abendgules: (home sweet canvas home)
Clearly I won't get to a day by day diary of the event. Better to start with highlights.

Travel to site without the Vitus household and Vitus-wagon made for a very long day.

Up early, cab to Casa de Vitus in extreme S London (enjoying a lecture on African cultures and the evils of colonialism from the cabbie), unloading cab and setting up for loading man-and-van.

Man-and-van arrives bang on time: load up with our stuff, the best of the Vitus encampment kit (firebowl, futon and seating), and TRHs encampment and set off.

Long trip, getting stuck in London traffic. Happily our man knew his way round the Borders so we deked to cross into Wales via Chepstow, dodging the worst of the M4 westbound traffic. Practiced yoga breathing to stay calm watching other crap drivers on the road.

Arrive, unload the van, say goodbye to our man (who returns bang on time again the next Monday).

Set up pavilion, bed and bed canopy.

The rain had started midafternoon, on and off. We found a slightly bedraggled set of Thamesreach lads, 3 of them sharing travel and neighbourly accommodation, sheltering under the bridge with potnoodles and one-pot burners, so we invited them inside the pavilion to shelter in more comfort.

Had a cold dinner, a beer and fell into bed.

Saturday (long lie-in) and Sunday were spent continuing to set up, distribute assorted kit brought in the van, and reacquaint ourselves with Raglan.

Robert and [livejournal.com profile] nusbacher cooked daily for the first few days, with our main meal at about 1pm, and a light supper in the evening. It was very relaxed and low-key.

Over the weekend we sat and ate with Dame Marguerite and Lord Yannick, Lochac natives living in England til December, who we'd met at Coronation. They proved excellent easy company to sit with at length, and we were sorry to see them go after just a weekend.

Their beautiful daughters were entranced with [livejournal.com profile] nusbacher's hound Gracie; a young man from Ireland was in turn entranced with them. Gracie received a great deal of doting care from many hands as a result.


I did a bit of shooting, and managed more in a couple of days than I'd done all of last year, which was satisfying. I sat in on Barun Pol's slightly-past-beginners class, to find out what he would teach.

I got an excellent explanation and demonstration of both facewalking and string walking, which are barebow skills almost unknown in my circle of archers - they're against the rules where I grew up, so to speak - not allowed in Olympic archery at all.

I'd brought my dad's lovely extremely long longbow, and once more rejoiced in its beautiful smooth draw. I was even spared the annual arrow tribute of the field, finding all that was lost before the event was over.

At this Raglan their highnesses set a challenge to the populace; as they are new to the region and this was their first raglan fair, we were asked to convey to them the spirit of Raglan.

[livejournal.com profile] nusbacher and I as we hunted for arrows behind the butt, mused over the archers' dance, which was clearly a bassadance, with changing tempos as you sweep for arrows with your feet and shuffle through the grass, stopping just so, then reverence as you stop to pick up your arrow.

This musing turned into a short interpretive dance at court, called 'archers' where Robert choreographed and provided the tune from BBC's 'The Archers' on an onion flute (a 16th c instrument that sounds exactly like a kazoo). It was extremely silly but anyone who has ever hunted for arrows recognised its essence.


I did get to fence more than before: I chipped in my few bouts to Lady Juliette's free scholar challenge, and then milady Marlene's later in the week, as well as [livejournal.com profile] nz_bookwyrm and Catlin's provost challenge.

One evening during fencing pickups, I watched two dons and one Dragon' Steel consistently misjudge their distance while fighting Lady Catlin, and come away laughing, saying, yes, her arms really are that long.

She handed them their butts in a way I hadn't seen before in a single session! It was great fun to watch.

Seeing Don Domin and Baroness Celestina again was a delight; I can't believe they've been gone 3 years already. Their youngest marked his 1st year at Raglan, and their eldest is like a new girl I hadn't met before, she's changed and grown so much. Everyone looks well, happy, healthy.

I got to fight C&T with Domin and Duarte [livejournal.com profile] goncalves, which was great fun and assured me that I'm *not* out to lunch in my calibration; will have to take it up with other C&T folk when I have the chance.

I did my bit in marshalling: keeping the round robin tourney going, taking a turn in the academy challenges.

Unexpectedly I found myself teaching fencing to a complete newcomer who was the spitting image of Ysabella-Maria, and a friend of hers from the convention and SF/fantasy world. It was like talking to a darker version of Y-M!

