abendgules: (home sweet canvas home)
I've trailed off keeping LJ up to date - the insidious effect of other social media, and Having Life (tm), and being more busy at work.

However, Raglan, as always, merits a post or three.

Good stuff

Camping for 10 days with my sweetie and friends: this alone is worth celebrating.

This year we travelled once more with the Vitus-wagon, which is turning into the Vitus wagon-train, really, with multiple vehicles.

I've never seen the trailer so full, so that 2 grown men are braced against it as it's re-opened on site. However, the goodwill on site for unloading and schlepping was excellent, and our stuff was sorted and unloaded in very short order.

We had the luxury of setting up in broad daylight, rather than dusk, and looked at each other somewhat bemused when we had the entire tent, mini-kitchen (courtesy jpgsawyer and edith_hedingham) and seating arranged, and still had time before dinner.

The Pologrinus encampment took much longer, and their site suffered more in extremely high winds over the week.

Due to enforcement of 4" tent stake rules, many pavilions were not fit to stay up in the high winds especially on the bowling green. We adjusted our centre pole, but once more the pavalino design came through for us and while it creaked and shifted, our tent stayed put.

The 4" rule is hard to enforce in the face of high winds; if you use 'medieval' stakes, then they are fat and tend to be short, and thus pull out easily, and you cause more damage pounding them back in in a new hole. If you use 'modern' steel stakes, they are skinny and go deeper, but actually do less damage to the ground (which is what you want to avoid on historic sites). A week after we've left, you'll be hard pressed to see where the steel stakes went in.

For the first half of the week we dined 'lightly' (meaning typically 2 dishes per meal) but well together with Mrs Katherne of Lochac and [livejournal.com profile] nusbacher, and made a merry gathering.

We managed one bowl of syllabub, which was the usual spectacle and was as delicious as ever.

For the second half of the week Master Paul, [livejournal.com profile] jpgsawyer and [livejournal.com profile] edith_hedingham plus [livejournal.com profile] aryanhwy and J and G rolled up and our meals doubled to tripled in dishes, ambition and splendour. Here's their menu. The chickens planned for Sunday went off, so were replaced w/ omelettes and refried smoked meats and amazing liver pate, made by edith_hedingham.

Wednesday evening
pre-cook pottage & a stew for the evening

Breakfast - standard fare!
Dinner - Lamb roast
Home made sausages!
Pottage (hopefully with home grown broadbeans)
Fruit patties or similar desert

Supper - cold meats, breads and cheese

We will be 9.5 people!

Breakfast - standard
Dinner - ember day
fried fish
Veggie dish or 2
tart on ember day
green omlette
norwegian pasties
custard / fruit

We will hopefully be welcome Master Alexandre & his lady

Supper - cold meats, breads and cheese

Breakfast - standard
Dinner - a Grand feast!
Roast Beef
Great Pie
Grand sallat
Cheese Gnoochi
Berry fool

We will be welcome the Prince and Princess, the Prince's lady, Mary and Rick and Lady Moria
15 people

Supper - cold beef!

Breakfast - standard

Dinner -
Refried smoked meat

Supper - cold meats

The sausages were a splendid success; or as I called them, 'Innuendoes with Edith'. It was hard to handle or even watch the sausage-stuffing process without dscending to medieval levels of humour.

jpgsawyer's innovation this year was a portable shelter based on a model by Scappi (late Italian cook, I think) that helped keep the rain and sun off the cooks' backs while working, and made working around the firebox more comfortable. It also stood up in light-to-moderate winds well, but dodged the serious winds early in the week.

Thamesreach on tour

The shire's presence was sizeable this year, with both new attendees and old friends. Thamesreach folk were much in evidence in running Raglan, tourneying, challenging, teaching and generally having a splendid time.

[livejournal.com profile] zmiya_san was hip-deep in the Raglan organisation this year, along w/ her mum lady Tamara. She even managed to squeeze in authorising to fence in the week, which is pretty impressive.

The Thamesreach forces triumphed in the Oxford Roll - the regular shire-vs-shire tournament that is a feature of Raglan.

Individuals held their own in the protectors tourney and in the torchlight pas d'armes, and Pan Vitus was once more named protector, after a 45 minute bearpit tourney.

