Weekend the Fifth.... LABOR DAY WEEKEND!!!
Fridays are usually given to a light riding rehearsal, after which I have to drive all the way back to NJ to pick up Don and then return to Faire so that we camp Friday evening. I don’t usually talk about these rehearsals, but on this occasion there was one thing worth noting. Oso was still not returned when I went up to ride. We took Rusty and Dante out, I’d never done passes on Rusty, and wanted to feel as if I COULD, if necessary, and I just wanted to get solid on the gods-be-damned rings. I rode Dante for this purpose. We set up two stantions so that one might ride thus: 1st pass downstage rail, turn tight to go along the list, turn hard again for another (reset while you were doing the list pass) got along the downstage side. Three rings per pass. I was on the speed demon. I took my ring lance, and in the first run got all three. Lewis reset for me. Once again, I rode out- and once again, three for three. Lewis was so cool. "You should see your face" he said. "You look so calm and focused." To that, all I can say is YAY!!!!!!! as it’s certainly not what I’m feeling inside.
Weather: grey, humid, drizzling in the a.m. but clearing by late afternoon. Good crowds. Saw some fantastic kids. Won the obstacle course!!!! (this is important in the world of Justin Lewis made that damned bet and now I’m obsessed with beating him (only how will I since he’s infinitely better than I am at anything physical the blasted rat bastard?)), partly because I got the wee tiny ’money ring.’ Chess fights were okay. Just okay. Not horrible, so that’s an improvement. I also managed NOT to get hit in the head with a lance, so that was all to the good.
Managed NOT to start bleeding, though I didn’t hold out much hope that it would wait until Tuesday. Stupid body.
Went to the Knife after dinner. Chatted with CGG (who gives insanely brilliant massages.. it’s those musician’s hands!) for quite a while. Wow. Um.... just me being stupid. Never you mind.
Weather: clear, next-to-no-humidity, temps in the mid-70s (Fahrenheit). Spectacular.
Joust 1, had a really good run (18 points), got the money ring again... and yet I lost to Alen who managed a 19. Lewis placed at 17 (inner voice: YAY! At least he didn’t beat me!). As I was sitting by my section, watching the other riders run the course, two girls approached me. The elder (who was about 10) said "Maid Marian, do you remember me?" Ok.... I meet hundreds of kids every year. Remembering all of them is NOT easy... but she said "I’m Caitlin, and this is Cassie!" at the last pointing to her four year old sister. And I did remember Cassie... So when it came time for me to do my joust passes, I armed up and sat in the pocket waiting for Alen to be ready. Right before I leapt into the fray, I way Caitlin and Cassie waving madly. I tipped my lance to them . then rode into the list and got a kick ASS solid hit. Then, I got the next two break hits (good targeting while keeping my own shield right where it needs to be - I’ve been worrying about that of late).
Regarding the Chess Games- my fight went really rather well both times (for a fight that makes little sense, that is! eh... I’ll take what I can get).
Wench sets went well; saw friends from Connecticut whom I’ve not seen in at least two years. Almost burst into happy tears. Mind you, my period was still pending, spinning me into hormonal hell. Of course, singing ‘Barrett’s Privateers’ in front of Laurie's three year old daughter threw me. ("Mommy, why does your friend say bad words?"). Oh, in the 5pm set, Cat sang a great ‘Ball of Kerrymuir’ verse that disparaged Jenny Wren. The actress ‘went after’ Cat, right past me, so I caught her. I expected that she’d stop charging and play that she was fighting to get me to let go, especially since she is a trained stage combatant. No such luck. She kept charging forward, tripped, and pulled me down with her. I landed on my knees, HARD, on the concrete. My right knee was sorely abraded; I bled through my tights. The left wasn’t as bad, just scraped, but rather bruised on the bone to the side of the kneecap.
I’d managed to get over my mad by Joust 2. We had to rework it a bit, since the horse situation is a bit uncertain. All are healthy, it’s just that Tamra is out of her frelling mind (she’s young, energetic, and HUGE! she will be great, eventually. This I do not doubt) Anyway, I was the first one off. Jeff gave me a kick-ass hit. I rocked back, ‘lost’ my shield and helm, and did a roll out... dropping onto the ground from Oso’s back and landing square on the bruised part of my left knee. My mad came back. Managed to let go of it before Pub Sing.
At the campsite that night, Kel and I cooked burgers and hot dogs (and ate them on buns, no less... sorry, Dr. Atkins!) for a heap of people, then headed to the knife and danced like idiots (there was a sound system set up and good music playing). Went to bed far later than I should have done for a three day performance weekend, but slept quite well when I did.
