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devil duck


Got back from Pennsic last night, after dark but early enough that we managed to unload the car before bed. The drive was uneventful, with only one half-mile construction backup on I-80, and of course NYC traffic. 9.5 hours, including two gas stops and a leisurely traditional post-Pennsic visit to Pizza Hut.

We were worried about the weather before we went, as the ten-day forecast looked depressing, but it actually turned out well. There was a torrential downpour an hour before we got to the site, which stopped by the time we arrived, and the rain didn't start again until after the tent was up and we were in bed. On the way home, there was a spattering of rain while we were at Pizza Hut, but by that time everything was safely packed. In between there were NO brutally-hot days, NO tent-pole-splintering storms, and only a few days with rain; most days were beautiful and in the 70's, with nighttime lows in the 50's (remember being cold at Pennsic, say twenty years ago? shalmestere says "Good sleeping weather!").

shalmestere and I had something like nine performing gigs, most of them with the other Loud Band folx (although some of them were the Loud Band Choir, the Loud Band String and Recorder Consort, etc.) The first (IIRC) was Opening Ceremonies, which we had never played before: we marched with the East, providing shawm accompaniment for minstrlmummr's marching song, then peeled off and saluted various Barons we knew as they entered the hall, before joining the Drachenwald procession (which had requested our services months before) with some fanfare-ish stuff in between their trilingual heralds' announcements. The last gig, Queen Judith's 15th-century Dance Ball, was Thursday night (and went surprisingly well, after a series of frustrating and unproductive rehearsals), so we were finally able to "relax and enjoy Pennsic" just as people started packing to leave. But there are worse ways to spend Pennsic than several hours a day playing music.

We brought almost no cooking stuff, and did no cooking, except for one morning that I made waffles for the population of Enchanted Ground (and a few of the Budgardr people next door).

I got to two A&S classes, other than Loud Band: one on medieval dog collars and one on medieval tents. The dog collar class was long on passing around pictures and short on practical details -- I think I was the only one in the room who had actually built any of these collars and put them on an actual dog. The tent-makers' symposium, on the other hand, was run by a couple of people who have made a dozen tents or more -- far fewer than Tentmasters, Medieval Miscellanea, Panther, et al, but more historically-informed -- and we had a great time sitting on the benches and exchanging theories about what's going on in the pictures and how to build something that looks like them. And I got some warm fuzzies -- I think the folks who ran the class had gotten their start by attending one of the tent-making classes I ran at Pennsic ten years ago.

We got to most of an East Kingdom court, where minstrlmummr got her Manche (the East Kingdom arts award), Alexandre Viceroy Ostgardr got his Laurel, and a few other people we knew got various awards. We had to leave before it was over to set up for the aforementioned 15th-century Dance Ball, but I don't think we missed much.

Anyway, we're home now. Need to retrieve the Things from Greyhound Camp. Need to replenish the refrigerator. Need to clean house before my mother arrives for a visit. Need to retrieve packages that came to my office address while we were out of town. Need to organize my new office in the building across the street -- the latest word says moving day is Tuesday.


We're going to want to pick your brain about tents. We're reviving our five year old plan of finally putting our industrial machine to use. :-)
Any time!