Lord Alexandro had taken up rapier and Y-M had assured her friend he could find instruction at Raglan; so he spent a busy 4 days with me, goncalves, Duncan Chaucer and other marshals sucking up as much knowledge as possible, with the end result of authorising in effectively 4 days.

I was impressed all to heck; must be some kind of record.

With weather threatening, the fencers combined storming the castle with the princess' champions tourney escorting the princess through the castle. As is his wont, Don Antonio authorised her highness Eleanor with a rubber band gun, allowing her to defend herself should peril threaten.

She commented later that she'd 'brought a gun to a sword fight', and chose Duncan Chaucer as champion.

Camping life

As the week progressed more people turned up, and the schedule filled. [livejournal.com profile] jpgsawyer and [livejournal.com profile] edith_hedingham brought a trailer this year, and set up not just their usual splendid kitchen but a supplies tent as well. This small Saxon tent survived all but the very harshest weather on the last Sunday, when we caught the tail end of hurricane Bertha.

The under-bridge space got busy, full of food and wine (especially wine! holy mackerel) but we struggled through the hurly burly to keep enjoying [livejournal.com profile] jpgsawyer and [livejournal.com profile] edith_hedingham's menus, complete with fresh baked bread and pies done in the clay oven.

You can camp on bread and cheese, but by god, you don't when they're around.

Thomas and Edith sent leftovers to the Thamesreach lads (things like goat stew and commodores) which were more inhaled than eaten.

The newest members of Thamesreach made themselves known this year: not just by rowdiness but by awesome helpfulness, being attentive and considerate, and by an amazing job of small-melee fighting in the Oxford roll.

Facing a formidable melee team from Flintheath with twice their numbers and far more than 2x their bodyweight, they followed Robert and HRH Nasr's instructions to the letter, forming a 3 man shield wall, with 1 shield to protect Sir Nasr'. They held off a much larger force and allowed Nasr' to pick off their opponents with a spear, like knocking so many apples off a tree.

Even better was hearing the prince commend them on their work; they'd done just what was asked and shown the power of good leadership over a much stronger and more experienced force. It was a sweet engagement to watch and even sweeter to hear the followup and advice. You could practically see them glowing as they came off the field, and rightly so.

People from outside Thamesreach remarked on these nice young men who were so helpful and polite, as if I had had anything to do with them; but it was warming to know they were 'ours'.

In the 'new skills' department the dyeing class was smaller than hoped, but still a success, with 2 shades of onion-skin yellow achieved on the brazier, really entirely driven by [livejournal.com profile] jahanarabanu.

I'd not thought it through but fixing the dye with alum would have required a lot more water and then left us with an alum-laden dyebath to dispose of on site: duh.

So we took home our two shades of golden yellow and I hope to fix the colour with an alum bath and try further dyeing w/ onion skins at home. [livejournal.com profile] jahanarabanu says she'll try a couple more dyes on the yarn she has at home, and bring the results to Yule Ball.

I also, after years of planning Round Tuits, started to learn to spin, with Cat Weaver's help. We fixed my long-held pewter spindle whorl, bought at Pennsic about 15 years ago, onto a lovely turned stick by Eldgrimmr, and Cat sat and advised me about starting to draft.

She kept saying I was doing well but I couldn't help but compare it to her own beautifully fine work! Now I just have to retrieve my started work from the camping kit still at Vitus and Isabel's.

Court business

The surprise elements of the event at court went smoothly; the event featured no less than 5 voice heralds.

Edith gave me grief after court. I'd told her to make sure she turned up because Lyonet was getting something nice; I'd told Lyonet to attend in her smart clothes because Edith was getting something nice at court. Neither was a word of a lie, and yet somehow noone will trust me again...

Seeing the joy and goodwill at Baron Pol's call to vigil was very satisfying. I love helping good things happen for others; I love seeing awards well received. It felt that Leif and Morrigan's decision for Pol was timely and joyous, and Pol's vigil went well.

I'd arranged for a new white tunic for him, Mssrs Ariel and Raphe arranged food, we collectively brought in furnishings so he could meet friends in comfort.

My and HE Ursula's attempt at an open discussion during his vigil had mixed results; we had lots of old-crusty attendees, but fewer newcomers than I'd hoped. [livejournal.com profile] nusbacher did sterling service, drawing people into the discussion and asking the tough questions so those who did take part said it was brilliant.