Lord Guy de Dinan and Pan Vitus succeeded in their challenges into the Drachenwald academy of defense, as free scholar and provost respectively. Milady Cicely survived her first storming of the castle and pitched in on the prefect challenges, so when someone asks 'who died and made you provost?' she can say, 'I did!'.

My sweetie served as the prince's champion, fighting a destructive bye in the coronet tourney, when the prince himself had to withdraw. He lost just 1 bout in the process, thus being very destructive indeed.

This week, as we all collectively recover, the happy noises and pictures coming from assorted Thamesreach members shows that the event was as full and fulfilling as in past years, which I love to hear.
abendgules: (Cut and thrust)
prev posted to assorted media:

Greetings from Genevieve, Thamesreach rapier marshal,

I'm writing to thank the many contributors who helped make the Thamesreach rapier revel one of the best yet.

Particular thanks to Master Alexandre, Dom Duarte [livejournal.com profile] goncalves and Lord Nicholas, the out of town marshals, for their time and expertise to help make this year's spring rapier revel successful through authorisations and support.

These marshals spent much of their time authorising the fencers of Thamesreach.

Every time I thought we were done and we could fence I turned around and more hopefuls had turned up.

I counted 6 fencers with new authorisations:

milord Bennet: single, rigid parry
milord Stas: single, rigid parry, dagger
milady Jane: rigid parry (began fencing in September)
Lord Guy de Dinan [livejournal.com profile] exmoor_cat: dagger
Lord Nicholas d'Estleche: cut and thrust single weapon and great weapon
HLady Lyonet de Covenham [livejournal.com profile] nusbacher: cut and thrust single weapon and great weapon (and finished paperwork for single blade, dagger and rigid parry)

...so 2 people newly armed to the defense of Insulae Draconis, plus 4 people developing their skills and building towards becoming a deadly force to reckon with, for a total of 14 authorisations. Not bad for a single revel's work.

It was a real delight to pause sometimes and consider the scene of a dozen fencers almost all drawn from southern England (plus 3 guests from Pont Alarch Ooop North) engaging in the arts of defense.

In the afternoon, Master Alexandre spoke knowledgeably of the skills most needed for novices to master first, and we rounded out the afternoon with 45 mins of melee, starting with 5 a side.

The most entertaining bout was probably when Duarte was entered as a 'swing' melee member. Every time someone died on either side (at this event the 'stairs' team battled with the 'shed' team, referring to their res points in the courtyard), Duarte changed sides as called by Master Robert, who was assisting the marshals.

Duarte ably managed to follow directions: 'Duarte, you're a shed!... Duarte, you're a stair!...' correctly, *almost* all the time.

Those committed to the arts of peace were ambitious in their works this day: as part of the great work to ornament the shire, the artisans laid out and traced 10 of 12 drawings of the labours of the year onto silk for a substantial silk painting project - substantial as the drawings are easily 150cm square or more for hanging in the hall.

HE Oriane, Lady Margrete [livejournal.com profile] m_nivalis, Lady Anilyne, milord Marx, milady Maude, and milord Patrick were people I saw working on this project though I may have missed someone.

We sat to feed about 20 people with splendid hot dishes (Byzantine lemon chicken, stewed lamb, lamb tagine) and cold (pork chacuterie, biltong and sausages, cheeses) 2 great compound salads, date lombards, with breads, nuts and fruit to round out the table.

We lingered over our meal and then some folks danced while Lady Contanza Albion [livejournal.com profile] zmiya_san spoke of heraldic matters to those interested in registering their names and arms.

Our hall was beautifully dressed with the long-missed per pale az and ar hangings of old, returned to the hall with thanksgiving, plus our fine diapered cloths, and the still-growing Thamesreach bunting.

Again: many hands contributed to an excellent day, whether hanging the hall, preparing food, instructing and guiding, or in the cleaning and tidying at the end.

HE Oriane arrived with me at the start of the day to open the hall, and with me was the last to leave: my thanks to her for her commitment to making this event a success.

I look forward to seeing many fencers on the field in the coming months, particularly at Raglan ffaire.

Your servant,

Genevieve la flechiere
Thamesreach rapier marshal
abendgules: (Mountjoy)
...but seems to have survived the experience anyway.

The response, almost entirely on social media, to current TRM deciding against a couple for Crown, demonstrates a) how strong a tool social media is and b) how it's a truly terrible way to share news.

