Pennsic 2011 Diary: Sunday, August 7

after breakfast – my tent

Quite a bit of catching up to do. The improv class was a lot of fun. I was there as Mhari’s ringer, but it turns out I wasn’t needed: about half the class got up to participate in the first game (“Pass the Tale”). We did a few rounds of that, then a few rounds of “The Dating Game.” I got pegged to be the guesser and got… well, let’s say 1/3 correct. I guessed “cannibal pirate” when I should have guessed “Tuchuk.” But still, much fun.

The dinner bell rang just as class was letting out, so I trundled back across the street. Dinner was leftovers, and I’m sad I didn’t have any of the ham the first time it was served. That stuff was tasty! I had to eat and prep pretty fast to get to the East-Mid circle in time. The theme this year was “up and comers,” lesser-known bards the sponsors felt deserved more exposure. Mhari did a story about a queen giving bad advice; Lorelei did a great angry-Englishwoman song called “Collateral” with a really catchy beat; Maraha did a story I realized only at the end I’d already heard (“He made an ash of himself”). There was a beautiful song by the bardic champion of Bhakail about Crown Tournament from the consort’s point of view. John ap Wynne’s apprentice did a song about charging into battle that would do Calontir proud. Katrusha did a story I’d never heard before, about a man who accidentally finds that he can talk to animals. All told, there were about fifteen performers, all quite good.

Also during this, Their Majesties East held a small court to give Mhari her Troubadour, and while they were there, give one to Dorigen also. It turns out she’d never received one. Everyone I’ve spoken to has figured that she was active before the Troubadour was introduced and sort of grandmothered past it. There was a great “what did I do” moment when she was called up. [Editor’s note: The Troubadour is an East Kingdom award for bardic arts. Mistress Dorigen of the Grey Gate was, I believe, the first bardic Laurel of the East Kingdom, and many of her apprentices and grand-apprentices are now bardic Laurels in their own right.]

The circle ended a little late, but still with enough time to catch the last half-hour of Efenwealt’s concert. I came in as he, Ainor, Marian, and Cynric were doing some beautiful cantigas, and then Marian left and the rest of them did what is probably my favorite of their Wizard Rock songs, “Has Anybody Seen my Goyle?” Ainor broke Efenwealt (and most of the audience) during “If I Was a Viking” by doing a little up-and-down bopping thing. You had to be there, but it was hilarious.

After the show (where, sadly, the large press of people was making my asthma act up), I made my way up to Northshield, where I’d heard there was some impromptu bardic going on. There was: about a dozen people including Dolan, Zsof, Owen, and Shae (sp?), a guy I met at John Lyttleton’s coaching session. Sadly, I was asthmatic and sleepy, so I only stayed 15-20 minutes. Dolan asked for a song before I left, but I didn’t quite have the voice for it, so I did my sonnet about sonnets instead.

I got to bed at the ungodly early hour of midnight, hoping to have a long sleep, but alas, it was not to be. It took a while to get to sleep, then I was up at 2:30 to use the portos, then again in the pre-dawn hours at the sound of a short rainstorm, and finally woke up around 7:30. So much for uninterrupted sleep.

Today is pretty solidly booked. I’m visiting Katrusha and Johann in the morning, want to take Maraha’s class at 11:00, the Peerless circle is at 1:30 (assuming it happens), then the Boreal Master Symposium at 4:00 and a Beowulf performers’ meeting at 6:00. Sometime during all this I need to pester Erwillian, because I still haven’t received my token and tonight is the Lowdy Toady party at the Casa. [Editor’s note: The Casa Bardicci Lowdy Toady party requires 1 piece of Bardicci-minted silver as an entrance fee. I usually get a small medallion that indicates I’m an associate of the household, which lets me go in an out as much as I want.] I also need to change my sheets and ideally take a shower. So… not too much time for wandering.

Anyway, it’s almost 9:00, so I better get a move on.

around noon – Marauders

We have scones! Yay, scones! Who needs lunch when you’ve got scones? (Or, as Edith said, “Plain for lunch, currants for dessert.”) I’d been planning on heading out of camp, but now I think I’ll wait.

I did indeed see Katrusha and Johann this morning. Johann was a little grumpy, but everyone’s allowed to be a little grumpy in this weather. [Editor’s note: Johann is also 20 months old. Lots can be forgiven of toddlers.]

I also got the medallion from Erwillian, for the price of one song per day and at least one on the minstrel’s gallery tonight. I don’t think I’ve ever performed up on stage at Bardicci and have no idea what I’m doing. Maybe some sing-along drinking songs like “A Drop of Nelson’s Blood.”

I went to Maraha’s class, and I’m glad I did: I was the only student. He went through the lecture part and then we talked shop a while. I performed my St. Basil piece and yet again went too fast. Really need to slow myself down. Practice, practice, practice.

And then I came back here to drop off some stuff, only to discover scones were in the oven. Time to have another!

early afternoon – Runestone park

In the end, I had three scones. I’d been planning on two, but the third just sort of leapt into my hand. And this, this is why I don’t lose weight at Pennsic.

Now to see if anyone else shows up to the circle.

before dinner – Marauders

The circle started off small (very small) but gained some weight toward the end. Initially it was just me and Matthew Grymm – a man with a startling resemblance to Grimm the Skald, but who I am assured has no Laurel. [Editor’s note: As the circle was officially “peerless,” bardic Laurels were not permitted to attend. So clearly it couldn’t have been the same person. Clearly.] Emer showed up eventually, and then others started trickling in and we actually began performing. Sadly, just as we were really picking up steam, about half of us left to go to the Boreal Master Symposium.

The Symposium was very good. Morgana showed us an artifact from Japan – a frilly pink dress – which adds many new layers of wrongness to Boreal studies. Fiana presented a piece discussing “Deor’s Flytting” in the context of Feldsong tradition (i.e. country music). And I presented my new Latin manuscript fragment. [Editor’s note: The Boreal Master Symposium is a satire or parody of academic conferences. There is much wrongness here. Be afraid, be very afraid.]

From there, it was back to camp to have another scone and wait for dinner. It looks like some greater power was listening to me yesterday: there’s ham for dinner. (Uh huh, I’m a good Jew.)

Timing this evening will be a touch tricky, but I’ll make the best of it. For now, there’s someone in camp who’s been charged with learning songs.

Back to Saturday, August 6
Forward to Monday, August 8

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