Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I survived An Tir/West War (and long post is long)...

It is of course a couple days after returning home, but the photos are still popping up on Facebook.

The site for war is gorgeous and awful at the same time.  Vast fields that usually support hay and animals, the grounds were covered with hay that had been mown only a few days prior to the event.  The soil was incredibly uneven, making it hard to walk without twisting ankles.  I'm surprised no one broke an ankle, though I guess that's only because people were walking more carefully than they would normally.

It was hot and sunny, with deliciously cool breezes, and everyone in our camp got a little sunburned.

Our friend Aoife had been put in charge of Waterbearing at the last minute (well technically two weeks before the event, but in planning that's totally last minute) so The Boy and I brought the coolers and bottles down to the event Thursday night.  We arrived around 10:30/11 and drove around site trying to understand the map at gate when we found Chris and Andrew who we were camping with.  They guided us to the roads we should have been on (Chris by hopping in my lap in the front seat of our packed minivan), and we set up the pavillion by the headlights of the car.  We collapsed into bed, and didn't know anything till morning.

Friday was pretty much a bachelor's camp for the four of us.  Andrew made eggs and bacon and eventually The Boy and I tried to figure out where to deliver the waterbearing equipment.  Wow was that painful.  This was the first time at this war for the two of us, and we didn't even know where the battle field was.  There wasn't a large fake castle or anything obvious.  We made our way to parking, asked the sweet young lady working the gate where the field was, which was right next to us.  We then went in search of the tent that had been promised us, and more specific directions on where to set up waterbearing point.  It was at this moment that I became more annoyed with the people that were supposedly in charge.  I ask a simple question, "where should we set things up?" and they dither on and on about not being the person in charge, and not knowing where we should put things until I wanted to shake them.  A simple I don't know, this is whom you should talk to would have sufficed.  I asked Lucius if the tent we were borrowing from the Prinicpality was available, and I got a more direct answer of "the person with the trailer isn't on site yet, we'll set it up when she gets here."  Thank goodness for frank gentlemen.

We left the table and coolers on the point above the field that we finally deduced as right from talking to the autocrat (after driving around looking lost by the field again) and I went to water the Rapier fighters that had a list field set up in the middle of the merchants.  After the short "early bird" tourney was over The Boy came to collect me and we went to find someone that The Boy could borrow a gauntlet from for the Unbelted Tourney, since he doesn't own one, and his shield is still busted.  Chris, Aoife's Boy, lugged water for me in five gallon coolers from the pump that was a long way away.  A trip took at least ten minutes, and he brought me twenty gallons easily.  Between his trips to the hose, he helped  me to distribute water to the field of 60 some odd fighters for the tournament, which lasted three and a half hours in the baking sun.  We ended up gaining a couple more volunteers during, but it wasn't easy.

Not a whole lot happened that evening, the rest of our crew arrived, we talked for a bit and The Boy and I headed to bed early.

We got up on Saturday and after breakfast and a bit of early morning hair braiding, we lugged all the stuff back to the overlook where Waterbearing was set up, and there was an Easy-Up set up for us to start. After Aoife got things in hand, I wandered back to camp to get dressed, (I'd been wandering around in my "big brother's tunic" and plaid jammie pants) and the Baroness wandered into camp for a visit.  I finished braiding my hair, and braided hers, then took myself back down to the warfield for more waterbearing in my new tunica.  We were adaptive and made use of the volunteers we got by sending one of the water coolers to the opposite side of the field as our "mobile watering unit".  We were given the use of a period wheelbarrow and two smaller 5 gallon jugs by one of our lovely waterbearing volunteers, and a dolley from our camp neighbors so that we didn't completely wear out the boys in our camp from hauling water.  It was a lot of up the hill, down the hill, water the fighters, get halfway across the field and run out of water, go back up the hill to refill and run out again halfway across.  Trying to carry my parasol at the same time was ridiculous.  I eventually went to refill one of the jugs with the use of the wheelbarrow, and as I was returning the iron tire on the wooden wheel fell off.