For those not in Drachenwald:

TRM had refused a couple entry (as is *within* their right to do) but discovered that being straightforward enough to say it was because they were a same-sex couple (and TRM felt that such couples were not historically accurate) meant the whole of online Drachenwald roared in furious response.

Happily TRM have changed their decision, and [livejournal.com profile] nusbacher has posted an extremely thoughtful thank you note, remarking on helpful and less helpful responses.

There's still a strong simmer of people, still arguing about what is and is not discrimination, equal rights, legal options, etc. It's as if they wish they still had someone to be angry at instead of simply cheering the change.

Robert and I were at the local revel in Thamesreach, doing medieval(TM). [livejournal.com profile] edith_hedingham heard of the news of the change from [livejournal.com profile] jpgsawyer, and passed it on, and there was a palpable sigh of relief in the hall.

I've written to TRM to thank them for their change and assure them they will be very welcome in Insulae Draconis in a few weeks.

I pointed out how bitter the business of same-sex marriage rights has been in the UK (something they'd know nothing of) and how that might have driven some of the anger from our quarter.

It's much easier to argue in a small group about a small injustice, when you feel helpless to change law in a much larger society stuck with an 18th c voting system.

I really really hope the upshot is: everyone cheers when TRM arrive in Insulae Draconis, and we can all take a deep breath and move on.

At the revel, it was splendid: great food, small well received court, dancing, good instruction. All the fine things that make our revels fine things.
abendgules: (herald_cat)
Thamesreach's most recent revel was last weekend, the first to follow WorldCon where SCA had a display table.

[livejournal.com profile] exmoor_cat followed up the contacts made at WorldCon, and as a result, we had 6 (SIX!!) newcomers to the SCA at the revel, plus one new arrival from An Tir.

I don't think I've ever seen 6 new people at one event. I'm impressed all to heck and really hope they come back.

Dame Oriane and Lady Emoni and I had planned a heraldry and banner-making revel. As it turned out just one person had a personal banner to work on, so we charged ahead on the shire bunting instead. Earl Paul and Lady Anne brought their mate Mark along and formed a jolly group to support the day.

Newcomers willingly worked on painting and sewing and pressing new armory and the familiar Thamesreach device to add to the collection.

I'd rustled several tunics from TE Vitus and Isabel, so we had clothes all round and everyone sat for our potluck dinner.

Milord Marx's lady Victoria brought not one but two Persian dishes, in part I think to ensure she would have veg-friendly food to eat, and Robert's frumenty was also veg-friendly this time round.

Having Paul, Anne and Mark there meant the dancing was more focused than me just yelling at folks and we danced about 2x as long as usual, because the newest folks were very keen and very happy to take part.

The hardest part was getting folks to pipe down so we could explain the steps. :-)

A real joy was the setup and cleanup; with several new people looking to be helpful, both these stages flew by in a flurry and we had probably the swiftest and most efficient setup and cleanup I can remember in ages. Hurrah!

Today (Wednesday) I throw myself on the grenade of teaching rapier 'properly', like following a teaching plan and doing it systematically. I have 3 interested participants to date. The goal is to reach authorisation stage in time for Yule Ball.

I'm shamelessly using someone else's handout (on Marco Borromei's website) as a guide as to what to cover, and what order to do these things in. I'm hoping we generate just as many authorisations as there are fencers.

Periodically I get a dose of nostalgia for my first homeland. And at this point, I remember that I was not interested in local revels in Caldrithig, that I had no time to attend and support new people because I was busy going to events out of the area.

[livejournal.com profile] buttongirl was all over this, and I just wasn't in tune at the time; why go to a local revel when you want to attend a major event?

I also remember that I had no time for fencing. Now I'm the local marshal, and about to teach others.

Feels like I've turned around completely; it's all about local revels, and all about building a group; it's about historical rapier combat which puts me on the field again (vs armoured combat that was always an uphill struggle for me).

Part of the change is because travelling 2/4 weekends a month isn't an option anymore, not in Drachenwald.

Part of it is because I want to build the SCA I enjoy, and the stuff I enjoy is going to events, and Making Stuff (TM), and having tournaments (whether armoured or rapier).
abendgules: (seneschal_cat)
In cheerier news than me martyring myself with quills: Thamesreach is an excellent shire.