Woke up about 5 a.m. to the sound of a downpour. Tossed and turned and tried to get back to sleep to no avail. Rain continued as we went to the showers. And during breakfast. And while I got my costume and weapons together. It didn’t let up until around 3 p.m.
The first Chess Game was abysmal. We did it in a downpour. In theory, the fights should have been slowed down, and most were. Not mine! Dan was flying. Yipes!!!! The final move is a bit tricky, and my hilts had become rain-slick as we fought. I couldn’t quite get the cross parry, thus making the final bind impossible. Dan and I managed to fudge it.
I should mention that I had STILL not started to bleed. My emotions were a mess. Don bought me a lovely black raw silk coat (very Jedi) that, when soaked with rain, turned my white shirt dark blue. I almost burst into tears over that during the aforementioned first Chess Game (during which we though we’d have folks with umbrellas there to cover us while we were waiting to fight.... long story short, miscommunication. No umbrellas. Cold, tired, premenstrual, and covered in blue dye.... it should be no surprise that I almost had a meltdown). Kelley told me I should go to the costume shop and get dry clothes. Sensible, yes? To any non-ME person, perhaps! All I could think of was the fact that Sara the costumer had already told me she’d given out all the cloaks she had. Ditto for umbrellas. "It will just get wet again." Kelley, with great effort, did not glare or snap or yell. She did point out that, like her, I’m a singer, and with the extra performance day there was far less time for my voice to recover. ‘I already talked to Sara," she said. "Go get dry clothes." I compromised. I got a dry shirt (old, and very much in a state of decay, ripped at the shoulder and the sleeves). Cat put my underskirt in the drier for about ten minutes, and it came out only moderately damp. She also listened to my near wailing about how horrible a person I was to have come so close to a meltdown. Sara gave me a length of turquoise blue material that made an impromptu shawl. I trundled back down to the joust field (which was a rather soupy consistency, thus ending any possibility of holding the first joust) to find Chris waiting for me with a Half-Moon coat, loaned to him by a vendor so that I might stay warm and dry. I wanted to refuse it, but Kel pointed out that he was in a booth. With a roof, and walls. I was out in the downpour. I tried to offer it to her, but she had a woolen wrap she’d procured from Sara before opening gate. it smelled of wet sheep, but was warm.
At the 2:30 Wench set, Chris walked up with a full-length burgundy and hunter green wool cloak. "This is for you," he said. "To keep." I hope he did not pay full price for it, or that he gets the faire to cover it. It’s stunning, and - more importantly- warm and water repellant. I gave the loaner coat to Kel. Soon after I started to bleed. It helped immeasurably.
By 4:00, the rain had slowed to a drizzle, with periods of heavier precipitation. As we still had a crowd of several hundred people, we kept going. The second Chess Game was much better. Dan fought even faster (eep!) but we added silly/fun comments that worked so well I think we’ll be keeping them. Example: we always do the Dan: "I’ll show you the meaning of pain!" Marian: "You like pain? Try wearing a corset!" (always gets the huge response you would expect). Dan came back with (as he has done once or twice) "Can I try yours?" "If you fit into my corset, I’d have to kill myself," replied I, with complete sincerity. Silly, yes. Audience loved it, though.
5:00 Wench set was particularly splendid. It was raining rather forcefully again, so we were on the tables rather than on stage (the tables have a little bit of roofing over them). We did an all-Fanny-Little version of "Caviar." I had the last verse, and if I may say this with all humility, it brought down the house. I broke Kelley (who plays Fanny). Yes, life was good.
We had a final Joust. The field was not perfect, but thanks to the tireless efforts of the squires, the downstage side was workable. It was determined that we would do a two man joust (Robin Hood and Gisbourne) wherein Hood would win after 5 passes. I’d start to go to him, and have a bit of business with Miles Falconet (Jeff), spurring Hood to intervene and setting us all up for the final melee. (side note: while Jeff and I were trying to figure out what to do, he was so casually complimentary of my fight skills, I was stunned).
Made it through that a bit muddied but otherwise unharmed (yay!), and had a kick ass time at Pub Sing. Lewis showed up since I’d told him Kel and I would be singing ‘Tom of Bedlam’ (one of his favorites), which was rather nice.
No injuries. No trauma. No drama. Save for the hidden f***-you of Labor Day weekend (the shorter recover period), all is quite well.