However, I think we can address this imbalance with more leadup time and priming people to think about the 'deep questions', and hold such a discussion whether there is a peerage to take place or not. Raglan is a great time to do it, with several long evenings to fill with company.

My sweetie was in good humour; he was tired from setup but had wit to spare, and we had a succession of evenings round the campfire with friends in stitches from his commentary.

Don Domin, watching Robert marshal and direct the torchlight tourney, commented to me that 'he's so good at this'; setting the tone of the tourney, providing the sense of occasion with a start, middle and finish. I sometimes forget just how good he is in that regard, and that not all kingdoms have a Master Robert.

Wrap up

Last Sunday saw the end of a hurricane with lots of rain and very high winds, so many people decided to start packing earlier rather than later including us. Our man-and-van arrived early and we packed out to reach S London early afternoon through slashing rain on the roads, and C London by midafternoon.

We staggered in our own door to joyous feline greetings by 4ish on Monday and treated ourselves to dinner at the kebab shop. With [livejournal.com profile] goncalves visiting for a course we paid £10.50 to feed 3 people with fresh juice for everyone. Awesome.
abendgules: (herald_cat)
...originally published to the principality mailing list (retro, I know, just call me old-fashioned).


Greetings from Genevieve,

I write of an excellent event this weekend, that took place at the ancient camp of Lunt, once a Roman garrison and cavalry training centre; great credit goes to the not-quite-incipient group based in Coventry, who have worked hard with their friends in Thamesreach to bring this event to fruition.

The fighting began with a storming of the gate at the Roman camp of Lunt, with this exercise repeated several times before lunch.

The weather cleared long enough for the Oxford roll to take place in the rebuilt Roman 'gyrus' (where Roman cavalry apparently trained).

It was very cool; how often do you get to fight where the Romans once drilled troops?

The tourney went smoothly, with 4 shires - Deepdene, Pont Alarch, West Dragonshire and Thamesreach - each fronting a team of 3 people, with Lord Ulfarr of the Med-lands joining Deepdene when HE Richard was marshalling, and his highness joining teams as he saw fit.

The ancient lands of West Dragonshire won the first two rounds, the unlimited resurrection and the 'kings' round, thus deciding the roll's outcome. So the final 'last shire standing' round was fought for the joy of the combat - with West Dragonshire leading a glorious and deadly (for them) charge into the field... and freeing them to watch the rest of the round from the sidelines.

Thus, West Dragonshire's arms and those of Lord Johannes of Uffingdon, Lord Steffan ap Gwilym, and milord David Joie de Mort will join those of past victors on the Oxford Roll, at the pleasure of the heralds.

Her highness Eleanor commended the shire of Pont Alarch for their presence on the field, in matching tabards and shields bearing the badge of the shire.

After the Roll tournament, the remaining fighters arrayed themselves in different melee scenarios and pickup fighting, with many benefitting from instruction from the emir Nasr and his chamberlain Sir Siridean, and Master Alexander, a relatively new arrival to the lands of Pont Alarch.

We ate like kings all afternoon and evening - though there is no kitchen on site, Lord Guy and Lady Eleyna had prepared all in advance, and reheated on the day, and you would not have credited it if you had not known the site's resources.

At court, their highnesses recongised Lord Erminric aet Eoforwic as a member of their order of the Fox, and welcomed Lady Valda and milord Hakeem as their guardsmen.

They also restored the ancient arms of what was once the shire of Insula Draconis to its rightful heirs, the shire of West Dragonshire - a piece of heraldic business very fitting for the day of the Oxford Roll.

Well done to Lord Ulfarr, Lady Eleyna, Lord Richard and Lord Guy for their putting this event together, feeding us to capacity and making their highnesses welcome in Eleyna and Richard's own pavilion. We should be proud of this group, whose enthusiasm and growth shows such promise for the future of the principality.


field herald and attendee
abendgules: (Romanesque_Initial)
It's months away, but our neighbours in Anglia (shire of Flintheath) are hosting their annual Yule Ball in the Claret Centre, also called Buckden Towers.

We've already booked one of the apartments.

It's so cool to be excited about an event months away.
abendgules: (herald_cat)
This note is just an observation, not a critique! And it's striking to me that I can see differences even within our principality.