On Friday, prompted by some visiting AnTiri, we went to the British Museum to see one of its occasional displays from the non-display collection - a fabulous Roman serving dish, part of the Mildenhall treasure. (There are some very promising daytime talks about the components of the treasure for thems that can reach them.)

We had a creditable turnout of locals and guests, and spent a goodly 20-30 minutes crawling around the edge of the dish's display cabinet, speculating about how it had been assembled. Other museum guests drifted in and seemed to drift off quickly in comparison.

On to the Holborn Whippet pub for a quick pint, and Robert and I wrapped up at Chang's Noodle (where we enjoyed such a great meal a few weeks ago sending [livejournal.com profile] pogbody on to her new home in The Middle of no-whEire). Yum.

We counted it a successful beer and museum: a brief stay at the museum, something learned/considered/admired, and off to the pub. Well done us!

On Saturday, Giovan and Margaret once more invited folks to their home to poke each other with swords and work on assembling clothes. Much happy poking and pinning apparently ensued, sufficient to prompt [livejournal.com profile] exmoor_cat to start planning for the next rapier revel in July, which is brilliant.

I'm so pleased: a healthy group is one that gathers on its own, not just at official functions, IMO.
abendgules: (seneschal_cat)
X-posted from newsgroups....

As you know we recently had to vacate the longstanding fight practice site.
As a result Robert and I are storing a great deal of old kit, Ozbeg has taken away a selection of shields and weapons, and Mike is storing one set of kit.
Cupboards and closets are bursting, and we'll have to reconsider how much kit to keep, since we won't have a lot of storage at the new practice site.
SO: one thing we could part with are several bags of leather, donated by Mike the fencer.
He gave them along with some other leather kit from a LaRP group, at a time when we had lots of space.
The leather is all in small pieces, very soft like fine glove leather and some pieces are very stretchy. They look like offcuts. They might be suitable for:
- gloves - you could make yourself half a dozen pairs from pieced patterns, easily!
- pouches, purses, bags
- clothes that need fine leather edging, patches, detailing
- a patchwork coat (more thinking goth/fashion than medieval)
...any number of non-medieval crafty projects.
I can make a lot of pouches, but this is a lifetime's supply, and we can't keep it for a lifetime.
Unfortunately it is not suitable for armour, strapping, boots (maybe pieced indoor shoes, but not soles). Some pieces might work for knife sheaths, bags for accessories, but not for boiling or hardening.
I'm happy to sort and bring a selection to meetings, revels, whatever, if I can send this stuff on to a good home,
BUT I need a commitment that someone wants it, sooner rather than later.
We need to sort our stuff and get rid of it one way or another. If there are no takers, I'll take my own selection and put the rest in the charity bin.
RSVP appreciated.
abendgules: (self-portrait)
We had a very charming, and satisfying time last weekend - a day event at a historic site, within our shire borders, accessible by public transit,

...with excellent food cooked over the fire, crafts breaking out all over, some dance, some fencing,

...some beautiful weather (on a holiday weekend! the apocalypse is nigh) and the royal presence.

The event steward Elias de Lynn received his AoA, to great cheers - well deserved and well received by the attendees, who were struggling to reach the table over their own wonderfully filled bellies.

Hard to improve on, especially for our first visit.

We got on well with the site managers, invited them to dinner, and they seemed quite happy with us. We're floating the idea of crashing in the modern building adjascent (heated, has a tea kitchen, AND a shower!)...and if you prefer, you can book a room at the hotel next door. The pub is ok, serving Tetleys and London Pride, so we could cope.

I've already had one person sidle up to me to talk about an autumn event, which we'll have to shoehorn in between Raglan and Crown tourney, but it sounds very plausible. We would be very happy, I think, to start holding 2 events a year at this site.

It was also lovely to see Don Domin d'Alsace again, passing through en route to Nordmark for meetings, and Double Wars. He's been made Laurel, for 'divers arts', primarily swordsmithing and clothing, though I suspect his rich knowledge of historic fencing also influenced the Outlands circle. We had fine chats, and he recalled talking to [livejournal.com profile] larmer at last Pennsic, where Larmer had gone fencing, which was a wonderful shared connection.

He's looking forward to playing for the prefect's prize at Double Wars, drawing on his altitude training in Colorado for extra stamina. I hope he has as marvellous a time as I did at my last DW.
abendgules: (seneschal_cat)
...with about a dozen attendees, and 10 people to feast.

