Tuesday, July 1, 2008

From Wynflaed's Blog - The Black Swan Revel Dec '07

Castleburn held it's Christmas party out at Hooper's Inlet by the shores of Black Swan Lake:

Our trusty Seneschal Ignatius and Chatelaine, Lady Fridda, made an immense effort and we had a long day of merriment followed by a most excellent feast.

First we set up and ate lunch - the guys on one bench and the girls on the other (although Finnr bravely ventured into neutral territory by sitting on the porch).

The festivities began with an archery Practice (Not a contest, as a contest would require a marshal and all sorts of official stuff we didn't have, but a Practice), then Medieval Pass the Parcel and Medieval Musical Chairs.

Medieval Pass-the-Parcel involved multiple layers of fabric tied up with ribbons, passed around the circle. Some layers contained tiny favours (Wynflaed received a metre of brown velvet ribbon, Lorraine has something she received on her lap but I can't remember what it was), others contained medieval themed limericks as you can see Alistair [Gawain] reading out here. Although many amusing limericks were composed for the occasion by Constance, Lady Fridda and Ignatius, the most memorable would have to be one by Ogden Nash:

A crusader's wife slipped from the garrison,
And had an affair with a Saracen;
She was not over-sexed,
Or jealous or vexed,
She just wanted to make a comparison.

Medieval musical chairs was effectively normal musical chairs but to bagpipe music.

After games we had some dancing, and practises for the evening's festivities.
The menu for the most excellent feast was as follows:

Starter - mulled wine or pomegranate cordial with hot nuts
Soup - carrot and lentil
Main - potato and kumara fritters, roast pork with apple sauce, roast vegetables, broad beans with garlic and herbs, buttered worts and mushroom pasties.
Desert - flaming plum duff, brownies baked in effigy, muscovite pears (canned pears in vodka).

We had previously booked the hall for the Saturday but so had the brownies (junior version of Girl Guides) and so somehow our booking got bumped which caused much inconvenience, hence we ate slaughtered brownie gingerbread.

Between the courses, we had various entertainments. We played the chickpea game (the first part of which is completely authentic) - each person was given a piece of bread with chickpeas baked in it and had to count how many chickpeas were in their slice (like a very sixpence populated plum pudding). Then each person was asked an embarassing question of some kind, and was compelled to reply only with the number of chickpeas in their slice. So, Constance had given 22 unfortunates the pox, while Wynflaed had been put in the stocks 34 times for lewd behaviour. She should be ashamed of herself... I sang a couple of duets with Giome (The Cherry tree Carol, The Boar's Head Carol), Finnr read his Black Swan poem, and so forth. After dinner we had a most excellent shadow puppet play - this is the cockatrice being chased out of the tree by the weasel.

We managed to get a bit of a Christmas feel to the occasion - these are Margaret's "completely authentic" Christmas earrings, and Ignatius's very cool Christmas tea lights.

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