In some shires, everyone knows you by your Society name; in some shires, everyone knows you by your legal name, but uses your Society name at events; in still others, everyone knows you by your legal name, and struggles to remember your Society name. Some Society names are 'sticky' (they stick with you!) and others...never take off.

Sometimes when you become friends outside the Society, you start to use your friends' modern name, especially in a mixed setting (you know, when you have non-SCA friends over! happens even in the best families).

Anyway: I've been amused this reign to find that some people struggle to identify award recipients (mainly those who aren't there, whose honours are read into court), and the reception of the news is very muted...til someone says, 'Oh, you mean X!', X being their legal name.

Furrowed brows clear, smiles all round. 'Oh, yes, she's excellent value! absolutely deserving! good choice,' etc etc. 

This happened twice at Dance Moot, as we read in awards for people who have moved away, but who we preferred to honour than leave unmentioned - besides, we had nice scrolls to give. :-) There was polite reception to the announcements, til I chatted to folk after court, and could describe the recipients more, and pennies dropped all round.

In fact, sometimes even a name doesn't help.

Robert followed up one of the recipients post-event (Lord Godfrey, who is apparently now in East Anglia - renowned as a hurdy-gurdy player, which is how I remember him at a past Raglan)...who is better known in Harplestane by his legal name.

Anyway, having contacted him to arrange for his scroll delivery, Robert said, 'oh, now I know who he is! He's the one who was carrying Torrkil's shield at Raglan!' 

Sometimes it's not your name, it's your harness and place in the line that matters.
abendgules: (insulae draconis)
Robert's message to our cousin in the East Kingdom, borne thence by Sir Vitus before the turn of the year.

Also - a recent piece of court business to support the industries of Insulae Draconis, reported in the Baelfyr.

And, not as prince but as poet, text for Sir Gerhardt's Albion scroll, which I posted to Dragon scribes. I'm still feeling pleased with this, simple though it may be. I don't think I'll ever achieve greatness through painstaking detailed works like Nerissa - rather by creating more with less.

abendgules: (insulae draconis)
Something I hadn't banked on when becoming a princess is the magnetic hold I have over little girls.

We're now two-thirds of our way through the Yule revel season, and there's a definite trend of princess power. [livejournal.com profile] nusbacher's girls, who both knew me as a pre-royal person, were both extremely diligent in their curtseying, anytime I was even vaguely looking in their direction, and I was happy to recruit A. to wait on me in court. 

This past weekend brought home my newfound influence though, when I met two charming sisters, ages 5 and 3, belonging to Alex of Darlington. The girls were very sweet, articulate and polite, asking anyone who was handy for help putting on cloaks (though they were less keen on hoods), and inviting people to see their imaginary house in the bunkrooms.

However, my status as potential recruit changed after I put on the coronet (I'd worn just the principality collar during the day, and put on the coronet in the evening).

When quizzed, I confirmed that I was wearing a coronet because I was princess, rather than a queen, and that I was princess because my partner Robert had won the tourney. And when sister 2 approached sister 1 saying, 'what are you doing?' sister 1 stage-whispered, 'Talking to the princess' which was clearly different from talking to mere mortals.

The distinction seemed to wear off over dinner, but returned in full for court, when I could give them each a little necklace. They were awed into silence, til Alex prompted 'what do you say?'. The necklaces were still being worn the next morning.

Robert as prince was not distinguished at all, coronet or no coronet - he was just one of the guys. So evidently the power rests with the female of the species.

I confess to mixed feelings about this newfound power. It's hard to resist Teh Cute of the little girls, and I certainly remember the magic of royalty from reading books when I was little. For some reason, being princess seems more glamourous than being queen - perhaps queens have to work, and princesses don't have to work yet, being in some pre-working queen-in-training state.  

And since I'm in a medieval society, obviously I have a certain amount of time for a hierarchical game. :-)

But I'm wondering what they think princesses do. 

I despair when I look at toystores, and see how heavily gendered the toys, clothes, costumes and videos are; the Barbie bordello pink colour is hard to escape, and it's leached far beyond Barbie accessories. Is this the source of princess power? or is it from being in the SCA, when adults fuss over royalty?
abendgules: (insulae draconis)
(originally posted to principality newsgroup)

Greetings from Robert et Genevieve, Princeps Insulae Draconis, 

We write to thank the staff and good people of Flintheath who put on a warm and intimate Yule Ball the mark the turn of this year. As ever we were welcomed with all courtesy, offered only the finest food from this year's harvest, and kept from risk of thirst by the generosity of the brewers of the principality.