I think the bunting sort of undermined the embroidery theme for the revel crafts - two people ended up trying embroidery, and the rest of the attendees seemed to be working on their heraldic bunting.

While I'm always happy to see more heraldry at revels, I  hope the embroiderers don't feel hard done by!

If I've counted correctly, we should have a new 'string' soon:
- Oriane (the first person to add sequins! will look splendid)
- Contanza
- Elias
- Edith
- Arnaut
- possibly a former member's arms, TBA

After a social Saturday, my inner hermit took over my Sunday schedule, and I stayed in, painting more Thamesreach escutcheons for future splendidness (using up the last of the blue fabric paint left to us by Brygyt Strangeways) and watching movies on TV.

The bunting project tends to run in cycles, where I (or other people) do lots, adding several sets of arms, then it rests as we admire the outcome, then we work on it again.

In fact, Robert and I found we'd run clean out of the preferred tape for hanging new bunting - I hadn't realised just how much we'd used recently. So he's in search of a new roll of twill tape this week.

I'm thinking of writing it up as a long-term heraldic display project for the Baelfyr. I don't know of any other similar projects, and I think it adds a lot to our shire's presence. Any opinions?
abendgules: (hunh?)
...left for Lochac.

They're spending the day in town, getting a cab to Heathrow midafternoon and off Down Under by an evening flight.

abendgules: (seneschal_cat)
Work is taking off like a shot, and even my refreshed virus free brain is struggling to keep up.

Went on training yesterday offsite; interesting to see someone else's office culture. The geek culture has moved on since I worked in a startup, and also since I worked at Oracle - but by Internet standards Oracle is old school fuddy-duddy.

I'm not certain I could work long-term in a hot-desk office, where *noone* has a permanent seat. My impression: it's cluttered and messy. Maybe it feels young, fresh and busy (we're too busy doing exciting stuff to put things in cupboards) but it doesn't look that way to me.

OTOH it disarms the pissing matches over preferred seating - something my colleague who is assigning desks in our new office (we're moving buildings later this month) is dealing with right now.

Robert is away to Investiture this weekend, and I'm staying home for a change; mix of worry about my health (2 colds in 2 months + back stupids) and work fatigue has made me shy of another indoor winter event. Will be using the weekend to shop, read, think, knit. And of course roll on the dancing boys.

Finished my scroll assignments last night for Investiture. Not terribly happy with the guilding (consequence of feeling rushed) but overall pleased. Will post when I can.

It's rather charming that when I'm doing a piece all I can see is the mistakes; coming back a couple of hours later I think 'hey, that's not so bad for someone who doesn't know what she's doing'. I felt the same way when I wrote essays in school. :-)

Gave blood this week for the first time in 2 years - I was kicked off the donor list for a year because of anaemia, and was slow to go back to the MD to get tested again. While my MD prescribed ferrous sulphate, the nurse who explained the results in the bloodmobile said simply, 'eat 3 apricots a day. Works for everyone I know.' So I've been eating my apricots, and sure enough I'm now good to donate again. 

In shire news, I'm stepping up as seneschal for 6 months again, to bridge the time between our outgoing, and our next incoming. The latter has to finish his studies first, and I'm happy to pick up for a short period.
abendgules: (15thc_worker)
This past weekend saw Thamesreach's nearly-annual fencing revel.

It marked the anniversary of my fencing authorisation (2 years now!) but with my complaining elbow, I didn't get nearly as much fencing in as I'd hoped. After some teaching, and a brief run through of melee engagements, my right elbow demanded time out. Sigh. I think I'm going to request some physio sessions from work.

However: we still had a fine turnout, and I ran an authorisation to allow a newly arrived Atlantian play in this land.

I was really happy to see the number of attendees; 17 adults at table, plus 3 kids, and three adults who'd dropped in during the day, and not stayed the whole evening.That's pretty respectable, really, with a mix of old hands and new faces both. We'd had a run of low attendance over the past few months, and it's great to see people coming back, and new folks turning out.

We also had live music! Our newly arrived Atlantian family is chock full of talent *and* instruments, so we had live music for brawles and petit riens.

