abendgules: (self-portrait)
Since I've started reading news in Another Place, I post less. Sigh.

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.

Best bits:
- 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. :-)
abendgules: (15thc_worker)
In more cheery news away from health and work worries:

I've just ordered these gauntlets for cut and thrust combat.

[livejournal.com profile] nusbacher has a pair, and very handsome they are too.

Finding gauntlets that fit and genuinely protect my hands for C&T has held up my participation somewhat.

Robert very carefully reworked an existing pair of clamshells I had from when I fought in armour, that never fit correctly, so that I could hold a single crosshilt sword or dagger.

When I'd used them for bastard sword I'd gotten a blow on the thumb that cracked it, putting me off for a year. They really didn't fit.

But the mods were a bodge at best: once in my hand I couldn't change weapons or even change my hold on the hilt. They shifted and slid about, and I was always at risk of a blow getting through.

So when I saw these, I thought, millenium hand and shrimp, those are what I want.

I hope and have asked that they be delivered in time for Double Wars: inshallah.

While I am reluctant to book myself solid for Double Wars, I do want to run the scribes social hour again: a round table where you can share 'tips and tricks' or just ask a question.

Nordmark is overrun with scribal talent; if I can squeeze it into a room for an hour, it will yield great pearls of wisdom in a friendly setting.
abendgules: (home sweet canvas home)
Yes, I'm still rattling on about Double Wars. I was planning for it since last August, and frankly it's more pleasant than my everyday life. And I can't tell much about it to my coworkers.

Things I really liked about Double Wars:
Pavilions: The gospel of canvas is firmly established at this event, and I saw only 3? 4? dome homes the whole week. Of course thems without could stay indoors. Terafan would be very pleased.

Kids: I was very impressed both by the level of medieval dress of the kids, and the level of cooperative play. Many kids knew each other, and I think the Swedish kids played together, the German-speaking kids played with each other, Dutch, etc. but there were a few language crossings. The best fun was apparently running around madly with foam weapons and lightweight shields, which almost every kid seemed to have. The fun seemed to be in the running around, rather than the fighting engagements, though there were some of those too.

It was refreshing to see kids being largely left to entertain themselves, and managing remarkably well. There were a few classes laid on (bedtime stories, making a pouch) but largely they seemed to cope using their own resources. Arenwald and Signy's kids had a very cool toy castle of wood and some other plausible toys that were very popular, but swordplay (or running while armed) was the broad favourite.

That, and lounging in one of the buildings with handheld electronic games, but this was a subset of kids with said accoutrements.

I only witnessed one complete meltdown, which was rather entertaining from the outside (though probably not for the mother) - kid was having a tantrum while mum was walking away, and kid had to alternate screaming, running after her and breathing, not being able to manage all three at once. It's tough when your audience won't wait for the full culmination of your oeuvre.

Fencing: haven't finished the account of the fencing on the Drachenwald fighters archive yet, but I'm working on it. Just having new opponents, with a variety of kit, and styles, was refreshing, even when resulting in lots of bruises.

Visiting: I spent a lot of time at the Polderslot encampment, and also at Arenwald and Signy's table, eating nibbles and drinking watered wine, Arenwald's medieval beverage of choice. You can drink quite a lot of it before noticing, though it'll still catch up with you!

My clompen: last year Floris got me a pair of Dutch clompen, the traditional wooden shoes worn by peasants. And man, they are the bomb. Lined with my Finnish wool felt slippers, they were perfect for getting around site early in the day when the grass was wet, and for keeping me out of the mud. They are surprisingly warm and comfortable, warmer than you'd expect. I got my money's worth out of them at Double Wars.
abendgules: (home sweet canvas home)
[livejournal.com profile] liadethornegge  has posted her pictures, which are a boon for those who can't remember a camera. They even include me! (a rarity)

Me on the fencing list - Brighthelm tourney

In the shade

Nice pic of Vitus' household (Sir George his former squire brother, and squires Katherine and Edricus)

Me and my enormous...scrip of Luttrell Psalter (and a fashionable Panache)

Sir Vitus in splendid new helm and surcoat

Jewelry class by the list field - note head-covered modest ladies

One of my favourite peers, first queen I knew in Drachenwald - Duchess Alienor always looks lovely, perfectly turned out

Evening view of part of the encampment, before court - court was held with our pavilion as backdrop, the edge lined with banners, and the embankment facing was the seating

My sweetie, doing the rounds to cry the camp

Me being official-like

Kat being dignified for court

Bridget's beautiful scroll for Gunnild's panache, presented

My second grant

Sir Grimr escorting his lady Baroness Hebenstreiz to her vigil invocation

Our court setting

The Lancheknicht guard to Baroness Hebenstreitz' vigil - an excellent tribute to her passion for German renaissance clothing

Kateryn Hebenstreitz's new gown

An excellent 'diptych donor' view

Extraordinary laurel jewel for Katheryn

Scroll blanks

14th c meets 16th via poleaxe bout - note shiny new sabotons!

