OK, today Brett and I travelled over 750 km in 8 hours from Nagambie in Victoria to Sydney. Conceptually we shifted in time from somewhere between 200 BC - 1642 to the 21st century. (To explain, every second Easter for the past 22 years a gathering of medieval reenactors has been held that attracts up to 300+ people from all over Australia and sometimes New Zealand. Depending on your interests you can join in feasts, fighting, learning a craft or skill, gaming, carousing or just catching up with friends)
Like all the previous times, this year's Conferention (so called because for years there was a debate about whether it was a Conference or a Convention, and eventually someone coined a new word to shut everybody up) was a camping event. Unlike other years however, this one was held on a private property with no facilities, so the organisers had to build toilets and a shower block from scratch. They did a fine job. There was even a bath-house with a huge tub which was heated via a copper coil and firepit arrangement. I shared it with half a dozen of my group on Saturday afternoon. After an hour or so I started to feel a bit wrinkled, but the others wanted to stay in a while, so I got dressed in my authentic linen underwear and played at being the bath-house attendant and general go-fer. This included adding hot or cold water to order and fetching beer and cider from the tavern for the bathers. Great fun!
I used to be seriously into reenactment combat, but it's been a few years since I did any large scale melee fighting, so instead I hung around the tavern and Perki Kamaki (legendary coffee-shop) watching the gaming, talking to friends and catching up on the handsewing not completed before Easter. Did some dancing on Friday night, teaching people easy ECD numbers like Gathering Peascods and Jenny Pluck Pears, but one of our dancers was struck by appendicitis just before leaving Sydney leaving the group with 4 seasoned dancers. By Monday night, which would have been a good night for dancing because it was outside & the dust was reduced, the others were too stuffed and I wasn't up to dragging in and teaching newbies. Maybe I should have done a workshop in the afternoon, we had hot and cold running musicians happy to play for us, but the one I did at the last Conference wasn't well attended except by a lot of under 12 year-olds, so I didn't bother.
Speaking of the under 12 year olds, on Sunday my 17th century group did a drill and march around the campsite and we attacked the wooden fort that was being defended by a bunch of enthusiastic rug rats armed with dowelling swords and other makeshift "weapons". Much fun was had by all and both defenders and attackers fought valiantly. I was carrying a proper 17 foot pike but abandoned it for safety's sake and adopted instead the expedient of waiting until a 'sword' was waved within grabbing distance. We took the fort, then discovered it was impossible to hold, because the kids refused to stay 'dead', declaring they had been turned into ghouls, zombies, vampires etc...! So we retreated a short distance, did the war chant from 'Zulu' in honour of our foe and faded away over the hills. I'm sure the kids enjoyed themselves as some of them came over later and wanted us to attack them again!
Other things of note:
- the dust that got into absolutely everything.
- playing bocce around the piazza on Monday
- wearing my papiermache fish mask to the masked ball on Sunday night & threatening to carry people off to my undersea mansion
- the terrific armour display by the Ancient Greeks
- superb food every day
- cheap ($2) beer and cider, and a very tasty mead
That's pretty much covered it *yawn* - time for bed.