The quick summary I shared over on the Drachenwald Slack channel said:
”I had an excellent long weekend at Reengardas Medieval Days event, with my phone on flight mode the whole time. Spent 14 hours over three days carving on my soapstone cooking pot in progress (and answering the visitor’s questions on it), got to teach five people acroyoga (on three different occasions). Danced, sang, soaked in the hot tub, had many interesting conversations. Then came home, unloaded the car, curled up on the couch with a book and popcorn, followed by a 50 minute nap (still on the couch), 15 minutes checking email and fb messages on the phone, followed by an hour nap, and 49 minutes to catch up reading Slack. Now my battery is low so time to get off the couch and put stuff away. ..”
The longer version:
Wednesday morning I got up early enough to do my workout before it was time for Kjartan and I to load the car and drive the two hours to site, where we arrived at ~13:00. The event is held on the Kyrkholmen island in the Skellefteå river, just down hill from the big white 1800’s style church. This island is connected to the mainland by a foot-bridge. Therefore we brought one of those wheeled things with a fold-down base designed for sliding the base under a stack of boxes and tilting the whole contraption to move the boxes to a new location. (I am certain they must have a name, but we just call it the ”wheely thingie”.) It took a couple of trips over the bridge to carry over the pavilion, sunshade, and all of their poles (he drove the wheely thingie, and I carried the poles that were too long for it), and then we set up both the sunshade and tent. Then we carried over the various rugs and ground cloths and spread them on the tent floor before fetching the bed and chests and other odds and ends (like his bow and arrow, and the musical instruments). We soon had our camp set up and pretty:
Then we started helping others carry over their stuff, and helped put up a few more tents. Once there were no more people needing help carrying stuff over the bridge I spent the rest of the evening standing around talking to people, which meant that my legs were kinda sore by the time I went to bed (about 0:45)
Thursday we managed to get up a bit after 08:00 and walked across the river to the building that belongs to the church, but includes a kitchen and meeting rooms etc., where breakfast was served (since the SCA had full use of that kitchen for the weekend). After breakfast we made the bed, tidied up the pavilion, and set up my soapstone carving station under the sunshade, and had everything ready before the 10:00 morning meeting. This event is an open to the public Medieval fair that the SCA shire of Reengarda is one of the major organisers for, and we were responsible for displaying crafts, fighting, etc. and for the backdrop of the medieval camp. As one of the crafts volunteers I was supposed to spend two hours every day under my sunshade doing crafts of my choice, and explaining to interested visitors what I was doing. However, if I were to do so little my soapstone pot would never be done, so instead I spent 14 hours over the three days of the event carving stone and saying things like ”Det kommer att vara en täljsten gryta, en väcker dag.” ”Jag måste bara ta bort några hörn, och sen flera mer, och sen bli det runt”. ”I vikingatiden alla lagade deras mat i täljsten.” ”En så stora täljstensgryta hålla värmen så bra att vatten fortsätta att koka i tio minuter efter det tagas bort från elden”
On Thursday my carving happened from 10:23 to 11:39, then I took a break for lunch, and again from 12:35 to 14:30, and from 15:10 to 15:50, and from 16:07 to 16:32, at which point it was getting cool and I wanted to change into wool. I am not willing to generate that much stone dust while wearing wool, so I put it away for the evening. I spent a nice evening hanging out with people, did my yoga early (at 21:20), and did acroyoga with my friend Fimbul a bit before midnight. Then we got to talking with a couple of guys from Sorkar & Strängar and didn’t go to bed till 02:00–we were the last ones up in camp that night.