On that note:

- we commend the newly formed principality guild of brewers - with our patronage, this guild has demonstrated *tremendous* enthusiasm for their craft from the outset, and began their deliberations on different wines, meads and ales early on Friday evening, continuing, well, for most of the weekend.
I did not realise just how many brewers and mead-makers we had within our region! and we can only see all the sore heads on Saturday morning as a good thing.

- we thank Lady Sorcha, who brought materials and instruction in the art of maskmaking, which was taken up with great pleasure by so many folk. Master Raphe's images show just a handful of the masks begun, and they all showed great imagination and creativity 

- we thank the participants in our Parliament: discussion was constructive and the whole process was brief, allowing us to spend more time at play. Mistress Ariel took minutes, which hopefully will be distributed as appropriate.

In our recent visit to Nordmark we observed an excellent practice in court, that we tried out at Yule Ball:

When writs or scrolls are presented to recipients, they are shown in court, but then kept for a display after court, so that all the populace may see them to best advantage. Recipients may then collect their writs at the end of the evening.

This display was well received by the populace at Yule Ball, so we will continue this practice for the duration of our reign.

Looking forward to seeing you at coming events, regards,

Robert and Genevieve
abendgules: (insulae draconis)
Originally posted to the principality and kingdom lists.

It was my great pleasure this week, to travel to visit my brother Nordmark at Holmrike, to attend Kingdom University. The welcome was warm (centrally heated even), the hospitality gracious, the food ample and excellent. 
I delighted in the classes I attended (in woodworking especially), and was very pleased to have so many interested students in my own class about basic illumination. 
My warmest thanks go to their highnesses SvartulvR and Elisabeth, and to the stewards and staff at University who offered a large, well equipped site and very creatively transformed an ordinary hall into a banqueting space for feast.
As rulers of a young and sophisticated principality, the prince and I support the latest courses of inquiry in natural philosophy. One of my first acts was to appoint Dr Ysabella-Maria Velasquez de Grenada as the astronomer to my court, that we might benefit from the insights and guidance offered by the stars.
She did cast a reading for the day of Kingdom University, and I was pleased to share this white-hot science with the prince and princess of Nordmark and their good people. 
I now enclose Dr Velasquez' reading here, that the knowledge of the stars may be further spread, and thus all of us enlightened and guided by their wisdom.
12th day of November, AS 46
Concerning the Friendship between Nordmark and Insulae Draconis
Two lands born of one father, subject to great sibling rivalries. Both have boundless energy and view war as a sport to be enjoyed between brothers. Beware that both may act before they think in response to fraternal jibes, though once satisfied they will feast together as if naught had ever come between them.
Jupiter trine with Mars - Huge energies spent in travel and sporting rivalries, with great wanderlust enhanced and focussed by the presence of Mars in Sagittarius.
Mercury in conjunction with Venus - Diplomacy and understanding; two lands coming together over their love of art and music.
The Moon in opposition to Mercury - the younger sibling finds it difficult not to respond to his brother’s teasing; this is also influenced by Saturn’s presence in the 4th house suggesting a that he feels it necessary to prove himself again and again.
The Moon in opposition to Venus - preference to revel instead of dealing with more difficult matters
The Moon in the 12th house - the younger son feels the need to prove his independence and worth, and will use
craft and guile to do this.
Mercury and Venus in Sagittarius show a tendency to work through things in a logical manner and to delight in cunning strategems whilst appearing open and easy-going.
This astronomical chart has, in fact, illustrated the source of our woes coming from the attacks of a certain duke, who has been harassing our shores for the past two summers. According to the stars, his persistent raids on the Fenlands are simply the form of teasing engaged in by our brother Nordmark - happily resulting in forgiveness, feasting and merriment - at least, so far.
Furthermore - as these events were so accurately forecast in the stars, this teasing was clearly always fated to occur.
On his last visit, this particular duke had to be ransomed with monies borrowed from Insulae Draconis - from, in fact, Master Robert the current prince. Thus, at court, I took steps to ensure that the prince and princess of Nordmark had at least a duke's ransom in ready coin to hand. 
This way, if he is once more captured and ransomed, he will not have to beg for the fare home.
I am happy to pass a copy of the astromical reading chart on to whoever wishes it. Such knowledge must be spread and shared, that all of Drachenwald might benefit.
With grateful thanks once more to the people of Holmrike!
abendgules: (insulae draconis)
Robert, Prince of Insulae Draconis unto all nobles of our court, good greetings,