Vitus dubbing Armand d'Alcace, previously known as Arngrimmr

Sola de Rylla made Dragon's steel

Thomas providing Sola's braid

Master Mans escorted to her Majesty for his vigil

These are actually from Edricus, and possibly another photographer - the intimate setting was because of Sir Vitus' injury in the knakkebrod wars. Those knakkebrod's have wicked sharp corners...
Photos of Mans knighting at the king's encampment, from the Armour Archive
ETA: I've edited to make the links work. Don't know why the previous cut and paste didn't produce them.
abendgules: (home sweet canvas home)

Weather - warm, hot at times, rain early in the week only. Putting up tents in the rain is pesky, but taking them down in the rain is worse.

Location - pretty good, though now very full (70 pavilions?? and only a couple of dome homes). The premium on fighting space was obvious especially when fighters don't bother using the time before noon to do anything, and fencers (backed up by her Majesty) insist on getting their time in on schedule.
Our pavilion was not as distinctive as in past years, there being so many fine ones, but it did form the background to almost everyone's photos of court. :-)
One drawback - the sauna wasn't well ventilated, and began to smell a bit dodgy before the end of the event. Sigh.

- excellent! Catching up with Nordmark friends from past years,
visiting with the Polderslotters under the glory that is their new dining fly,
meeting a whole new community (fencers) that I didn't know very well at all before,
meeting the current crop of principality and baronial heads in Nordmark and Aarnimetsa - even a complete newcomer for whom this was his very first event. I thought him very brave for venturing to a camping event for his first event ever!

Food - very fine.
We were in the royal encampment (another first) along with Nandolf and Siliesia and son T., Vrank, Paul, Ozbeg and Kat, and TRM. The camp kitchen was excellently equipped, and we were fed by Gunnild and Volker, who previously have fed LaRP groups on extended games.

Apparently Larpers are even cheaper beggars than the SCA folk are(!) so the budget was very modest; if we arm them with more generous funds another year, we might eat even better than we did. Yowza.

As it was, we had an excellent selection of German middle-class food for the week - most days some variety soup/stew of bacon/pork, beans or lentils, and cabbage. 

One day was boiled(?) beef with a modestly-hot horseradish sauce; any boiled meat sounds suspect, til you try it for tenderness. Plus sourdough bread that Gunnild baked fresh most days in the 'dutch' oven (a covered roasting dish that you put in the embers). One day G. made round doughnuts, fried over the fire - another day it was griddlecakes.

Volker enjoys making mead, but was experimenting this year with mustards. He is v. critical of his results though so we came home with a couple of jars of 'disappointing' mustard - all of them were worth trying, and excellent on the salami and hams.

And they (along with Paul, and several servers) cooked and served a royal dinner midweek, which threw my sweetie and me onto the mercies of the Dutch group, who were planning to feed us anyway.

On one of the last evenings Silisia baked a couple of salmon in foil with butter and lemon, and it was *amazing* (I just about clobbered Heinrich for going on about the joys of pizza when there was such fresh salmon to be had).

And of course all our favourite local treats - we embarrass our Swedish friends for pining after flavoured squeeze cheese. It comes in a tube like toothpaste, but it's still a real cheese! OMMM NOMMMM NOMMMM.

Classes - my own classes went well. I found exactly the right people to attend my beginners illumination class, with only one experienced illuminator sitting in. The people who were there were both interested in novice skills, and in the little things you learn only by trying it out (mixing paints, quantities, caring for brushes)  things I was very happy to learn early on. At least two of them told me it was very useful and helpful, which was lovely.

Frankly I owe a great debt to [livejournal.com profile] ethnowoman  for teaching me what I know about illumination, and shamelessly steal her advice from her own starter class from many years ago.

The first Luttrell Psalter class was well attended by keen viewers, but the second was a no-show, which was ok because I was having a pretty rough day.

Sadly, I didn't find the time or energy to attend many other classes, much as I wanted to. Nordmarkers are spoiled for choice of hugely skilled people!

The one class I did attend was [livejournal.com profile] goncalves I.33 class, which introduced me to the lovely fencers Fardang and Eirik, Stephano and Martin. Also an opportunity to get bruised in new and exciting ways, and make loud clanging noises off my buckler. My bucker is The Coolest Toy I've received in years (possibly since the Luttrell! or maybe my slope), and I told His Majesty so (he brought it back from Estrella for me).

Doing courts again - I felt a bit rusty but Robert and I carried off two courts, one short and one long, and he carried two of them on his own, which was a major accomplishment.
Many people said very fine things about our heralding, which was wonderful because usually people only talk about court when it goes bad! The space chosen had great accoustics which was a help, and great views.

