Being a student on the final push to finish my thesis and graduate has certainly affected how I do SCA events, but I am still doing them…
I stayed up late Thursday last week working on the thesis and I didn’t get to bed till 01:30.
Got up as usual at 05:20 so I could kiss Keldor goodbye and talk with him on the phone as he drives 35 minutes to work (and make progress on sewing, mending, or other easy to do task whilst talking). Then I settled into the computer to see what I could accomplish before my 10:00 meeting with my thesis supervisor, and was surprised to see that she’d made comments on the thesis document I had uploaded just before midnight the night before (luckily, she’s in UK timezone, so it wasn’t quite that late for her). During the meeting she said that she’s trying to find better work life balance and not work evenings and weekends because her family needs her, but…
As soon as that zoom call ended I went to the kitchen and baked some road food. I wanted something that would be easy to eat in the car, and I felt like experimenting, and oh, my! Was that experiment a winning success!!!! So Yummy!
Baked rice cups
I started with a 500 g package of pre-cooked rice porridge and stirred in something like (I didn’t actually measure, so these are rough guesses, except the eggs, those I counted):
Then I scooped it into 20 silicone muffin cups and baked them at 200° C till they were cooked through, solid, and had lightly browned bottoms (not that one could see that the bottoms were brown till removing them from the cups).
They are amazing, and taste good both cold and warm, which made them great food to take with me this weekend (I ate a couple right out of the oven, took 8, and left 9 for me to eat yesterday and today after we returned).
Keldor got home from work (earlier than normal, because it is a road trip day) around the time they came out of the oven, and we then started packing. Ideally we would have packed earlier in the week and loaded the van on Thursday evening, but thesis work…
While packing I needed to take a bit of a break and put some ice on my poor toe, which was in the wrong place when I dropped the lid of one of my tourney chests, which, of course, landed, corner, first on the toe. Once it felt a little better I resumed packing.
We still managed to get everything together and were in the car around 16:30. We stopped at the store on the corner for him to get an ice cream for the road (I had my rice cups, and wasn’t interested in anything else), and were driving by 16:47. The drive was long enough that I was able to type up notes from my meeting before I forgot, and catch up on several days worth of email (I had accidently disabled notifications earlier in the week, and was so busy working on my thesis I hadn’t noticed till then).
We arrived on site at 22:00, which meant that gate was still open, so we checked in, set up our bed and stuff in the corner, changed into costume, and set out the door with a small group of others, to walk from the crash space hall to the other hall where the main event would be. I was feeling tired (see above time schedule and the lack of an afternoon nap), but wanted to see people. Then I noticed that my toe was hurting. It hadn’t bothered me the whole drive, and wasn’t a problem walking with my sandals on, as that supported the toe and kept it from bending enough to put pressure on the bruise, but when I had changed into costume I put on my Viking shoes, which have soft leather soles, and now each step bent my foot just enough to hurt.
So I kissed Keldor and said good night, and I returned to the crash space hall, did my yoga, and was in bed just after 23:30. The next morning breakfast was served at the other hall, and the event announcement had said that most activities would be outdoors, so I put on some wool (and my sandals instead of my Viking shoes, as I didn’t want my toe to hurt again) and we started walking. At which point I discovered that the other hall is at the top of a hill, so my wool was rather warmer than I needed for the walk. Oops!
After breakfast I hurried back down the hill, as the event schedule had said there would be a trailer going from there to take armour up the hill for people “around 10:00”, and while I had no intentions of fighting in the war (I like fighting in tourneys, I can’t pay attention to enough directions at once to be interested in war fighting), I did have my rock carving stuff that I wanted to work on, and wanted to get it on the trailer. However, when I got there there was no one there, at all. No trailer. No people. Nothing. I looked at my phone, it was 09:40. “Around 10:00”. Was I early? Or had I missed it? Hmmm. Waited a bit. Tried calling the autocrat. No answer. Sent her a text message, so she would know who the strange number was. by then it was 10:00. I must have missed it.
So I walked back up the hill, feeling pretty sad and unhappy that I had missed my chance to get my rock carving stuff up the hill (the event announcement had asked us not to drive to that part of the site unless we really needed to, and please don’t park there). On the way up (I took the steep forest track) I found a few lonely blueberries, long abandoned by their comrades. The berries looked like they needed someone to love them, so I did, and made them one with me, and I was a little comforted. But I was still feeling down enough that when I got back to the event site and found Keldor, happily playing a game of Kub with bow and padded arrows (try to knock over wooden blocks with the arrow) for War Points, I wound up crying on his shoulder. He comforted me, and sent me to Fardäng to ask about the trailer, who sent me to Mirya, who explained that the trailer never made the trip at all, as all the fighters decided to just put on their armour and walk up the hill. However, she said I could just drive my stuff up the hill myself, and showed me on the map how to go around by the highway to get to this area by car.
This I did, driving past the fighting field to get to the main area at the top of the hill. I unloaded my stuff under some trees, next to a bench (on the off chance that anyone might like to sit near me as I work and keep me company), and then I drove my car back to the fighting area just beyond the fighting field (a MUCH closer walk than all the way back to the hall, and only a slight change in elevation).
