Tuesday, July 1, 2008

From Wynflaed's Blog - Castleburn's St Patricks Weekend March '08

Just got back from Castleburn's most excellent St Patrick's weekend camp. We went for Friday night-Sunday early afternoon to Waianakarua - about 50 mins north or Dunedin and 15 mins out of Oamaru. The campsite was based around what I guess was once a big old homestead, but now houses the main camp facilities (kitchen,dining etc) and then there were other prefab bunkrooms/shower blocks dotted round the site.

Here is the main house:

The site was really lovely - trees around the main house and then a big paddock near a river. Only 10 of us actually stayed the whole time which meant we just about each had a bunkroom to ourselves. I know some people still had trouble sleeping on the bedwetter-protected plastic mattresses but I slept pretty well both nights which was a pleasant surprise.

Friday was mostly setting up and mucking around. After soup and rolls we had some dancing outside (by the light of some braziers - too dark to take photos) culminating, naturally, in a period performance of the 'Time Warp'; and an Irish joke telling session that was pretty appalling. Here is our jester, Giome, looking horrifyingly jocund:

On Saturday morning we had the 'hunt for the last serpent in Ireland' in the 'leprechaun forest'. Alisdair found the serpent. Here he is looking smug:

The rest of us found clues and small treasures. After getting fed up with skidding down the hillside in my superslippy leather shoes, I was directed to find a silver four leaf clover necklace that I am most chuffed with. Other people found chocolate coins, a pin cushion, a trinket box and other such bits and pieces.

Midday Saturday we had a most excellent picnic down by the river. Here are pics of the repast and the picnickers.

After lunch we were entertained by a most superlative puppet show of Dr Faustus:

Once upon a time there was a learned man called Dr Faustus. He had conquered all conventional fields of knowledge and considered taking up magic. Here the good angel is trying to encourage him to give up the idea while the bad angel is egging him on.

He decides to go for it and summons up a devil, Mephistopholes, with whom he signs a contract - Mephistopholes will supply him with everything he wants for a specified time after which he will have to surrender up his soul. Here he is with Mephistopholes and with the devil wife he is offered.

Lucifer shows up (the big red guy in the background of the next shot) and the seven deadly sins are paraded for Faustus's entertainment. Here Constance is being pride and waving her fan, Emilio is ready to be wrath with his case of rapiers, and Wynflaed in her mask was Lechery - oh the unjust typecasting! Then Dr Faustus rides around the world on his dragon.

Then he gets Mephistopholes to make him invisible so he can go to Rome and play a naughty joke on the Pope. Here is the Pope and the legates. The joke goes wrong and Dr F kills the Pope and then is cursed by these monks (he is under his invisibility cloak - think Harry Potter).

Around about this time Dr F's time runs out and the devils come and take him to hell.

After the puppets, people practiced fencing and archery while I did some embroidery and waited patiently for them to injure each other - but ah, it was not to be.

All the while, our most magnificent cook, Margret, was preparing the feast. She takes dressing up to a whole new level. Here are a couple of her outfits:

Apparently the long overdresses with gaping holes at the sides were called 'The Gates of Hell'. Gotta get me one of those, sounds like a vital accessory for Lechery anywhere... I

Anyway, we had a most excellent and 'high proportion of green' feast:

After dinner we had songs - including a very clever one written by Constance to the tune of 'The Wearing of the Green'.

Historically authentic garb is worn in SCA
I planned to make a stunning gown and show it off today
No more cotton, no synthetics, silk and linen are for me
For garb should mingle elegance with authenticity.

I went to all the fabric shops, I searched all over town
And bought expensive fabric for a grand Renaissance gown
But I spilled my cup of coffee, and it left an ugly stain
Alas for my Venetian gown with sweeping skirt and train

So I made a linen tunic - it wasn't very grand
But at least it was authentic, for I sewed it all by hand
But I used last summer's pattern, and I've put some kilos on
So the tunic didn't fit me when I came to try it on

I still had scraps of fabric so I made a Tudor hat
But when I wasn't looking it was eaten by the cat
No more fabric, no more money - I was tearing out my hair
I couldn't face St Patrick's Day with no new garb to wear

Then up popped a leprechaun who said "Why this distress?"
You already have authentic garb beneath your modern dress
Come, lay aside your needle, and let your spirits lift
Medieval girls wore skin like yours beneath the linen shift."

As you see, my dress is cotton, my shift's sewn by machine
But the layer beneath's authentic, although it can't be seen
It was good enough in time gone by, it's good enough for me
Skin was worn by every body in every century.

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