Heraldic titles - Matthew Schwarzdrachen, in addition to recognising [livejournal.com profile] nusbacher  for her heraldry in court at Tretower with a Herald-at-large title of 'Sans Merci', accorded us Heraldic titles as well: Rouge Maunche for me, and Caversham (name of a town) for Robert.

Together we make an excellent example of the variety of titles possible - motto, heraldic charge or locative. :-)

A beautiful grant - a second (confirmed) grant of arms, this time from Drachenwald, with a beautiful scroll by [livejournal.com profile] aryanhwy  with (surprise!) a strong emphasis on personal heraldry  :-)

Three lovely and lovingly made Peers: well received, thoughtfully elevated.

ETA - herald at large vs extraordinary, and more about food, mmmmmm. And about C&I debts.

abendgules: (home sweet canvas home)

Forget the flatside/holy side....the mosquitoes won.

Back to work, back to the routine, still struggling to type.

This was my first Double Wars in 6 years, and the first at the 'new' site. We enjoyed a mostly hot and sunny week of fighting, fencing, food and drink, classes and saunas.

Thankfully I'd booked one extra day of flop time, to allow myself to return to modern-life pace just a bit more gently; I've found that if I return straight to work I'm fairly useless for that day.

Quick travel observations:
Copenhagen airport is my new favourite airport: quick, courteous, well-connected, easy to get around.

Copenhagen the city definitely merits more time to visit and explore - [livejournal.com profile] goncalves, Robert and I managed only a stolen hour to whip through the national museum, running into a selection of other DW attendees, filling time between flights, on our way out. Unfortunately, the museum's air conditioning works about as well as English A/C does (ie. not very).

I'm beginning to think that modern paving and shoes are harder on my back than unpaved ground and medieval shoes. I spent 10 days mostly on my feet on grass and hard ground, wearing flat turnshoes and wooden clompen, with no lower back pain.

But I had a very familiar pain and stiffness in my lower back within 2 hours of putting on my running shoes again, to pack up the pavilion and load the vehicle, and was truly tight and footsore by the time I got home having walked through parts of Copenhagen, Heathrow, and then Hackney in those runners.

Swedish/Danish quiet areas on the train really are quiet - we were politely corrected for chatting while sitting in this section (in England it's mainly to keep people off their mobiles). It was blissful.

Paying sticker-shock prices for meals doesn't feel as painful in foreign currency.

Buying beer in the beer&liquor store doesn't guarantee it contains alcohol. Just ask [livejournal.com profile] goncalves.

Swedish grocery stores have an entire aisle dedicated to knakkabrod (what most Cdns know as Wasa crackers, rock-hard baked crackers in every flavour) - sort of the way the English have an entire potato chip aisle (but almost no crackers).

Long early summer nights at high latitude give the mosquitoes an extended dining hour. The time from around 8.30-10.30pm was brutual, and particularly awkward when holding court when everyone is politely trying to stay put and attentive.

Sir Peregrine was regaling us with 'they're not really that bad, honest - you should see them at home' stories about the mosquitoes in northern Sweden where he lives with his family. After this week, I think we're looking at an early winter visit to Frostheim instead of a summer one.

Lots more to tell, but it'll keep a day or so.

abendgules: (home sweet canvas home)
 SO: the PLN is to attend Double Wars, fitter than I am right now, as fit as I can be (without sacrificing job and sanity) and authorised on the rapier field - possibly even in cut and thrust (C&T).

I checked my calendar today, and if DW is held on its traditional dates around Ascension day, this week is 40 weeks from the start of Double Wars - [livejournal.com profile] liadethornegge  or [livejournal.com profile] camele0pard  (or other Nordmark folk) can you confirm dates?

Since returning from Coronet in August, I've endeavoured to do something active every day. I had one day off for illness, but otherwise I now have a couple of weeks  behind me of daily walking, running, yoga-ing, and fencing.  I'm tracking my fencing and fitness training on the Drachenwald fighters forum, under training diaries.

So far, I'm feeling the extra activity in my legs - not strain or pain, just awareness that they're doing more work than before. I have no especial aspirations to shrink or change shape, but if it happens, that would be a happy bonus.

SO: who is with me?
Who wants to attend DW fit and strong and ready to surprise their opponents ('sh*t, he's gotten better since we last fought')?
Who wants to carve a swathe through Attemark with that great rallying cry, 

Make way make way - Insulae Draconis is headed to the sauna!

Happy to take on extra travellers, who are prepared to commit to their own goals for this coming 40 weeks.
abendgules: (home sweet canvas home)
In our journey, we had a lot of time to talk (or listen, as the case may be - have you ever travelled with Sir Vitus?).
the PLN revealed )


abendgules: (Default)

August 2016

28 293031   


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 12:12 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios