and the process, and got lots of kind comments on the work. The one Arabic reader in the crowd even said nice things too.
- fencing went well this year: the new Masters of Defense offered to 'rent' themselves out for training for cash and gifts towards their order, for regalia and 'stuff'. I booked Master Fardang, who is also left-handed, for advice on how to make the most of my stature and leftie-ness, and had an excellent hour discussion, working through skills, and sparring. I gave him cash, plus 3pcs of real parchment as donation.
Over the next couple of days, I shared this advice with others when we were sparring to explain what I was working on, and had a lot of fun 'just' sparring, with people who were of all skill levels.
As it worked out, I didn't open my C&T bag this trip.
I had one hard hit, that hurt my neck on impact. I called it, the fencer acknowledged it at end of the scenario, apologised, and I advised the fencer how to avoid hitting too hard (lifting the elbow straight up, as if you were backed against a wall - point stays level). After that scenario (one of the melees, for Knakkebrod war) I marshalled.
It's occurred to me that I could fence single, and skip melee, for the duration, til I'm more comfortable with my fencing and my own abilities. Most (but not all) excessive hits I got at Raglan last year were in melee; I think we just don't get enough practice to have the control to manage our own calibration.
- catching up with friends like P&E and their kids, A&Sk and kids, getting to know others more.
As ever the week sped by, and I was shocked when I had to pack up again. I carried in 14.5 and 19.5 kg bags, and went home w/ 2 bags at 19.5kg, with the difference made almost entirely of squeeze cheese and 1 piece of fabric. :-)