Pennsic 2010 Diary: Wednesday, August 4

morning — Marauders

The jam session last night was awesome, as always. I didn’t count the performers, but it was probably about a dozen, including Marian (of course), Vince, Garraed, Efenwealt, some performers who moved next to Harpwood, a fiddler, and more people who were hidden from me in the dark. Owen, Maraha, and I formed a little knot of non-instrumentalists who beat out quarter notes on the table and sometimes sang along. Or, when singing wasn’t possible, did silly dances with our hands.

The instrumental pieces were probably the highlight of the evening. There are some new songs I heart I’d like to learn: one or two from Michael Kelly (one called “The Siren”), a really wonderful piece by Garraed called “The Veil” (rousing and warlike!), and maybe a few others. [Editor’s note: Click to see a YouTube video of Garraed performing “The Veil.”]

I took lead on two songs: I duetted “The Farmer’s Cursed Wife” with Marian, and led “Seek the Reaper” by Adelaide. [Editor’s note: Click to see a YouTube video of Adelaide performing “Seek the Reaper.”] There wasn’t as much accompaniment as last year when Adelaide did it, and I stumbled a few times, but it was fun anyway. I got complimented afterward by a really awesome fiddler on my stage presence and gestures. Yay!

The circle broke up around midnight, and Efenwealt walked me up the hill as far as the merchants’ area. It was — yet again — a hot and damp day. This morning we have fog. The combination of sound from the kitchen and pressure from my bladder woke me up around 6, but I was about to fall asleep for another hour or so.

On the agenda for today: at least one class I’d like to make it to, helping at Aethelmearc. Now, time for breakfast. Pancakes!

late morning — battlefield

I’m watching three guys set up the huge East Kingdom pavilion on the battlefield. They’re guys from a tent rental company and they’re super-efficient. It’s almost like watching a choreographed dance or something.

After breakfast this morning I went over to Royal with Derhilde, who needed to talk to the King. Turns out the tents are going up today, and after that we’re putting up the gate and maybe the walls. So I’ll be checking in periodically to see what I can do to help. (Mostly, I suspect, that’ll be to stand around and look pretty. Noticing a trend yet?)

I also visited Eoforwic this morning. They have an abundance of small children, mostly in the toddler-or-younger age range. Eoforwic is my new favourite camp ever! And they let me eat some of their breakfast remnants (toast and eggs). Now they know how to make me a happy bard!

The battlefield is almost completely empty. It’s disconcerting. I don’t think I’ve ever been on the battlefield when it wasn’t thronging with people. Not that I’ve been on the battlefield very much, you understand. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen anywhere at Pennsic this quiet.

Now the tent guys are gonna drive the stakes with a jackhammer. So cool!

early afternoon — Marauders

I had a bit of a moral dilemma just now. I’d gone to Dione Sidhe — a wonderful audience and great people, as always — and stopped at the privy at the end of their block. There, sitting inconspicuously, was a much-folded $100 bill. No one seemed to be actively looking for it. I threw around a few ideas about how to connect the money with its rightful owner, before finally settling on a suggestion from Geoffrey. I left the money with Dione Sidhe and put a note in the privy saying, “You lost it? I found it,” and directing them to the camp.

Toki and Aoife aren’t in at Concordia, so I came back here. I think I’m suffering from heat exhaustion / dehydration. It’s amazingly hot. Oddly I think it was exacerbated by my wearing a belt, which prevents airflow to the upper body. Jeanne is wearing two layers, and she is far braver than I. I should probably take an advil, actually.

just after — same place

Advil taken, jewellery removed. I’m just going to sit here for a while.

I’ve really got to internalise at some point that I shouldn’t make nebulous time commitments. I work best when I’m told, “you’re needed from this time to that time.” Even if it’s a long time, I need it clearly delineated. This whole, “stop in every now and again and see if there’s work” just doesn’t work for me. I learned that the year I worked for the Independent, and I should have known better. Oh, well. The die has been cast, and I’ll that what it gives me.

Now to close my eyes for a while.

before dinner — Marauders

It’s been a busy and tiring afternoon. I did indeed lie down after I wrote last: the dehydration and heat finally got to me. I lay down until about 3, completely missing the time I was supposed to go back to East Kingdom Royal. I sent a message along with Liam that I was not in any condition to help and was smart enough to realise it.

I got up around 3, when we were greeted by a very brief thunderstorm and also the arrival of an 18-month-old baby to the camp (and his family). I played very briefly and then decided to go over to East Kingdom Royal anyway. The gate was raised, at least, but I got recruited into stake driving duty. It was still super-hot (despite the brief thunderstorm), so the job mostly went like this: drive three stakes, drink a beer cup of water; drive three stakes, drink a beer cup of water; etc. After an hour or so, I was thoroughly sweaty but the job was done (I’m helping!) and I came back to camp. I had a few minutes before I needed to help with dinner, so I took a lovely cool shower and washed off the first 30 layers of sweat.

From there, I was set to shucking corn (yum!) and other dinner-prep duties. Around this time, another major thunderstorm hit. I checked my tent later: it looks like the main seam is holding watertight, but some parts on the top of the fly aren’t, so I may get some drips.

The thunderstorm stopped abruptly just as our guys finished unloading some wood from a truck, proving that God is in fact an ironer. (“Carpenter makes carpentry; ironer makes irony.” Ha ha.) I rained more a bit later, though, so the guys don’t feel too bad.

When dinner prep stuff was done, I played with the 18-month-old, Nathan, and decided it was finally time to journal a bit, eh? Supper, in a half-hour or so, will be chicken cacciatore, corn on the cob, green beans, and fruit cocktail. Sounds tasty to me! After dinner, Haakon’s circle. And with dinner prep tonight, I’ve officially finished my meal plan chores. (Though I may volunteer again.)

Anyway, it’s raining again and I should to a bit of battening.

Back to Tuesday, August 3
Forward to Thursday, August 5

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