Then ate a jumme second breakfast (rice cups!) and then spent an hour and a half happily carviving my soapstone–the pot is starting to look like it really will be a pot someday:
Then it was time for lunch. The person serving asked everyone if they wanted Pannkakor or Plattar, which seemed weird to me, as I would have happily have eaten pannkakor (which, as everyone in northern Sweden knows, are baked in the oven), but they had only plattar available (which, as everyone in northern Sweden knows, are fried on the stove top). So I ate plattar, with raspberry jam and whipped cream, and they were good (but not as good as pannkakor would have been, but, apparently, the war is about the correct term for plattar (which the southerners mistakenly call pannkakor), and not about which is better, pannkakor or plattar (the answer to which is, of course, pannkakor)).
Then I happily carved for another hour on my pot. Now and then as I carved people stopped by to look and say hello. One man walked past with to small children, who looked very interested, so I called them over, and let them try carving (read: let them hold the hammer and hit the chisel, which I held in the correct place, on the off chance they should hit hard enough to make a mark in the soft stone, which isn’t very hard, but they weren’t very big). Then I gave them each a small chunk of stone that had broken off from the pot earlier, and they went happily on their way. That evening their adult thanked me, and said that was the highlight of their war, and they are still talking about it.
Just when I was only a couple more spirals away from having finished this round of chiseling in the curving ridges and would have been able to start the hammaring smooth the surface again before starting the next layer down, the rain started gently falling. So I covered my work with the ground cloth and hurried to get the car, getting back in good time to get everything into the car before it seriously started raining, which is good, as I really don’t want the trough full of stone powder and rock chips (in which I cradle the pot as I carve) to fill with water and become mud. It is quite heavy enough as it is!
About then the tournament was over, so a couple of fighters tossed some of their armour in the car, and Keldor took off all of his armour so that he could drive back down the hill. (Having managed to turn the van around in that small space earlier, I didn’t want to have to do it again–I don’t care to back up a car even with good visibility, and our van lacks good visibility, and we haven’t gotten around to buying a backup camera for it–perhaps when I finish the degree and get a job).
The crash space building also contains the local swimming pool, so the event team had wisely booked the pool, saunas and showers for the event’s use from 15:00 to 17:00, so I joined the fighters in the after fighting sauna and swim before dressing in wool and walking back up the hill. Fika had been on the schedule for 16:00, and I had assumed that we would be too late for that, but it was still out when we arrived, and what a display it was–lots of fresh fruit (including strawberries), spring rolls, cheese and crackers, cookies, and more. I ate some fruit and cheese and crackers, and called it dinner.
Around this time Jacquelyna, Drachenwald’s Posthorn herald found us, and gave us her phone to fill in the special form giving consent for our modern names to appear on the new, improved, Kingdom OP, now compatible with mobile devices. The web page team has done a wonderful job “giving it a new paint job” (their words for the changes). In the process they decided to make it possible, for those of us who wish to do so, to have both our modern names and SCA names searchable. However, to ensure that it is all GDPR compliant, the only way to do this is to fill in the google form in the presence of Posthorn or a designated deputy, usually at an event.
Then there was a bit of time to chat with people before court. Court was nice, as always, other than I had no sewing to work on, since I knew we would be either outdoors, or under the open sided roof, and it would likely be dark, so I didn’t bother to carry any up the hill (but I cuddled with Keldor instead, so that was a win). Lots of well deserved awards. After court it was time for me to report to the kitchen to serve the feast, which went smoothly.
During the banquette Fardäng announced the distribution of all of the war points (there being more southerners at the event than norrlanders, the people who think that plattar are called pannkakor seriously outnumbered us), but, once the totals were proclaimed, Princess Anna announced that it isn’t seemly to fight over food, and from here on out we would call them vafflår (waffles). There were many surprised (and indignant) noises at that, at which point Nordmark’s seneschal stood and let us know that if we weren’t satisfied with the result we should join her in Styringheim in December, when the time would be ripe to overthrow and replace the Prince and Princess. (or something to that effect, it was late and I was tired, but I think it was a call to rebellion, which would be easy to do in Styringheim–the people on the island of Visby are still miffed about that time Valdemar, king of Denmark, attacked and burned their town in the 1300’s, so they would be keen to off-set a Prince Valdemar, who originally comes from Denmark).
Being tired, I went back down the hill early on Saturday, did my yoga, and was asleep before 22:00.
Sunday morning I woke with some inspiration for how to provide that “narrative arc” to bind my thesis together, and took notes on that before we got up. We packed up and got on the road directly, not even going up the hill for breakfast, as we had plenty of food with us for the day. I drove, as he wanted to write up the story of the War (which he participated in every possible War point), as the chronicler had asked him to provide an entertaining write up. I drove us as far at Skuleberget, where we stopped for a hike up the mountain (of course), and then he took the wheel from there. We stopped also to do some grocery shopping for the week, at the big store in Örnsköldsvik, and again in Umeå at the aquarium store for him to get a few more fish for his tank, and were home by 17:30, giving time to put away things that needed to be dealt with directly, relax a fair bit, and do yoga before bed.
Yesterday was all thesis work again, and today will be too, now that I have taken the time to type this up before I forget, but in two weeks we have Höstdansen!
PS Many thanks to Master Edricus Filius Offae for the lovely photo of me carving!