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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mead Making to Commence Soonish

This past weekend I managed to pick up a fair number of carboys for making mead. This provides me with the ability to make a substantial amount of mead, though until I master it I will probably start with small batches. I was hoping to have a batch or two made up for the war of the trillium, but I am not so sure. The carboys need some serious cleaning done on them as they have sat in my brothers shed for countless years.

The only thing I need now is a pot big enough (I think I have one somewhere), a fermentation lock, and some tubing for siphoning, and some stoppers. Then I will have all the equipment I need to start up a micro meadery in my apartment. Of course many other tools could be handy as well, but this equipment will get me started nicely. I already have a host of people willing to be taste testers.

My plan is to attempt a simple mead with very little in the way of additions to it, I may try a melomel (mead with fruit mixed in) metheglin (spiced mead) after that, but I want to get a good base recipe going first.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Persona Development

It's not my persona I am working on developing this time, but rather Lilley's. With the promise of some new garb she wants to work on a persona of her very own. While discussing this she asked me what my persona was and I told her I was Cú Allaidh an 8th century Celt from Ireland. She then replied "Well that's what I have to be then," I told her she was free to choose whatever period and persona she wished. It seems that she was under the impression that she had to pick a persona that fit her being my daughter, I informed her she could if she wished, but there was no real need to do so.

This intrigued her, a persona of her own, in a period and from a location of her choosing. I suggested a late period (1400-1600) posssibly Italian or French. I thought of those due to her love of dancing and that she is in French immersion, though really any local during the stated period probably would have had French speaking aristocrats so she probably would have been fine. It seems that she has her heart set on being a Parisian, this seems right to me, very fitting of her. Paris being the seat of fashionablity both in the period in question and modern times.

So now we have a period and location, it comes to naming now. This I think will be more difficult, I have come up with a few resources thanks to the fine folks on the SCANewcomers yahoo group:
I have gone over some of the names with her, and she has a few she didn't mind, but nothing concrete yet, hopefully something will grab her.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Weekend in the Middle Ages

Wassail all, I have had a weekend full of SCA activities. On Saturday I made my way to the Barony of Rising Waters to partake in Lady Mary. Although I did not compete, or fight at all both my daughter and I had a memorable time. I cannot thank Yvette enough for the wonderful event. On Sunday I made it out to my Shire's archery practice ant got a chance to shoot some arrows off, again a memorable time, and I will be returning.

Lady Mary

Although we could not stay for feast this time, it was quite interesting to watch the fighting, and see the wares for sale. Naturally I could not leave the event without making a purchase or two. My daughter picked out a wonderful little music box and has not put it down for more than a moment since she bought it. Myself I got a new belt and a belt knife.

My new belt knife is what the vendor called a gentleman's bowie knife. Not quite period, but still an impressive knife. The balance is nice, it has a beautiful cherrywood handle, the sheath is nice. It doesn't look overly decorative, which is good, because it is meant to be a functional knife for me and not just look pretty.

Heavy fighting

Alas I did not partake in any fighting at all. I felt the tournament was too prestigious for me to compete in. However all fighters are expected to have a consort for who's honour they fight for. Kellen (aka Rob) did not have a consort that day, I am sure he would have fought for his wife's honour in absentee or perhaps for the honour of the court, however he requested the honour of fighting for Lilley's honour. I granted him permission and Lilley got presented to the court. She is ever so proud of the necklace and carnation the court gave to each consort, and she was pleased as punch to have her own personal champion at the event.


My daughter was quite excited about Lady Mary because she recalled Yvette telling her at Winter War that there would be plenty of dancing at Lady Mary. Sure enough the dancing did not disappoint her. Once again my thanks go out to the lovely Yvette, and the wondrous Brandi (not sure of her SCA name), the two of them took Lilley in hand and helped her dance and see what she wished to see, while giving me a chance to watch some fighting bouts. Brandi even offered to be my partner when I joined them in the dance room.

Despite the fact I have three left feet Brandi was a patient instructor correcting me when I goofed up without making me feel like a fool. I do look forward to more instruction in this fine art. While heavy fighting is my main area of focus I can see dancing being something I actually look forward to at events as well.

Silent Auction

There was a silent auction at Lady Mary. Quite a few interesting items up for bid, one in particular was an offer to make garb for children. Lilley desperately needs new garb, and so I put in a bid, I was the only bidder so I bid fairly low, but not obscenely low, and lo and behold I won the item. So now I get to have some garb made for Lilley at a nice cut rate price. I am sure Lilley will be excited once she can wear her new garb. I do have to arrange a time to go to the seamstress and get Lilley measured up and pick out the style. In addition to this a friend of a friend who sewed me my first tunic contacted me with an offer to do some more garb for my daughter and I, so perhaps we will be filling out our SCA wardrobes.