We have some plans for the coming revels (music, Yule feast, tabletweaving...can't remember past that), which is encouraging. Having someone else running the revels is a relief to me. I'm happy to help (and Robert and I did lock up in the end) but am happier still not feeling on the hook each month. I feel free to contribute without the sense of obligation.
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: (penwork E)
The Ware revel was a small and intimate feast and music event last night, and we got to see His Majesty Vitus in all his Coronation splendour, created by Mistress Anya.

If she hadn't already been recognised as a Laurel, these clothes would have served as an excellent masterwork - lovely Byzantine coronation clothing based on extant examples.

For the temple pendants, she created caps of maintenance, heavily beaded, and hung the pendants from them, instead of attaching them to the crowns. Ingenious. HRM Eleanora's cap is about a foot tall. :-)

Edricus' photos from Coronation convey only a part of the outfits in passing - I suspect as steward he was too busy to take more.

Anyway...I had the happy surprise of being inducted to the order of the Panache, along with Duchess Nerissa, at the event. I was very pleased; it's something I've hoped would come along for awhile.

This, with a fine leisurely spread of three courses, some music, and good company, made for a very pleasant day. Well done [livejournal.com profile] exmoor_cat  and Amphelise!
abendgules: (Oooops)
...hate it when that happens.

Yet another costume book en route; Medieval Tailor's assistant, for less than the cover price even after shipping.  (Not a huge gem, just rounding out the bookshelves.) Just as well I'm not going to any of the reenactor markets this year, but maybe I can get Sarah Thursfeld to sign my copy at the next MEDATS session...

Still waiting for an Elizabeth Zimmermann (EZ) knitting book, long promised to myself, to show up, ordered last week; looking forward to trying the famous Baby Surprise Jacket, which has its own fan club on Ravelry. Oddly, EZ is practically unknown in the UK, though every American and Canadian knitter I've met is a fan of hers.

A propos of not much:

We had a quiet weekend, with both Robert and me taking turns sniffling and making tea. We showed up willing at the local revel, which was well attended, and contributed to the hats, helms and hair discussion, but we opted not to share a buffet with our friends at the risk of spreading our contagion. 

Both of us found it hard to leave at dinner time though - it felt terribly wrong to be walking out the door just as the lights were going down and the buffet was laden with food, with our friends all dressed and ready to sit. 

It was a weekend of movies:
  • No Country for Old Men (just about the strangest mainstream movie I can remember);
  • Live and Let Die (had forgotten just how silly, sexist and unbelieveable Bond movies were at this point - not bothering with it again);
  • XMen-Wolverine (don't remember even ordering this one);
  • The Queen (much better than I expected, with the actors capturing uncanny likenesses of the main participants - voices were particularly good, I thought). 
Caught up with the premier of Downton Abbey last night, which we'd missed. I'm liking it better and better, and am bummed there's only 7 episodes. All the characters, except one,  seems to have more than one facet to their character, which is remarkable.
abendgules: (brocade)
 As the autumn nights draw in, my heart turns to sewing projects pile artfully scattered around our warming combi-boi flagstone hearth.

If you, like me, enjoy a seasonal fossick in Shepherd's Bush's fabric stores, I'm headed there this Saturday, 16th October, starting from Shepherd's Bush (Central line) station at 11am.

Shepherd's Bush Market is a gold mine of fabric shops good for the SCA clothier. I can show you our old favourites, and maybe you'll find a bargain remnant.

These are not chain stores, so a small amount of haggling is tolerated well; they're always glad to see me!

Expect prices from £4-8/m on linen, and mostly £6/m plus on wool, but can plummet to £2/m on occasion. Silk is in abundance too! but I can't tell you off the top what to expect in prices. Cash machines nearby, but all shops now take plastic.

If you'd like a guided tour of our these fabric treasure houses, please drop me a line and let me know to expect you. I'll meet you outside the barriers at Shepherd's Bush. Wear comfy walking shoes, and charge your phones.

Spectators welcome - if you're not certain what you want, or just enjoy the vicarious pleasure of watching other people stretch their credit, you're most welcome.

Warning WARNING Warning!
Much of the transport network is offline this weekend, esp Central, H&C, Overground, and bits and pieces elsewhere. Please CHECK your route!

Our fabric shop rundown, on the Thamesreach website - scroll down to 'fabric':
abendgules: (Default)
Another lovely revel passed.

