This year’s excellent Flaming Arrow VII was held in Aspire, Clara in the Shire of Eplaheimr, our usual haunt for events. It was wonderful on so many levels. While the site is not as spectacular as the previous year’s, I am immensely fond of it, not least because it makes my participation in the SCA so much easier. There is a wooded walkway along the river where the field archery targets were set up, beautifully bejewelled with the last of the primrose and violet cascades and the first of the bluebells. I think I may have mentioned how much I love field archery – the shots across rivers or into copses give their own individual rewards and there was many a squee as I managed to hit targets and find ranges with my lovely, lovely bow (yes I still hug it). Enthusiasm counts, right? It’s taking a while to get to know this bow, but I am finding it rewarding, and by the time I got to the William Tell shoot I was starting to get some decent near misses on the actual apple, not just the target. I need to grab someone who knows things about bows to help me work out the nocking point. Oh, I also got a combined protection armguard from www.flybowshop.com after the experience at last household day of tearing skin off the top of my hand with the fletchings on my arrows. I love it. Art got to try out his new Hungarian Horsebow, picked up in Budapest.. that’s a story for another day. He’s very proud of it, but he still has a low tolerance for hanging about between shots, despite getting some good shots in. Tuathal, on the other hand, is totally hooked. He won the Popinjay shoot after lunch and is still grinning about it days later.
The company was, as always, wonderful and the food delicious (lunch was a very delicious roast pork shoulders with mustard, bread and honey butter with a hint of rosemary and feast had a lovely Catalan Mirause with rice (I loved the ginger after kick) , chicken livers, melon pottage, roast with gold of pleasure sauce and/or verte sauce and brocholli and fresh berries and figs. I really like fresh figs, I must experiment with them some more soon. )
Lough Devnaree is booming, and it certainly showed at this event, there were people from far and wide – lovely new people to meet from other Shires, a healthy stock of kids and teens, enthusiastic recent recruits and old hands. We were also fortunate to count their Highnesses Prince Nasr and Princess Eleanor in our party for the weekend, who, with very wonderfully warm words, conferred the Lady Cassandra della Corona and Lord Áedán Páirce na Fia to the Oder of the Ffraid, required the Order of the Silver Martlet to admit Lady Agnes la Verte as a member of their company, awarded Donagh of Eplaheimr a Dragon’s Jewel, very touchingly admitted Mistress Melisende Fitzwalter and Barún Pól to the Order of Robin and, in a stunning move, gave me an Award of Arms. I’ve been rather dumbstruck ever since, but it is a marvellous thing and oh, such lovely things were said in the weird blur that comes with the realisation that your face could probably power the Electric grid for the country overnight. And look at my absolutely beautiful scroll! I adore it, the calligraphy and illumination were done by Lady Bridget Greywolf with gold leaf, egg tempura and oakgall ink.
I have been bringing it from room to room with me just to admire it and bask a bit in all the lovely things that were said, and added to by friends afterwards. I have never been in an organisation that has taken such care to recognise people who contribute and work within it. It is a very humbling thing to know that people took the time to tell others of work I had done, projects I worked on and even about this blog, and that the very warm Prince Nasr and Princess Eleanor prepared such very, very lovely things to say to me (and ignored my flustering and the fact that all idea of what I was doing vanished when I stood up from my seat). It would be an easy thing for the nice and good things we say about people who contribute to this wonderful thing we have going on to go completely unknown to those people. It happens all the time in other groups or organisations. It is a VERY good thing that time and effort goes into telling people the nice things aloud, that my friends have been told in no uncertain terms just how awesome they are. And, you know, I can’t help the floating around in a warm glow either.