Champions of the Court of Love

The Shire of Eplaheimr put forth the call, that all might sojourn at the Court of Love in Clara to pay homage with impressive feats of arms and wondrous works.  I couldn’t make the Friday night, and was dithering Saturday morning when I realised the two boys weren’t going to be able to make it.  Feeling a little under a storm cloud I dug out my garb and went anyway.

A word for the newbies amoung us.  My garb is, well, basic.  It looks like a sack with sleeves  (and oh but those sleeves cost me precious points of sanity.)  But the thing is, I did learn from making it, and I did notice I paid a lot more attention to how other garb was constructed and that’s been interesting.   More importantly nobody else cared, actually I think people were happy for me that I made a start. In the positive column I can also add that my dress was warm which, considering the quietly misting morning at the archery targets, was a much appreciated thing.

Archery is wonderful. I, alas, am not, but Barol Pól is a great teacher.  I had that horrible moment of head emptying that usually accompanies someone showing me how to do something, (left? what’s that, oh *left*, right, I mean left) but he persevered and I improved a bit.  Aodh took the prize overall in the later competition and presented his rose to the lovely Nessa.

I decided to enter my inks into the A&S competition, with the Guidonian hand as a sample sheet for colour and light-fastness.     I jointly won!  Surprised isn’t even close to describing it 🙂   Of course now I have about a zillion projects I want to do..

I finally got to see the ever fabulous Lady Cassandra’s lovely new day garb and notice that she had incorporated some keys I gave her into the dress, and they looked great.   She, Gytha and I went to look at the fencing that briefly became dancing that became fencing again, where Gytha was effortlessly witty in her usual way and we pretended it wasn’t wet and a little bit murky out.   It came as absolutely no surprise that Cassandra won prizes for both her day and feast garb.

We danced.  Now I come to think of it our house provided most of the dancers for dancing lessons with Viscountess Susannah.  This was somewhat surprising as I’ve always looked on dancing as one of those things that won’t bite me if I leave it alone.  It was fun though.  We learned a Petite Rien, Jenny Pluck Pears and a brawl/Branle? The Petite Rien was fun, but it was the first one we tried and space for effective “running away” was a little hard to find.  It offers the glorious potential for really hamming it up that would make dancing it with confidence a pleasure.  Jenny Pluck Pears was the dance we ended up dancing for Susannah as her entry into the A&S, and it was really fun.  Again I had my usual problems with the ‘brain emptying as people were looking at me’ thing, but it was very hard not to get caught up in it, especially with Nessa and Aodh being brilliant and funny, and Gytha steering me right.  Also, medieval dancing is serious exercise.. who knew!?

Feast was *amazing* In the first remove I particularly loved the Congordes (butternut squash Terrine) and the sauce – particularly the green fish sauce- that went with the Paste de Lorais (meatballs some made from chicken, some from fish).   The roast pork with onion and verjuice in the second remove was perfect.  In the third remove there was an apple pie with a small amount of onion, which worked very nicely and Tartes Dauphins en Fleurs and Darioles de cresme (Almond Cream pudding) were to die for.  And Cassandra’s ginger beer, which finally made me understand why the Famous Five always wanted “lashings and lashings” of the stuff.    I really cannot stress enough how fantastic the feast was.   Nessa was wonderful in her bardic performance, Þóra’s translation of a verse from the poetic Edda was even lovelier heard aloud than read.   Afterwards there  was scrubbing and washing up for a while and then there was wine and song and good friends in the candlelight.

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