Friday I still managed to get up at 08:15, but opted not to cross the river for breakfast, but just enjoyed my own muesli with some yoghurt (even though breakfast and lunch were provided daily I brought plenty of my own food with me). I started carving just after morning meeting, and managed to carve from 10:34 to 11:43, when I was hungry for lunch, then from 12:19 to 13:03, and then another session I forgot to write down, but which I stopped when one of my friends brought over a visitor to me, saying that he was interested in trying Acroyoga, so, of course, I left my carving to go play. He was probably in his late teens, or perhaps very early 20’s and quite fit, so he easily learned all of the poses I tried teaching him. A couple of little girls and their mother sat down on a bench to watch, so I asked them if they wanted to try, and they caught on even quicker. After the first thing I showed them (bird) one of the girls arched backwards into a backbend, then picked her feet up and over to the ground and stood up again. At which point I called her over, and had her do candlestick with me as the base. At which point, now that the first guy had seen it, he could base it with me, and then I could base it with him. The little girl was also able to cartwheel into straddle bat, and let me push her up into shoulder stand on feet. The guy and I did the cartwheel into straddle bat, but not the shoulder stand on feet. Then it was, sadly, time for him to hurry off to another time commitment, so I returned to carving. I did let both he and the mother of the little girls know to search for Acroyoga With Super Dave videos for lots more fun things to do and good explanations of how to do them. I then carved from 16:24 to 17:50 before deciding I was done for the day and changing to pretty (and wool) clothes for the evening grill fest. During the feast Kjartan noticed that Niamh had put on her viscounty coronet, so I went and got mine. I then told her that the only reason I had was that she had hers, and we decided as the only peers on site to go have a coronet party on our own, where I taught her the easiest nålbinding stitch I know (which I thought was called York stitch, but when I was looking up the Finnish nålbindining page to send her the link I looked up York stitch, and it is more complicated than the one I showed her). When we were done we returned to the feast in progress, on time to lead the evening toasts (which, in Drachenwald, are done in order of precedence, so I got Drachenwald, she got their Majesties, and then they had to figure out the order from there based on who had awards higher than AoA for Nordmark, their highnesses, and the dream.
After the feast the guys from Sorkar & Strängar started singing, and many of us joined them. Some folk retired to a tent for a Purple Dragon Party (Drachenwald’s household for all of the ladies, and those who identify as such), but a few of us who really love singing just stayed at the bardic. Sometime later I did my yoga near the singing, and when it wound down I went over the river to the wood fired hot tub and soaked for a bit before heading to bed a bit after 01:00.
Saturday I again slept till 08:15, and ate my own muesli for breakfast rather than going over the river. However, this time I managed to have the tent pretty and ready for visitors early enough that I started carving at 09:17 till 10:06, then paused for morning meeting, and again from 10:40 to 11:15, paused for second breakfast, and carved again from 11:49 to 12:44, when I took a break for lunch (that day they brought lunch over the river to us), returning to work from 13:07 to 14:00, and 14:25 to 14:40, and 15:37 to 16:27, and 16:40 to 18:56, at which point one of the jousters agreed to do acroyoga with me, so I stopped and showed him some of the basics. Alas, they needed to get on the road already that evening, since they had a long way to go, and were pulling horse trailers (and so couldn’t go fast), so he could only spare 15 minutes, but he thanked me for showing him (and for telling him about Acroyoga with Super Dave), since his wife is a yoga instructor, and they have wanted to try acroyoga, but hadn’t found a good instructor yet. Then I returned to carving from 19:36 to 20:08 before deciding that I had better be done for the day.
Then I went and found Fimbul and we did more acroyoga before I changed into my wool tunic (which is longer than the linen I had been carving in all weekend). It was a warmer evening (the clouds having come in), which is why I managed to keep working so late. That evening Kjartan decided that we should host, so he brought out all of our chests and set them in a ring, with the biggest one in the middle as a table, and ate his dinner there. A number of our friends joined him (I had, of course, eaten during my earlier breaks, so wasn’t hungry in the evening, and besides, I was still carving at that point), and they sat and talked late into the evening. I joined them after yoga (as did Fimbul), and when it was time for yoga I did it right there (Hjalmar joined me for that), and then rejoined the conversation. People started wandering away around midnight, and by 01:00 we had carried the chests back into the pavilion and I was in bed by about 01:00.
Sunday morning I was up before 08:00, we had everything packed, carried over the bridge, and loaded into the car before noon, then we helped clean up site a bit, had lunch, and said goodbye to people, before getting on the road at 13:17, and home by 14:44. It was less than 45 minutes to unload the car and get left over food in the fridge and pop some corn, which I enjoyed with a book.
The rest of the evening I spent reading, unpacking, checking email, updating finances, yoga, and finally started this event report right at midnight. Now, more than two hours later I am up to date, and have also sent the links and recipes to people I had promised to send them (having seen the notes in my phone’s log app as I looked up how the days went). So perhaps I should get to bed. I am now officially on vacation, but there are home improvement projects to be done this summer, event laundry that still needs doing, and lots of studying to do before my interview next month.