That's right, I got a flat on an iron tire.  Or I suppose I should say I got an oblong?  Anyway the tire wasn't going to be shoved back onto the wheel.  Someone from our camp happened along on another water refilling mission, carried the water back to the point and helped me carry the wheelbarrow to the camp next to ours, Rampant Squirrels, where Brezio helped to repair a wheelbarrow for someone he'd never met before using his own supplies.  He punched holes in the iron tire, banged it a little more into shape so it would fit again, and pounded nails through the holes to hold it all together.  I returned it to the field, and carried more water.  Eventually the battles ended, and we returned everything to camp.  The "fee" for the use of the wheelbarrow and extra jugs was that I would fill both jugs and return them to the camp they belonged to.  I was exhausted, but must have whined a little too much, because The Boy forcefully took the wheelbarrow from my hands and we walked together to the camp where they belonged.  The lady that owned them had just stepped out of her camp to look for her things when we arrived.  As we were walking away we heard her loudly exclaim "You fixed my wheelbarrow!"  Evidently the tire had been falling off for quite some time.

We went to court, watched a local be Knighted, came back to camp and ate dinner, and sat around talking for a bit.  The Boy and I were exhausted once again, so we went to sleep Saturday night and knew nothing again till the next morning.

Sunday I was forbidden to go down to waterbear.  Probably because I was complaining about how tired I was, how much my feet hurt and were swollen, and a goodly portion because The Boy loves me.  So I spent the morning helping the ladies of my camp get all Roman-ified, since they'd all decided to make a roman dress of some kind before war.  I promise it was only at gentle urging on my part.  We got all decked out, played with the various jewelry collections to see who's what went with which outfit.  Everyone got their hair braided and sewn up for the day save myself, since I couldn't seem to find the time to do anything but pin up my braids.  Aoife went to waterbearing, Rose went off to A&S for something and Idonia, Kelly and I wandered through merchants.  Kelly is not a full time SCAdian, so she borrowed an old wool tunica that Idonia had made years back so she could play along with our Roman silliness.  I braided her hair in a completely made up roman-esque fashion, since she didn't believe I could braid hair as short as hers.  Idonia and I joked with her that because she was blonde and less elaborately dressed, she must have been our serving girl.

After lunch I mostly hung around camp while Aoife and The Boy worked on their Seige Cooking Competition entry.  I putzed around a bit went to find something down at waterbearing, couldn't find it, came back, it had already been brought back.  Idonia came back to camp a bit before court that evening, and since she'd have to go up for a presentation, I decided to do her hair in a much fancier and more Roman style than it had been.
Sewing the braids together
The finished front

The finished back
We were only a little late to court, where Idonia got to hand out prizes for Sock Wars, and evidently her hair impressed the Royals.  Aoife got her AoA, which is well deserved though a little surprising, since none of us had put in our recommendations yet!  She was told that it was an onsite rec, and the Princess of the Summits was a little sad, because she had wanted to be the one to give Aoife her award.  After court we took some pictures of our Roman Day outfits, which were colorful and looked really great together.

l-r: Idonia, Rose, Aoife, Petra
After court I went down the road a bit to visit with Egan and Matea, when The Boy came to fetch me for dinner.  We made plans to do a bit of wandering that evening with them, since we were all a teensy bit less exhausted than we'd been the previous days.  We met up at the West encampment, drank some lovely raspberry mead, and then they had something that needed attending to, so we went to see if we couldn't find our other camp mates for some wanderings.  When Matea returned to the West camp later, we found out that her wedding band had disappeared.  That mostly called a halt to the evenings festivities as The Boy went with Egan to see if there was anything to be seen where the dishwater had been dumped in camp, and I stayed to comfort Matea.  After a long walk back to her camp, we waited for the boys who we'd probably missed in passing, and chatted and joked a bit to try to cheer her.  Egan returned without her band, but oh-so-sweetly handed his to her, with all the attendant gallantry and love.  It was disgustingly sweet, and made me happy to be friends with such a loving couple.  I suggested that they could have a party when she got a new ring, which means that The Boy and I can celebrate with them, since we didn't know them when they got married.

Eventually we wandered back to our own beds.

Monday we woke up, The Boy made omelettes for breakfast and we eventually packed up.  We left site around oneish, took the wrongish turn back to Eugene and I slept most of the way back.

Last night at A&S night, I let Idonia out of her braids, and she presented me with a lovely piece of wool as a thank you present for braiding hair all weekend!  It was startling, because I've never been thanked that way before.  Braiding is fun, and being the "authority" on hair is a good stroke to my ego.  But now I have some lovely wool to work on a 15th century german dress to go with my fringey hat!  I just have to find a time and place to dye it.

And I know I left out a good bit of the enjoyable conversations that were had, the laughter, and the merkin game!  Alas, there is always too much to tell.

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