I am glad that the friend contacted me about additional garb, I don't like my black tunic (no fault of the seamstress, my own fault for not knowing what I was doing when I bought the material) the material is not really period, the colour is not right, basically it just doesn't fit my persona well. What I would like is a Leine, trews, a proper brat, and a Inar to really fit the part of early irish celt. I don't know if the seamstress would be willing to do all that for me, but we shall see.

I am not quite sure what period to hit for Lilley, I would imagine she would prefer a more later period, going for fancier dress cloths as it would make her more like a princess. We shall see.


Alas I missed feast this time around, much to Lilley's dismay. Lilley already has quite the reputation as an up and comming bard due to her singing at Winter War and Masquerade, and she was so looking forward to singing some. Next event I should ensure that we get to feast and that I have some lyric sheets printed off for her so she knows the words even better yet. I will have to ask Yvette for some of the better known songs so I can download the lyrics and get Lilley working on the songs.


On Sunday I got a chance to go out to Louisa's farm for some archery practice. I shot archery once in scout camp when I was quite young, I didn't do terrible, but I certainly didn't do good, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect this time. I surprised myself by doing half decent. Raithe informed me I was pulling about 32 lbs or so, but I'll just have to take his word on that. After a few rounds with a 30lbs bow I got to try out Raithe's monster 75 lbs longbow. When I say monster, I mean monster, the thing is fantastic to shoot, the arrows whistle out of the bow and hit the target with quite a satisfying thump. The first few shots with the longbow were way off as my arm wobbled under the strain of pulling the string back, but once I got a little steadier the arrows flew truer, but I had to adjust my aim considerably because there was almost no drop to the arrows and most of my shots went sailing over the targets.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Lady Mary

The Baronry of Rising Waters is hosting Lady Mary tomorrow. I think I will grab my daughter and head down there to check out the festivities. Rising Waters is the area I was born in, and the area I would have joined the SCA in if I had heard of it earlier. So in a way it will be like returning home. I already know some of the folk from Rising Waters, including Yvette who has been kind enough to allow Lilley to sing with her at a number of events, and some of my fellow Trinovantians will be there as well including Raithe and Steve, not really sure who else will be there.

Lady Mary is said to be quite the prestigious event, as such I think I will bow out of tournament fighting, but if they are doing secondary authorizations I think I will attempt to get my two stick and thrusting authorizations to add to my card, and it never hurts to get a little extra fighting in there even if I am not outright competing.

Apparently there is a fair amount of dancing at Lady Mary, so I am sure Lilley will be ecstatic to get a chance to learn some new dances. Although we won't be staying for feast so probably won't get a chance for her to work on her Bardic Arts.

I hadn't really planned on going to Lady Mary as I am not happy with my garb, and have not gotten Lilley new garb either and I had been waffeling on the matter for quite some time. The lovely lady Yvette however informed me that I was required to attend with my daughter. This was when I went to Rocriptus' to repair my armour a few weeks back, she happened to be there as well. Apparently she is autocrating the event, and I do so hate to let down a lady, especially a lovely one.

My task for tonight is to repair my swords thrusting tips so that they are a little larger than they currently are as I think there might be a risk of some wood hitting if I thrust at the wrong angle. I also have to make sure my garb is in order. That and make sure Lilley is prepared for the day as well.

If you are going, see you there, if not, why not?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Exhausting Practice

Sir Kasmir came to practice last night, it being his custom to appear the first practice of every month to encourage the troops and give tips on improving our skills. He put us through our paces for sure. Instead of the winner staying in, each fighter remained in the ring for two fights win or lose, and we did not wait for lay on, but rather just charged in. Kellan was trying to get us to fight quicker, with less dancing around sizing up our opponents.

It was a good drill system to get us in shape for mellee fighting. A quick deal with your opponent and move on to the next. Sounds like a wonderful training technique, however it quickly left us all breathless and exhausted.

Before the real training began I had a chance to speak with Sir Kellan and he showed me how to improve my shot and had me work on it considerably alternating between my left and right hand. He showed me how I was telegraphing my hits by cocking back my arm, helped me correct it then showed me that I was still telegraphing by bopping my body a little before each shot. It was a lot to take in, and I hope my shot improved.

I did have a couple of nice kills during the practice. A few that even surprised me, including one against Wolfgang, although to be fair Wolfy was looking pretty winded at the time, and I had just come off a rest.