Years ago, I was invited to Gyllengran’s Glöta Gillet event to teach an embroidery class and had a delightful time. I haven’t made it to another since. Therefore, when Keldor sent me a message a couple of weeks back saying that there were a few places available for this year’s Glöta Gillet, and would I like to go with him, I, of course, said yes.
He took Friday off of work (and I normally don’t work Fridays), so I headed to his place already on Thursday as soon as I got off of work. That turned out to be not a good day to do a drive, since it was raining heavily and my windshield wipers were getting a little old, which meant that my visibility wasn’t as good as it should have been. However, a short bit into the drive I wound up behind a car that was making good time, so I just hoped that they could see better than I and followed them. If they passed someone (always when there was an extra lane going in our direction), I did too. This worked well, and I made it safely to the outskirts of Skellefteå following them, at which point they started driving faster than was legal, and I opted to slow back down to the speed limit (and bemoan the loss of my lead-car).
Friday, on the other hand, was perfect driving weather—high clouds kept it from being too bright, but the roads were clear and dry. We spent the morning baking cookies and running errands (and we changed the windshield wipers on my car), and then we headed south. It was too dark to climb Skuleberget when we passed there, but we were able to turn off to drop off at my friend’s cabin the last three boxes I had been storing for him.
As we got back on the road, I entered the site address into GoogleMaps, and it returned a featureless patch of forest right by the river, a little south of Sundsvall. This reminded me of the last Glöta Gillet I’d attended, which was, in fact, in a featureless patch of forest right by the river, a little south of Sundsvall, so I guessed it was leading us to the right spot, and decided to trust it. A bit more than an hour later my phone announced “your destination is to the right”, and, just there, we saw an SCA sign pointing down a small dirt road, lit up by one of those bowls of flame that are popular in Sweden for showing the way to a party.
So, we followed the lights down the road, which got smaller, and smaller, and smaller, till it ended at a little three-story cabin, right by the river, which had a Gyllengran banner hanging in the window. Yup, right place, and the one I remembered from all those years ago.
We unloaded the car and, with Princely help, carried everything up to the third floor and set up our bed in a corner.
The evening was spent in the middle floor, where they had a discussion on how people chose their SCA names (and I did my yoga). I was really tired, so I may have missed some of the discussion curled up half-asleep on Keldor’s lap, and we went up to bed just after 23:00. Of course, just as we started up the stairs the others started singing. I love singing at events, and so longed to join them, but was just too tired. Lucky Keldor could hear them as their voices drifted up the stairs, but I, who had taken out my hearing aids to sleep, heard nothing. At first. Then, all of the sudden, I could hear it—faint, in the distance, a rhythmic rising and falling of sound—too faint to tell what they were singing, but surely it was music? I happily told Keldor that I could finally hear it, they must have gotten louder, and he didn’t reply. I turned my head to look, and discovered that what I had heard was simply him, snoring. Round about then I drifted off to sleep myself.
Saturday morning, I enjoyed the home-baked bread they provided for breakfast, and then spent the day working on embroidery projects and listing to the various workshops on offer. There were a variety of interesting talks, and in between them breaks for fika, lunch, fika, and music and song.
Later in the afternoon I went for a short walk, and got back just on time for court.
I enjoyed court, as I always do, as good entertainment whilst stitching, and as an opportunity to finally learn names (the “cute one who does massage” is called Thorfin, who is now their Highness’s Royal Healer, who was really surprised when, after he was given the scroll declaring his job, and that it comes with duties and responsibilities, but no benefits, he was then told not to go away, they also had an award for him).
By the time the potluck feast was served I wasn’t hungry (no surprise, I never am in the evening), but everyone else seemed to enjoy the spread of food.
During the feast Keldor and I took a break to practice some acroyoga, which was, as always, ever so much fun, and even got a couple of comments from those who happened to notice.
We went to sleep just after midnight on Saturday night (I presume others stayed up much later), this time after they had stopped singing and switched to just conversation.
Sunday morning after breakfast we packed up and loaded the car, helped out with a bit of cleaning, and got back on the road.
The trip home included a stop to climb Skuleberget as far as the cave (only 350 meters worth of trail, but all of it up), and a bit later, a stop at Olofsfors Bruk, at which Keldor once took an upper-level smithy (pattern-welding) course, and at which site Nordmark first Coronet Tournament happened. When we arrived the outer door of the antique store was open, with a “Welcome” sign, but next to it was another sign explaining that the shop was only open on Saturdays. Given such mixed messages we, of course, tried the door, and then spent a lovely hour browsing the shop and chatting with the proprietor. There were many things I could have happily bought, but the only one that followed me home was an hourglass. I have wanted one ever since I worked as a massage therapist in California, since I think that doing an hour-massage while the hourglass sands wind down sounds much better than looking at the clock, and trying to recall when it started.
Since I knew that the drive to Gyllengran is a long one, I opted to have Monday as my week-day to not work (I like working 80%), which meant that I could sleep over at his place, and do the final two hours drive Monday morning, and still have time to accomplish a fair bit of prep for Norrskensfesten, which happens in two weeks.