01 April 2016

In Which Our Heroine Awakens From Her Post-War Nap

It's been a few weeks, but I finally feel rested.  It always helps me, after an event - especially one I've been working full-time preparing for - to center myself with non-SCA stuff when I get back.  So, I've been gardening, and riding my bike, and sewing some mundane clothing. 

I have a bunch of pics from war this year, and I'm working on getting them all into a Flickr album (or something) that I can share here.  Here are a very few, for now:

Sunday night, after a day of camp setup, I
helped serve feast! I'd never done that before;
and it was SO MUCH FUN.

ON ONE OF THE OVENS! I took really good care of it all
week, and ever since, and thankfully, it's already mostly
healed, and it looks like there won't even be much of a scar.

So here's a thing: 

I FINALLY got some pictures of the flag ropeline around our campsite, you guys!! You've seen the flags in a couple of posts before. They're made of heavy-weight cotton (originally Ikea RITVA curtain panels, purchased second-hand from my old dance studio when it went out of business a few years ago).  They're each 9x12", double-sided, serged closed on the edges, with a rod-pocket in the top to slip over the ropes.  The fence stakes started life as 8' long 1x2" sleepers from the hardware store - $1.50 each; each cut in half, cut to a point on one end, sanded smooth, and stained/sealed.  There's a 1/2" copper tube strap (5pk/$2 at the hardware store, in the plumbing section) attached to the top of each stake for the rope to go through.  So far the entire fenceline has cost me a whopping $30; and I've got plenty more materials on hand to expand as our camp gets bigger. 

The entrance to our camp.  We often use the ropeline as traffic
control; this year we used it for safety, too, by placing it in
front of a tent-rope trap that kept tripping pople before
we got the whole camp set up.

Looking down the outside of camp, with the silk banners we
all helped to paint in 2012. 

A painted cotton banner I made in 2011.

From the opening ceremonies on Tuesday mornings, all kingdoms lining up to begin negotiating the war treaty. 
This is the most SCA picture ever. 

Me carrying the banner in the procession
to the castle (with my dress falling off my
shoulders and the surcote too low in the
front, because by the time I got to war,
they were too big already! ARGH!)


Just Vikin' around. 
Sadly, I did not manage to get pics of me in that purple men's Viking outfit. I promise you some, though, because...well, because I promised you some, and the entire ensemble looks pretty damned spiffy, if I do say so myself.  (In fact, a friend of mine liked it so much he's commissioned one for himself!) I didn't get to wear most of my cotehardies, because they were all too big again by the time I got to war (ARGH!); nor any of my pretty, fancy court things, because all the fancy court-type stuff was called on account of ...


After that was overwith, Caerleon bugged out to a hotel for the night...because hot showers, and because WALLS, y'all.  I admit to being thoroughly unhinged for most of that evening. I've been through several tornadic events in my life - this was actually the least severe of them all, but it brought back some pretty terrible memories, and I was kind of having some epic disaster-flashback issues that evening.   We came back the next morning to clean up and break camp.  I stayed until Saturday to help out the folks I rode with who were working at the merchants' offices.  Friday and Saturday I spent walking around in jeans and a hoodie, because all of my clothes and things were soaked and had been hurriedly crammed into bags into a trailer during a downpour on Friday. I had to laugh - I've made a mask every year for three years now, intending to get to a masked ball at war or some other event, and I never end up making it.  This year I DID make it to the masque at the Known World Party Friday night (which was held inside Beade Hall with donated food and booze from many, many generous people who had such things survive Thursday) - and I showed up wearing jeans, a hoodie, and a generous helping of embarrassment and disappointment.  Oh, well.  Next year?

A flooded pond on site, taken as we GTFO'd on Saturday.
Goodbye, Mississippi.  Please be nicer to us next year.

So, all of that being said, 

I had a FANTASTIC WAR.  Before the tornado I got out and participated in the event in ways I'd never done before.  I met a ton of new people, made some new friends, stepped out of my comfort zone in a constructive way, and had a fabulous time exploring parts of the event I'd always wanted to explore but hadn't.  My health was REALLY nice to me this time around, too, and the freedom was an absolute joy.  I took a HILARIOUS class on ancient-Roman-style swearing that was really interesting and educational as well as lewd and fun - I lost the teacher's card, but if any of you were at the event and know who it was, send me a link to her page! 

Life was really scary and chaotic Thursday; but Friday and Saturday I saw 3,000+ of my fellow SCAdians banding together to help one another in the aftermath of the storms.  Some people lost everything they had, but every single one of us that I could see pitched in to spend the last two days of the event cleaning up, helping each other break down camp and get cars out of the mud in the parking area and on the saturated roads, and make sure that everyone had shelter and food and a way off site.  Everywhere I went those two days, people were full of care and concern for people they didn't even know - and many of us got to know each other through swapping stories of how we all fared during the worst of the storm (shout-out to some of Calontir's heralds, whose names escape me, but whose stories of holding their main pavilion that evening, and whose tale of "How John the Tall Saved the Children" at another event, really made my day on Friday!) 

This is the reason I love the SCA, even when the occasional drama and politics get me down - our love of this game makes us family, and when the chips are down, we are all there for each other, whether we know each other or not.  And whether you, Dear Reader, were at the event or not, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you for being family to me and to each other.  If you were there, or if you've had an event that went similarly (I hear Lilies War gets pretty interesting), thank you for caring and helping each other.  Thank you so much.

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