Pennsic 2016 Diary: Thursday, August 4

After breakfast – Marauders

I did, in the end, go to Haakon’s. I came in late and had already missed several pieces, including a new Iesu Odinson story from Fiana which by all accounts was the most excellent one yet. I am sad that I missed it, but she promised she’d perform it sometime for me, or at least in my hearing. Yay!

I sat down right where the circle had passed, so I was prepared to just sit and listen for several hours until it came around again and I could perform in the right place, or until I left, whichever came first. And, indeed, there were some very nice pieces. Dahrien did the “just absurd” song he did on Monday; Owen did the poem about the skald who had his wooden leg affixed to the ground so he would stay standing in a challenge against a warrior, even though he died; there were some lovely songs… good stuff. Sadly, the last song of the evening – cut short because of rain – was a woman and her son utterly butchering “Savage Daughter.” It was wrong in all the ways a piece could be wrong: incorrect scansion, wrong tune and not even internally consistent, accompanied on a badly-tuned guitar, and sung out-of-tune even against the guitar… it was painful. I didn’t know “Savage Daughter” could be that painful.

A bunch of us went back to High Rafters. There was some milling around, in which people were talking alternately about Fiana’s Iesu story and the butchering of “Savage Daughter.” Then Emer and Tang got up to do a duet… and for the next seven and a half minutes you had a room full of established bards with their jaws on the floor. They did a song called “My Brother, My Enemy”, which told the tale in interwoven melody lines of Loki and Odin, how they became blood-brothers and then how they came to be enemies. So. Good. I can’t imagine how long they must have practiced that.

I admit that about this time, my scumbag brain was telling me, “You’ll never be that good. You’ll never be able to follow that. Just leave now. No one wants to hear you.” I didn’t listen to it, but it required the expenditure of willpower.

After everyone picked their jaws off the floor, some renewed bardic started up again. Things tended toward silly, including Fiana’s “The perfect SCA depressing song,” which is always great. I was gonna slip out around 11:30, but Morgana wouldn’t let me leave without performing. I offered the choice between “Valhalla” by Leslie Fish or “Pennsic Blues” by Hector. People chose the latter but Haakon made me promise to come back after Tuesday War Week to perform “Valhalla” for his squire Sigurd. So… yay performing? I think I was able to hold my own, and that’s about as good as I could hope for last night.

Got back around midnight but it was still hot and I just could not fall asleep, even on top of my covers. Also there was a loud bug in my tent and it was freaking me out a bit. I think I must have fallen asleep eventually because I woke up at 7:00, went to the privies, and slept in until 8:30.

Hadn’t even gotten breakfast yet when I was given two tasks to do this morning, but people kindly allowed me to eat first and get a few sips of tea in me. After eating, the first task was to go through my garb-barter bin with Edith to see if she wanted anything. Sadly, most of it is either not in her style or doesn’t fit. On the other hand, she suggested that they might fit Lucrezia’s daughter, and Lucrezia might be willing to barter for some commissioned clothing in exchange.

Came back to the common area and was pressed into performing St. Julian because there had been some talk earlier in the day of “if you make that face, it’ll stay that way.” Rocky gave me a bead made by his mom, which is lovely. Thanks! Also this morning I performed “Small Miracles” because someone mentioned a thistle and that we have stinging nettle in camp, apparently. I’m glad people let me sing at them. Thank you, campmates!

Plan for this morning is to shower and slowly get myself ready. In about two hours I’m teaching “Your Persona in an Hour.” Before that I may head over to High Rafters to commission some garb from Emer. This afternoon I’m gonna try to sit down with Lorelei and Emer to plan tomorrow’s show, and also stay by camp to prep for chocolate bardic. So not too much wandering today, probably. Tomorrow is almost entirely free except for the show in the evening, so I’ll make it up then.

Okay! Onward to be clean!


Early afternoon – Marauders

After writing last, I showered, washed my hair, and put on all-new clean clothes, which was wonderful. Headed over to High Rafters to chat with Emer about commissioning some garb from her. The price is reasonable, so this is definitely a thing that might happen. Not before the end of War, but it’ll happen. I’ve gotta go by Revival to check out styles, and then I’ll know what I want.

After that it was time for “Your Persona in an Hour.” Class went well. We had a pretty full house and people asked good questions. Even had time for some workshopping at the end.

Then it was off to get food, drop by the Tudor House to tell Maggy the story of St. John the Almsgiver, and head back to camp to help set up for tonight. The only flaw in my otherwise flawless plan is that there’s no actual set-up going on now. Stuff has halted for the moment and apparently will pick up later. Oops. Maybe some brief wandering is in order.

On the topic of wandering, I’d taken an Advil this morning to deal with a nascent migraine, so for the first time in days, my feet didn’t hurt when I walked! Yay! I made a conscious effort to walk slowly because I knew when the Advil wore off my blisters would be unhappy with me again, but still! Yay! Now I know if it ever gets to be too much again, I can take an Advil and have a few hours of relief. This is wonderful knowledge to have.


Mid-afternoon – Marauders

Did a slight wander, to not much effect. No one was home at Dione Sidhe or at Westengate, and there was a recorder practice going on at Bhakail. Though I did get to say hi to Baroness Sabine and get a CD from her (apparently she’d promised it to me but I totally don’t remember this). I also stopped long enough at the Basket Man to tell him the story of St. Julian. It occurs to me that some of the saint stories on my request sheet probably need some more workshopping. Maybe Toki will help me.

Came back to camp and prepped the candle lanterns for tonight. Also helped Sisuile and Colin put labels on the chocolate library. Apparently this year we have “only” nine boxes plus a “special reserve” box. I love my camp.

And now we have a read-through going on in camp of the new commedia play, “The Farce of the Fart,” inspired by some of our younger campmates. It started as a joke amidst 11-year-old boys, and then Anton actually wrote it. Because this is what happens when you get people of much wrongness together. [Editor’s note: “The Farce of the Fart” is actually a 15th century play that Anton adapted to remove the sexual content. Who knew!] Incidentally, it’s really great watching Anton explaining things to Spencer and Rocky. The juxtaposition between the seriousness of the tone and the ridiculousness of the topic is just hilarious. (The play is a court case about whether it was a husband or a wife that farted. The final judgment is that the husband did it… by means of the wife’s butthole. Yup. We run a classy camp here.)

Things are still pretty tame on the whole “preparing the chocolate bardic” front but weirdly I don’t mind being in camp. I’ll do more wandering tomorrow.


Somewhat later – Same place

A small flurry in preparing for the bardic. The courtyard is set up except for putting out the chairs, which will only happen after dinner. Speaking of dinner, tonight is “Thanksgiving dinner” night. Yay! Tryptophan and post-prandial narcolepsy for the bardic! I probably have an hour or so until supper, so I might do a little wandering. Or not. Still haven’t decided.


Early evening – My tent

Walked into my tent and said, “Oh! The temperature is quite lovely in here!” Checked the thermometer: 30 degrees, 55% humidity. Sigh…

Back to Wednesday, August 3
Forward to Friday, August 5

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