We fell short on the fencing front, but everyone attending seemed very happily engaged in stitching, discussing heraldry, looking through books, and trying their hands at calligraphy.

Our shire bunting is in need of an update - we haven't added any armory to it since Alaric and Nerissa arrived, so I thought it was time to add more. I cut out several Thamesreach escutcheons (shield shapes with blue Thamesreach fesses), and handed them out to Nesta, Arnaut, and Katherine - and Edith finished one on the day, and was well on her way to finishing her arms escutcheon as well.

Sir Vitus spent some time cutting out a most beautiful plum shot silk for a fighting surcoat(! seems wasted on fighting kit!) while opining on the state of the College of Heralds, and Lady Katherine finished a beautiful Elizabethan coat of red silk with black linen lining, which she modelled that evening with a new gown. Time well spent!

For Thamesreach folk: I have a few more 'sets' of shields cut out for those who want to add their arms to the shire bunting but you don't have to wait on me or anyone else - feel free to assemble your own from your own leftover linen and scrap fabric.

Current cut-out sizes are about 8x10" or 7x9"-ish, before assembly.

I don't think we'll have a new bunting string ready for Winchester, but we could have to ready for next revel, or for Thamesreach on Tour in Ware in July.

As ever, we ate extremely well. Special mention goes to Lord Thodoric who brought his own baked trencher, prepared from salt pastry.

We even managed three dances together, which was very satisfying, but very warming on a warm evening.

I think we totalled 18 people (includes 3 children), plus one baby in a bucket, with four people attending their very first revel.

We're blessed with a convivial and crafty shire, and I take great delight in attending each one.

...Of course, having just looked through [livejournal.com profile] liadethornegge 's Double Wars pictures, I feel like Nordmark's A&S puts ours in the shade. Sigh. Wish I could have been there.
abendgules: (prickly)

...lest your head pound like a very poundy thing the next day.
Most of my Sunday was spent recuperating from Saturday revel, after what I thought was a very modest intake of white wine, provided by the lovely Sir Tristam Langswerd of the Far Isles, who joined us for good company.
Headaches aside, the revel was excellent: 
a fine turnout of fencers for training with Cedric and Robert (I honestly didn't recognise half the folks hanging around getting ready to fence! wow!);
Nerissa, Nesta and I all got scribing stuff done;
Cedric and Kiera's daughters did some fine painting;
and a circle of ladies knitted and did fibre-ish things ([livejournal.com profile] zmiya_san  brought her new carding tools, and was being helped by the toddler to card wool).
We had about 16? 18? for potluck feast, and as usual noone went hungry.
Sir Tristam's presence prompted some singing, and his story-telling was most welcome, and he was happy to join us for a couple of dances.
abendgules: (15thc_worker)
I enjoyed the weekend revel at Archway this weekend.

We had fewer brand-new folks than I expected, but can't complain at 20 seated for feast in the evening. 

Wherever I looked, folks were busy stitching, measuring, pinning, laying out and discussing patterns. (Only in the SCA can you have a sewing session with more laptops for costuming references than sewing machines.) Ynes, Anne and I brought the bulk of the resources - Ynes has a costume book library to die for.

At least two folks come away with new patterns, and we got a new chemise, gown and overgown cut for Baz.

We are really blessed with a foodie shire that cooks; [livejournal.com profile] edith_hedingham , Robert, Vitus, [livejournal.com profile] armillary , [livejournal.com profile] jpgsawyer , Paul and Anne had all cooked medieval food. There's still lots of cheese and bread, but wow, some mean pies and roasts.

After dinner, milady Anne and Master Paul led the dancing, and a few hardy souls worked on their galliard techniques.

Blessedly Hargrave hall is getting some TLC with freshly polished floors, new paint, and new accessible loos, including one on the main floor! which means no more running downstairs for every kettleful, hurrah.
abendgules: (herald_cat)
...edited to add back some text that LJ appears to have eaten.

Robert and I are having a lazy Sunday recuperating from the splendid St. Ethelburga's feast - third one running, and the best so far, I think.

We spent the afternoon learning the measures from the Inns at Court - those basic dances required of all aspiring young men, sent by their families to study the law, so that they would not embarrass themselves should they be presented at Court. Milady Anne  of Wokyngham and Master Paul, dressed in their finery from blessed Gloriana's court, led us through the dances, taking care to instruct us on the best way to reverence, and on how to stand tall and look our partner in the eye - after all, this might be a young man's best chance to meet young ladies.

