Tuesday, 22 October 2013

I’d Like my Khan Boiled, Please (Ealdormere War Practice, 2002)

Mahault van der Eych

"Feelin' hot, hot, hot!" I think that's the best way to start this report. We arrived on site Thursday afternoon, hoping to get the tent set up before the rain came. We were in a bit of a panic because it was raining in the west end and Kyle told us his neighbor's lawn had just been struck by lightning. We wanted to get our tent up before everyone else came so we would have a dry base for everyone to use for their set up. If all failed, we'd live in it for a while!

Thankfully, my usual trust of the weather forecast was betrayed because the rain never did come. What did, however, was some of the hottest weather we've seen for a long time in Ealdormere! Even Iolanda was complaining about the heat! Humidex readings of 42 or more wiped out even the best of us. My faith in weathermen betrayed, I rushed to the store to buy a hat. Unfortunately, I missed out on the latest trend, sported by the ever fashionable Wolfgang... pastel sun bonnets. Her Majesty was so pleased with his attire, she commanded him to return to Her with it, bearing flowers next time!

My faith, however, held fast in my friends and Canton-mates. Despite the heat, the lack of water, the crowds, everyone I saw had a huge grin pasted on his or her face. Laughter and silliness abounded in the Autocrat's camp! Thursday night we hosted the Blair Witch (or did she host us?). Friday night saw the creation of a thirst-quenching treat "Melibu's". Singing, laughing and sharing the fire helped renew bonds forged over the years. Saturday night, we reveled with the Galbraiths, flinging Vikings, quaffing mead and toasting marshmallows while being fed all sorts of yummy treats. We were even privileged to be included in the "vigiling" of Garraed Galbraith. Sunday was the Bardic Circle, where many Chreaggers were heard wailing and giggling throughout the camp. Sadly, we did not find any badgers.

What we did find was that we are without a doubt the coolest Canton going! From Bear's Claws to Bear's Hearts to AOA's, we were recognized for service and chivalry. The hard work and efforts of our friends shone through to light the path for the rest of us. I can't begin to list all the doings in court so I'll leave that to another report but I must say, the scribes and heralds were busy... I think we wore Streonwald out! Most moving was the ceremony for Mistress Rylyn, welcoming her into the Order of the Pelican. One of the things I treasure most about the SCA is the love we share for each other and the fact that we can stand up and show it. The speeches made about Mistress Rylyn brought many to tears. Speaking of tears, I think I saw a few glinting in a certain newly made Lady's eyes as she wandered back to the sewing class we interrupted...

Although the nights were busy (and silly), the days were jam packed with activities. From a re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings through the eyes of an archer to drilling for War, our field was full. Thorfinna and I even stumbled across something near and dear to us: axes! Being thrown! Yahoo! Spears, pole arms and swords bashed many a helm, with many sweaty, dizzy fighters kept well watered by the never-ceasing efforts of Melchior the Carver. Even the fencers, snappily attired as usual, crossed swords in the sun. Several gentles were admitted to the Academy, to the cheers of all.

Speaking of fighting, guess who authorized this weekend? That's right, all of us! Wat, Wolfgang, Berend and I gave it our best and have added our names to those who stand to defend the Kingdom, albeit on weekends... Wolfgang swore his fealty to His Majesty while Berend and I will stand shoulder to elbow in the shieldwall with our brothers and sisters of the Isengasitha (the Popsicle was orange, for anyone interested). I'm so proud of everyone; we did great! I'd like to think we were a credit to our long suffering teacher, Brandt. Without his hard work and effort, none of us would be in armour, let alone authorized and ready for War. I hope he sees in us some fulfillment of his dream to help, teach and share with others his love of the game.

Let it not be said that I have ignored my other passion, the Arts and Sciences! Well, I guess I might have, had Iolanda not driven me bananas all weekend... "You have 27 hours until you have to teach your class," "You now have 15 hours until your class". I'm sure you get the picture. I think I might have even been woken up in the wee hours by her muttering "Must get whiteboard. Must get whiteboard." Iolanda did a terrific job with the classes, with everything from soaps to juggling to Chinese herbs to Heraldry taught by many good gentles. Attendance varied for each class but the comments I heard were the same; "Wow, classes!" They even started on time!

As a parent, I find camping events quite challenging. Juggling cooking, cleaning up, entertaining the kids, and trying to get anything done is quite difficult. It's also very stressful for both kids and parents. Ivanna the Oblivious, who lived up to her name this year, was not oblivious to this. She was an absolute lifesaver this year, giving her all to organize fun, entertaining activities for the kids. From crafts to games to water balloons, she kept the munchkins happy all day! This meant a lot to me; allowing me to have some peace of mind and relax, knowing that the girls were in good hands. Wassail and thank you for doing such a necessary job!

If I missed mentioning someone or something, I apologize profusely. I was so overwhelmed with the amount of wonderful things that happened this past weekend that I'm still trying to sort them out. It's all pretty much a blur, thanks to Thorfinna, some Vanilla Coke and blue skies...


Ready to kick butt for Septentria

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