Having spent most of this year planning to attend the first ever Pinkie 1547 battle, the time has finally come to pack the supplies in the hired transport and head off.
Anniversary events of historical occasions are something I like to support. Getting into close proximity in both date and location has a degree of resonance with me. It provides a continuity between that event and today, and permits a moment of invaluable retrospection. What if events had not turned out as they did? Where would that alternate timeline deliver us? What crowns and nations would have fallen, who would have the commanding presence today?
Hopefully all will go to plan, as there has been much work done by several hard-working individuals in the run-up to this weekend, and I want to see this event succeed for the future.
We’ve happily played host to an old friend these past few days, who we’ve re-connected with after a break of several years. All the more important in that he tragically lost his daughter – a lovely girl – just before the New Year. It has been a fine few days of talking, drinking, eating and walking, and in laughing together at memories of shared experiences. It’s been cathartic for me personally, as it’s rekindled that aspect of camaraderie you develop when you do reenactment. You make good solid friendships that usually endure despite time rolling on, so that after several years apart you can simply and easily pick up on conversations as if you had seen them the day before. It can be squandered like other things within relationships, so an enjoyable reminder serves a useful purpose to tell yourself that some retrospection and applying some effort into re-establishing links can be worthwhile.
On top of that, we took a stride around the village, just to point out the quaint bits and the historical stuff, sit for a bit with a coffee and a bacon roll, before resuming a tour of the very local Roman remains. And once the workmen finished up with attending to the stone surfaces of the house, we were free then to explore further. So we trogged off along the Wall, via the neighbour’s farm, down the steps to the bridge, then onwards and upwards to ‘Banna‘. We didn’t quite venture inside, so instead retraced our steps back down to the Irthing to listen to it bubbling along, topped up by some recent rainfall up here, then homewards to plan evening meals. That involved a delicious re-visit to the Howard Arms in Brampton for some excellent mixed grills which I will admit, after the time spent tramping grass and path that day, was consumed very promptly.
Even the weather today has improved. It has been a long, sometimes strange, and dreary summer – not just because of the wet weather – as many changes have been going on for us in 2017. But bit-by-bit, some aspects are settling nicely into place, some are certainly improving the outlook for our future. We hopefully have other friends coming to stay this next weekend too, who we’ve not seen for several years, so looking forward to more opportunities for catching up with some laughter thrown in.
Good times with good friends. Here’s hoping it leads to more good memories.
In the end, it was the preferred choice. I had the option to attend another event, but this ancient carcass is still recovering really from Bosworth. And I have commitments to the Pinkie event in a few weeks time. So balancing out current abilities, potential issues and likely additional damage, the sensible side of the brain overruled the giddier side.
It would have been nice to support – and to also get to at least one event this season to then justify the membership paid out – but I’m quite assured all can survive without me. I remain happily on the fringe of all that, an old acquaintance who may one day put in another appearance. I have no need to re-establish commitments and ‘reputation’, or to sidle in and take over roles. This aspect will remain a sideshow, as the new focus is on the Medieval interests.
Talking of which, I’ve invested in some books to further the knowledge. I may well post up some thoughts and comments once I’ve read them. That too is a pleasant return to old habits of historical research in order to gain a better familiarity.
I had an excellent weekend away at the Bosworth Battle-fest, getting involved in ensuring Tricky Dickie’s short reign was quickly concluded. First time I’ve been there on camp for the entire weekend, and successfully managed to do three of the four battles. But I did come away with a tactful jabbing reminder that I need to source better all-round armour protection now.
I’ve spent the past five years (that long already?) in acquiring bits and pieces that have provided me the basic level of ability as a common ranker. But I now know I need either a brigandine or a coat-of-plates for better body protection. The latter of those will be suitable if I want to continue as a humble billman and despite having to have it made by someone, it’s crude construction will be cheaper. The former will take longer to make and cost more, but it then has the potential to denote a higher status individual. It’s potentially useful too for use in other periods. And I do have the money to afford it.
We’ve also obtained a lot more kit for LH use on the camp. I’ve been exceptionally fortunate in successfully purchasing unwanted or spare kit from others, at a lot lower price to purchasing brand new items. So that has meant we have a sizeable ‘footprint’ of our own for ourselves and anyone who would want to ‘guest’ alongside us at future events.
So there’s one more Medieval event left, plus the Tudor event we promised to support, and potentially there’s the usual August Bank Holiday event too. I’m not sure about this one. It’s this coming weekend, but while I considered going to support my old friends, I still feel tired (and just a bit battered) from Bosworth, plus there’s a few aspects I’ve now learnt about that just put me off in committing to attend. I loathe pointless waiting around and time-wasting. And the Sunday timetable reeks of all that. As I was only interested in the Sunday & Monday anyway, I’m still weighing it up on whether to go. On the one hand I want to support the aspiration and ambition – but I don’t have the patience for all the crap that may well happen. Indeed it is a ‘maybe’ – but it’s an outcome so true to form, so expected from all the past experiences, it does put the potential positives into the shade for me. So why go when you expect disappointment? It does demonstrate to myself I still don’t have the right mindset yet.
I have a few days yet to decide one way of t’other, but for now, I’m quite content with the excellent weekend I just had.
So the weekend was spent at Chirk Castle, with some other Woodvilles as guests of the Marcher Freemen. A really enjoyable weekend, despite the very un-summery weather.
It’s been a while since we’ve done serious LH work but it was a good reminder of what we can do, remembering past events and re-applying knowledge and experiences. And we’re steadily rebuilding the kit to do more of the same again.
It was also especially useful to get friends back into this again as well. I’d long been recommending that they would appreciate and enjoy the medieval environment as a new venture. I think I’ve had some success, as they all enjoyed their time spent at Chirk and are now looking forward to Bosworth.
I just need to improve my current levels of fitness and agility. Nothing new there then!
Paid tribute to a wonderful gentle giant today. A passing expected, due to his protracted ill-health, but still sad to see him gone. A wonderful service, with great memories shared amongst friends and his devoted family. I will always have fond recollections of our times together, at various events up and down this great land.
Slainte – rest in peace.
Just a few days ago, a friend of mine passed away in his sleep. He’d been poorly for some time, but had fought it well, long after the initial suggestions from the original diagnosis. I’d not seen him face-to-face for a few years but had kept track via friends and social media. While it was no surprise to learn of his passing, it still left me a little saddened.
And as such, the loss of another friend puts ‘Life‘ into perspective, again. When I decided to relocate to the Borders, it was after I’d lost others in my life. Their deaths had spurred me on afterwards to look at what I had and what I wanted.
The loss of my father was one of the first, and that seemed to fittingly sever any interest in maintaining links I still had with London, where I was born. I lost a few more friends from the re-enactment scene and that made me consider taking up the medieval period as a ‘must-do‘ ambition I had not yet achieved. And then I lost a few work colleagues, tragically taken far too soon and leaving families behind, that made me realize my employer wasn’t an entity I wanted to remain with for the years to come.
So it is that I find myself not anticipating another change, as I’m living in amidst it right now. I have other new ambitions to look at after next week, when I finally leave my employer, and escape the Civil Circus. But it does provide me the nudge to still consider what else should I do. What else could I achieve? Is there something I would find that gives me a new horizon to strive for? I’m not sure yet, so I’ll list up some ideas, review them and see what’s practical and proper.
Rest in peace, old friend. Slainte.