This first Saturday of October at the Muster at Uffington Castle We were joined by,

Duke Alaric 
Baron Clancy 
Lady Aurianna the Walker
Alistair de Caithness
Jon of Westdragonshire
Sean of Westdragonshire
Lord Duncan Forbes 
All of whom present under arms and in accordance with the Marshal's assizes

Also in Attendance,
Lady Arianhrod, Signet Clerk
Lady Nesta verch Wyn
Sorcha de Lenche 

His Grace Duke Alaric carried the field in a Canterbury Tourney. There were very many small meleés fought, and Jon of Westdragonshire challenged all to three bouts each, and stood the whole course.
In recognition of this deed, We presented the said Jon with our thanks, and gifted him the Uffington Torc.

After some three hours of Fighting upon the Hilltop, we retired, and then decamped to a local hostelry, the Rose and Crown, to slake our thirst, and fortify ourselves.

Our thanks to all those who attended, and we commend Duke Alaric for organising such a simple and splendid event. There is great reward to be had in simple events, We urge you all to consider when and where you might hold one.

Give you good day,

Robert, Princeps.
abendgules: (insulae draconis)

Lady Nesta has graciously posted her photos to Flickr of the day.

It looks hazy and hot because it is - a rare late-summer heatwave has hit southern England. The dew in the grass kept it cool, acc to Robert, til it burned off by midday, and then they retreated to the pub.

It also looks like they're fighting on the edge of forever, with no background - the hill is the highest point for miles of downs, and so the view is unimpeded as far as you can see. Presumeably that's why the horse is there. The horse is now fenced off to pedestrians, but the sheep are still allowed on it, though I don't see any round on that day.

[livejournal.com profile] larmerasked what a Canterbury tourney is.
It's a tourney of Robert's design - very simple, with an emphasis on endurance, and getting to fight everyone more than once, which suits our small kingdom, and small tournament numbers. If you're going to haul armour in cramped cars at great expense, you want to make it worth your while.

- Line fighters up in order of precedence (can have swanky noble introductions here)
- Highest ranking fighter fights everyone, in order, to chosen level (first good blow, to three good blows, to death, whatever)
- Second highest fighter then fights everyone, in order of precedence
- Third fighter then fights everyone... etc etc to end

If you have 8 fighters, then you fight 7 bouts back to back (endurance) then 7 individual bouts when called (meet opponents more than once).
A side effect: by the time the most experienced fighters reach those at the 'end', they're pushing their endurance, but meet someone fresh. Newest fighters get to fight everyone when they're a bit tired.

Assumes most ennobled fighters are most experienced, which is broadly true, though not for every instance.

Robert's shield is painted with two badges quartered:

Azure, seme of demi-suns Or.
Argent, three dragons passant sable.

We're hoping to submit these individual badges, not quartered, as prince and princess' badges. They do look handsome together.

Painting the shield was a quick way to see how it would look, though we may still make up individual banners to display the badges, and get comments on them at coming events.

And no [livejournal.com profile] larmer- Robert has not died and gone to Valhalla, surrounded some primitive heathen nobles. Sheesh.

His heaven is populated by gothic angels framed by perfectly proportioned pointy arches, and saints wearing glorious brocade laden with pearls and cabuchons, with plump patrons kneeling before them...

ETA: should be Canterbury tourney - not to be confused with Oxford roll tourney, another of Robert's tourney ideas!

abendgules: (kittysnail)
Robert made a new jupon for the Uffington Castle event last weekend. It still needs a bit of finishing, but I think it looks sharp.

Evidently Harley is a big fan as well. After one wearing, she buried her nose in the armhole for a snuggle. She was absolutely intent on some delicious smell coming from the jupon.

The fighting at Uffington was by all accounts very fine - 8 fighters, 12 folk total, met at Uffington castle to fight a Canterbury roll tourney, and then try some small-group melee tactics. It was blessed by bizarrely warm and sunny weather - southern England and Wales is having record-breaking heatwave weather this week.

They fought til early aternoon, then retreated to the pub. 

 Uffington is a Bronze age hillfort, adjascent to the White Horse - there are several white horses in the chalk downs, but this is the one most people know of. 