This included a pavane and galliard, which Thomas [livejournal.com profile] jpgsawyer  and Lady Ynes de Toledo demonstrated to excellent degree.

Lord Guy [livejournal.com profile] exmoor_cat , with many able assisting hands like Lady Edith [livejournal.com profile] edith_hedingham , Lady Constanza [livejournal.com profile] zmiya_san , and Lord Thomas [livejournal.com profile] jpgsawyer , served a buffet of cold pies (spinach, strawberry) and mushroom pasties, followed by a rich slices of beef, pork rissoles hot from the pan, pease pudding, and my lord Robert's fine and well-loved frumenty, and rounded out with Norfolk fool (very rich custard), food of angels and fritters, and Edith's meringues.  All this was supported with bread, fruit and great wedges of soft French cheese on the table.

We were desperately overcatered - noone went hungry, except by choice! - but thankfully HG Nerissa has made provision with food-grade bags to take home the leftovers, so we threw away precious little, with many folks taking away the excess (to share with friends, or perhaps distribute to the poor, as is right and proper).

In the evening, we danced through the measures, and enjoyed some superb demonstrations of dance from Elizabeth's court by Master Paul, milady Anne, and HG Alessandra Melusine, and Robert, Lady Melisende [livejournal.com profile] pogbody  and I sang some of our favourite pieces.

To finish the evening we danced some Drachenwald favourites; [livejournal.com profile] jpgsawyer and Robert played the brawle suite, and Petit Riens, a pavane and galliard, and we danced two very fast versions of Amoroso - the second double-time version apparently performed by Pyewackett, and was incredibly fun. The electric bass in Pyewackett's interpretation made me feel like I was in that scene from 'A knight's Tale, where the ball starts off slow and sedate, and gradually morphs into a very hot dance number performed to David Bowie.

Just for a moment, this earnest re-creation of a renaissance ball took on the more earthy and sensual appeal of dancing that you felt when you were a raw hormone-throttled teenager, and nothing could be cooler than dressing very carefully and going to a dance, behaving like you were ultra-cool, and maybe seeing someone you had a crush on...

As our last planned dance, we danced the Official Brawle, at [livejournal.com profile] nusbacher 's daughter's request. (some folks kept dancing brawles, because the musicians behind the arras didn't stop right away)

Things I loved, and gloated over with Robert on our way home:
- the setup was leisurely, but the cleanup afterward - hall decor, food distribution, dishwashing - was remarkably fast and painless. The newly stamped diapered hangings got a partial debut/shakedown use, hung to divide the hall from the food prep area more clearly. They look very fine.

- learning new dances, and not feeling like an incompetent boob. The Inns at Court dances build on each other in progression, til you finish with Black Alman and (another that we didn't actually attempt).

- splendid food, and lots of it.

- at least ten new folks attending - both new to Society, and new to Drachenwald - who by their own account greatly enjoyed their day. Several of them are now planning to register for Coronet, which is a happy and unplanned bonus for us!

- the beautiful small pottery salt dishes from Bulgaria that Guy and Constanza arranged as event souvenirs

- having bags ready to send food home in

- the lovely range of renaissance and Elizabethan clothing: it felt like a very late-period event, without anyone having planned it that way. Lady Ynes, as always, looked like a figure out of an Italian painting, with a magnificent large-pomegranate pattern Italian tabard-overdress in gorgeous rich gold and pale gold  (particular name unknown to me), and her hair wrapped low at the back of her head, with curls around her face.

Sometimes you get the fabric and the cut just right, and this was one occasion where Ynes did.

- I got to debut The Outfit, at long last - truly finished, maintenance only required from now on.

I was careful to credit Anne for her patterning and cutting and her interpretation to put it all together - and she herself looked fabulous so it wasn't hard to credit her! , but as  [livejournal.com profile] nusbacher  said, I wear other people's work every day!  but the wearer is still the one to accept the compliments.

So I tried to be gracious, but honestly, was feeling pretty darned pleased with the outfit. :-)

Robert took some photos at home, but I hope the ones from the event turn out - we had a fine late-period photo in the courtyard of the site, taken by a newcomer, so hopefully she'll pass them on.

SO: the shire-wide smug, we has it. :-)
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)

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