You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2009.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the official dedication of the new building that we built at the scout campsite as part of the Project Nepal experience. It was really lovely to see everyone again and I will post some further pics of the building on my Project Nepal web page. The main structure is finished but it still needs work on the interior and landscaping.

This is a pic of me next to the stone in the building that I carved my initials on. You can’t see them but they are there honest!

My bit of the wall!

My bit of the wall!

We had a lovely evening with a fab meal and talk by Doug Scott, the mountaineer who set up Community Action Nepal the charity we worked with , who showed us some of his pics of mountains. We also saw the videos that were made of both the build in the UK – over the 12 months of the project- and the build in Nepal – over the 2 weeks we were in the village. That was just brilliant to see and brought back so many memories. It was a very emotional moment. I am very glad that I was able to go given all that happened last summer and it was such an amazing experience. It was so good in so many ways – re-affirming my faith in myself and my restored health, the fact that I managed all the very hard physical work given the state of my mobility a few years ago, and just brilliant fun as well.

There is another project planned which will start later this year – I would love to be involved in some way but don’t know if I would be able to go to Nepal with them again. Lots of things are still very up in the air with job and future plans so can’t really make any definite arrangements for Oct 2010 at this point but hopefully I can help with the project anyway.

As well as the success of the project in terms of the building we did there were some lovely outcomes that no-one expected. We were saying at the evening that there definitely must have been something in the water out there in Nepal as three romances came out of the project  , two between project participants and one between one of the project members and one of the Nepalese team who looked after us out there. Kim went back to Nepal in Feb and married Bijou and she is now waiting for his visa to be sorted so he can come to the UK.

There were also two weddings, one just before and one soon after (and that couple now have a baby on the way!) I think that the reason why all of this happened is that when you are halfway round the world away from all the people you love you realise what is important in your life and what you want to hang on to. It is lovely that there was so much happiness from the project.

Things have been busy at work but my full time students have finished – they bought me some lovely presents which was very kind of them.

They know me very well and bought me some very nice wine and the most enormous glasses to drink it from.

The box with the very large glasses!

The box with the very large glasses!

The very lovely red wine

The very lovely red wine

We are away this weekend at Ashby de La Zouche Castle with the re-enactment group – I am nearly done with the packing for this and we will be there till Monday evening. Hopefully we will have some good weather as it has rained really badly most of the week here!

Hope you all have a fun Bank Holiday!

The battles at this event took place on Sunday and Monday and were fairly small by event standards as this is not a large venue – only probably about 100 people on the battlefield including some very fine archers who did a great job of firing at the English. We were on the Welsh side and Ellie and I water carried on the Sunday (she did that alone on Monday while I packed up the tent so that we could get the early train home!).

Before the battle - lining up with the flags

Before the battle - lining up with the flags

This picture shows the Welsh troops just before the battle began – our lot are at the back of that somewhere!

Lots of pointy sticks!

Lots of pointy sticks!

Since it was not a recreation of a particular battle but a scripted event there were lots of different weapons – these are pikes on the left with a bardiche (large silver blade) on the right of the picture with some swords in the background.

So lots of shiny armour everywhere and as it was one of the very first events of the season there were lots of people with very new kit. This man Gaius ,of the Medieval Combat Society , was camped opposite us and he kindly let me take some pics of his very new and very shiny armour!
Look at the detail on that!

Look at the detail on that!

 These are his shiny new arms …..

More shiny things!

More shiny things!

and shiny new legs!
It was great to catch up with all our friends, have a drink or two.
Richard was there with his partner, my good friend Kat who is the very talented costume and headdress maker that I have mentioned in earlier posts. They were out for the day with Isabella their daughter who has just turned 1 years old. Look at this for an adorable re-enactment family!
Edward and Lady Joan aka Kat and Richard

Edward and Lady Joan aka Kat and Richard

The main events of the weekend took place on  Sunday and Monday  with a mix of fight displays, archery, manorial court and a battle each day – Welsh against English of course!

We were camped in an ordinary tent in the field out of the way of the public but there was a large display of tents in the Living History section where the rest of Team Falchion were.

This pic shows us in camp ready to have lunch on Sunday.

The Falchion camp

The Falchion camp

I am in the middle of this pic in a blue dress and pale blue coif (headgear) and my daughter Ellie and son Jake are next to me in dark cloaks.

I did spend part of the day dressed as a lady but it was a bit cold!

Me in my gold dress and torque headdress

Me in my gold dress and torque headdress

We took a wander round the Living History camp and came across the Knights of Longshanks who had a lovely display of weaving of all different forms. One of the group – Alice Fitton – was creating a sampler of tablet weaving patterns as shown in the pics below.

Alice with her sampler

Alice with her sampler

A close up of the sampler

A close up of the sampler

This is what I love about re-enactment. As well as the general fun and the  beer tent and the friends there are so many people who are into all of the stuff that I am and I am constantly meeting people who are interested in stitching and costume. I could have stayed talking to Alice for ages but the rest of the family were getting a bit bored!

The day ended with a beautiful sunny evening. Thanks to Shirley , our camp cook,  for an excellent beef and ale stew and then Darryl ,the group’s minstrel,  did a bit of musical improvisation with the kids round the campfire before we all headed off for the beer barn again! It’s a hard life …….

Smoke gets in your eyes .... Darryl with his lute and Ellie on tambourine

Smoke gets in your eyes .... Darryl with his lute and Ellie on tambourine

Jake trying out the lute

Jake trying out the lute

I have so many pics that I want to post from our recent event at Cosmeston Medieval Village in South Wales that I have split it into a few posts. Apologies for not posting these sooner – we did not get back till 11pm on Bank Holiday Monday evening and what with working all week and being away at Stefon’s all weekend have had no time at all.

We had really good weather all weekend – it rained a bit when we arrived on Fri while we were pitching the tent (typical!) but then was really nice Sat and Sun with cooler weather on Monday.

Saturday we did not have a show so went for a walk on the beach – walked about 3 miles on an amazing rocky beach at Lavernock Point then ended up at a very nice pub for lunch.

Here are me and the kids in a very album cover type shot.

Us at Lavernock Point

Us at Lavernock Point

Got back to camp about 4pm and then later into the beer tent (or beer barn in this case as the Tithe Barn in the village is used for events!) for a few more ciders and some mead. Ellie was able to buy her first pint at an event!

Darryl, Shirley and Darren at the beer barn!

Darryl, Shirley and Darren at the beer barn!

I have included some pics of the village so that you can see what it is like – it is a wonderful place – a recreation of a 14th century village that died out in the plague. For a re-enactor this is heaven – authentic dark, smoky cottages, chickens running around, pigs in the piggery and lots of mud when it rains. It has an amazing atmosphere and I love going there.

Part of the village with the archers' encampment

Part of the village with the archers' encampment

Close up of one of the village houses

Close up of one of the village houses

Inside one of the cottages

Inside one of the cottages

A weaving loom inside one of the cottages

A weaving loom inside one of the cottages

Close up of the weaving

Close up of the weaving

The Cosmeston pigs asleep - they are huge!

The Cosmeston pigs asleep - they are huge!

Will post some more pics of the actual event later in the week.

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