Wednesday 2 October 2013

A Pair of Newbies go to Their First Event: Lady Mayor’s Market Day, March 10, 2001

By THLaird Colyne Stewart and THL Þorfinna gráfeldr (MKA Todd and Melanie Fischer, © 2001)

Having only joined the SCA as part of the Ardchreag canton four weeks earlier, we were very excited about going to our first ever event: Eoforwic’s Lady Mayor’s Market Day (March 10, 2001). As amateur filmmakers, we had a few pieces of garb lying around, augmented by fabric bought from the Valu Village across the street and transformed into period outfits by Mel, and touched off with items donated by fellow canton members Marian of Heatherdale and Piero di Paxiti.

So, with Mel dressed as a Norse, and Todd dressed as a 14th century Scot, we set out for the Market at 9:45 (luckily living only a short distance away from the event). We pulled into the parking lot of the Toronto French School just after ten, and made our first important discovery. Unless you feel like standing around for a while, it’s better not to arrive exactly on time. Only a few people had arrived, merchants were still setting up tables, and everyone was a blur of frenzied activity.

However, that said, as first time event attendees, we took the opportunity to scope out other peoples’ garb, look over the merchants who did have their stock out (Todd managed to grab a decent tankard for a low price) and mingle. We were congratulated on our garb by many people (including the Baroness and Princess, who told Eileen that we were ‘keepers’), and were generally welcomed with open arms.

The event, though the turnout was lower than expected, ran well, with varied activities throughout the day. The clang of heavy fighting resonated from the stage overlooking the merchant tables, where Ardchreag’s champions fought well (though a House Hrogn fighter took the day). Our own Raffe Scholemaystre asked for the privilege of fighting for Mel’s honour and, with her favour tied about his waist, fought bravely (though, as he admitted, a bit rusty). Still, he managed to score a few wins against the better fighters present. Eanor took time out to show us the ‘serving spaghetti’ move, to get us ready for the day when we too strap on armour.

The heavy fighting was followed by fencing, while those who wished to engage in less sweaty pursuits went to the Lady Mayor’s solar to play Italian parlour games, or take part in a dance workshop. The flirting contest was in full swing, and Mel gave her ribbon to a dashing Norseman named Garth.

All the while, wherever you were, you had to avoid the cute little lad in the black and yellow-checkered shirt who would infect you with the plague.

After playing multiple rounds of piggies with Siegfried, Melchior and Emma, court was called. Here, we made another newbie mistake, and sat at the rear of the room. As such we couldn’t hear half of what was said, especially since some of the children present were playing behind us. Many awards and recognitions were handed out, Raffe had to keep London Lil and her bucket of rats away from the royalty, and Elf’s excellent pair of leather bracers were shown off by the Baroness. The eastern bard, known as ‘Bob’, presented the court with a round of “The Gnome of Ealdormere”, a song that is still going about in our heads three days later.

After court (which ran for over an hour) dinner was made available at the food counter, and we discovered our third mistake. We had neglected to bring cutlery. Luckily, Ulrich had an extra set, which he loaned us, and those of the canton who had remained thus far sat together to eat with the Baron. We ate and talked while a group of drummers and a lone bassoon accompanied three dancing gentlewomen. We stayed until we were given the subtle hint that it was time to leave (people began packing away the tables) and left for home, exhausted (we had been there for eleven hours) but refreshed as well. We don’t think our first event could have gone better.

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