Archery is by far my favourite of the martial skills, one I hope to sort equipment out to spend far more of my time trying to get anyway half decent at it. Flaming Arrow is an all archery weekend organised by Glen Rathlin, and this year was my first time to attend. It’s a small but fantastic event, held in Co. Fermanagh at a particularly gorgeous site, marshalled by Baron Pól and Baroness Caitriona in the main. To say I loved it is to understate the case terribly.
Prince Vitus Polonius and Princess Isabel Peregrinus were in attendance for the weekend, and it was lovely to get to know them a little better. The Princess was the same archery party as Art and I, and was lovely company. She even devised her own shot (henceforth known as The Princess shot) in field archery. Prince Vitus defended the gathering from Odo de Feu and one of the more memorable bits of the weekend was him strolling about playing (an instrument like a lute, but I would need to check that out to be sure.) I also got to spend time with Alays de Lunel and Aidan Barron, both did rather well at the archery. Alays, Marleen and I had a very pleasant stroll on Saturday evening to the Cascade waterfall, a very peaceful precursor to feast, with lots of humour, really great company, and lovely port, including a white port which Aylwin de Renham was kind enough to share with me. I was sorry not to hear Alays sing, but there was some excellent recorder playing, and the assembled company were introduced to the Onion, or Eunuch, flute – a more more attractive, medieval precursor to the kazoo. (I’d quite like to try and find some design details for one, my dad and I have been plotting.. )
I did better than I expected at field archery, and enjoyed it immensely, as did Tuathal. I loved trying to figure out the shots, trying to hit targets down slopes, behind trees and at funny angles. I didn’t fare so well at plain target shooting, my ability to hit a barn door with a banjo would definitely come into question, certainly over longer distances. I was getting a bit better by the time we came to the William Tell and Poppinjay shoots, but only a little. Art got a really good shot in on the William Tell shoot, surprising himself a little I think and Tuathal had gotten into the swing of it all towards the end. Aodh has very kindly loaned him a bow and I suspect once the arrows arrive he’ll be doing a lot of longer range shots in preparation for the next archery event.
Best bit? As we were all on the range on Saturday afternoon the Prince and Princess arrived to hold their first court that weekend in the sun on a gorgeous afternoon, to gift the lovely Lady Cassandra her Award of Arms (- she’s right and properly the Lady Cassandra now) It was lovely, and caused one of those happy upsurges of pride that had me beaming all afternoon. It caught her wonderfully by surprise. It is well deserved recognition for all she does in the SCA, in Insulae Draconis, in Dun In Mara, not to mention for us household folk starting out etc. The start of many awards, I think 🙂
(Photo by Nessa, posted with kind permission)