West dragonshire has some new fighters, and one of Thamesreach's newer fighters also took part. Robert handed a torc to the Romano-Brit gent who presented a very cool challenge , which was very apt.

ETA: thought it was Jon who organised the day - in fact, he's the one who's set up a second fight practice nearby (in Reading, for all those CBC listeners) - and made a cool challenge. The consequences of not being there!

Fight practice on an ancient historic monument, then afternoon at the pub - what's not to like?

I spent the weekend sewing, unpicking, and resewing. The princess' sideless surcoat needed some love and mending at the shoulder seams, where several pounds of black velvet and brocade make their views known.

With the hang of the fabric, the plain-line fess between the sable and azure has sagged, so it looks like the demi-sun is actually curved downwards.  Per fess sable and azure, a demi-sun droopy Or?

I'm also puttering with adding some shoulder shaping, so it hangs better on me - without permanently altering the surcoat.  At a minimum it has to be in better shape for the Far Isles event this weekend.
abendgules: (insulae draconis)
Greetings from Robert and Genevieve,

A short note to thank all those who attended the Thamesreach revel:

- our dancing mistress Lady Anne and fellow instructor Master Paul, along with milord Mark (welcomed back to the bosom of Insulae Draconis!) and HG Allessandre Melusine, who guided us in reviewing the dances of the Inns of Court;

- Lady Arianrhod and Lady Nesta, for bringing materials and expertise in the art of calligraphy (a practice dear to my heart) to the hall

- our many, many cooks and bakers who set what must be the most splendid board I've ever seen, bar none - roast and pickled meats, great pies, tartes, compound salads, frumenty and breads, cheeses fried and fresh, fritters with sugar. We enjoyed  a standard of fare rare in our experience

- and all the good-natured folk who stood to dance, even braving a galliard shortly after dining at our groaning board.

For those who did not attend, we conducted the following pieces of business in our court:

- Lady Katherine of Great Chesterford was named as our capper, for HRH Robert wears a red silk cap of her making as his cap of maintenance
- Lord Guy de Dinan was given a fine wool hat, to suit his station as a member of the court
- Lady Arianrhod signet was given 40d to defray her costs incurred in services to the coronet
- Lady Anne of Wokyngham and Master Paul were thanked for their skills as instructors, with 2oz of black pepper, in keeping with Lady Anne's hot words to encourage the gentlemen to dance
- Newcomers, and returnees, to our lands were welcomed with gifts 
- Lady Ynes de Toledo was inducted to our Order of Merit for Artists and Scholars for her knowledge and teaching of the many arts of tailoring, and related mysteries of knitting, capping and haberdashery
- Lady Nesta ap Gwyn was inducted to our Order of ffraid, for her work in our shire, as steward, needleworker and officer

These awards will be read into court at our next opportunity.

We are truly blessed with a shire rich in talent and warmth of hospitality. Thank you.

Robert et Genevieve
Princeps Insulae Draconis

(Originally posted to Thamesreach and principality lists)
abendgules: (Mountjoy)
Have you booked for Coronet tourney yet?

The crown principality of Insulae Draconis is (finally) moving to full principality status next month - first coronet tourney is being hosted by Thamesreach, and we're really looking forward to it.

The event reservations are going gangbusters, with over 120 booked so far, which is some kind of record, I think!

But Now the event staff are at a crossroads: do they book another whole hall, with 50 beds, or start turning people away? Because the two halls they'd thought would be ample space for a coronet event. are now completely filled 

Unfortunately, there's nothing smaller available on site, in between nothing and 50 beds, and it's an all-or-nothing booking - we can't book just the rooms we use.

If we get say another 10 bookings and have to reserve the 50-bed hall, we lose money, which would really bite. But we don't want to turn anyone away from this historic event.

The really tricky part is the fact that, despite pleadings, threats and dire words, people are usually crap at booking in advance.

Having so many book up front leaves us wondering: will there stll be the rush of bookings in the last week before the event? or have all those usual late-minute Charlies actually made an effort, and we'll get only a trickle towards the end?

In the grand scheme, if the worst outcome is an event that doesn't make money, it's embarrassing, but it's not fatal. Our shire will bounce, and losing money at the gate does not equal a bad event experience for our guests - I think the event will be splendid, regardless of how many show up.

SO: go book, already! Let the shire know you're attending!


abendgules: (Default)

August 2016

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