When last we left our intrepid adventurer... Isn't that the way installments of adventures are supposed to begin? Or am I dating myself?
Immediately after the class with Joyce, the husband came down with the dreaded stomach flu. Fortunately for him it was a light case. Mine, subsequently was not. So April 23rd, o'dark - 30 found me boarding a plan for Denver and then Des Moines - barely recovered from the worst of it. Of course, the Des Moines plane was a mile away from where the prior flight came in, but fortunately on the same concourse. The flights were fortunately very uneventful and my baggage followed me.
The hotel (Hotel Pattee) had someone out to meet me and we drove to the hotel - some 50 minutes away. The landscape is very flat with mountains in the distance. Lots of lush old trees covered with blooms on the way. The hotel definately goes out of its way to make sure your experience is favorable. There is nothing the staff won't do to make it a wonderful visit.
The reason I was more than glad that the baggage made it through is that I had to pack my needlework supplies kit, my smaller slate frame (which is the one I choose to use), my frame holder (a failure with the slate frame - note to self to use the Elan for needlepoint/canvaswork only), in addition to my clothes. Sunday night we sat around framing up our slate frames for the subsequent 5 day goldwork class. While I bought one of the 18" slate frames from the RSN (Royal School of Needlwork), it is large (31" sides) and needs either a trestle or other major holder.
The next 5 days were wonderful, even if long, days of stitching, learning, and making new friends. We stitched in class from 8:30 - 12ish and 1-4. Then some of us stitched for a couple more hours before going to dinner and 2-4 hours after dinner. Breakfast was included with the hotel. Lunch, elevenzes, and tea (complete with wonderful dessert) were included with the class. Dinner was on your own, if you were hungry. Only 2 of us had not been to the program before. We were fortunate in our teacher - Amanda (Mandy) Berry from the RSN. She had designed the piece - a very sculpted butterfly, and after her 4 year apprenticeship with the RSN has been a tutor and embroiderer there for 10 years. Learned lots - challenged my abilities - grew as a stitcher. I had planned to do the project for my column in the evenings, but little had I planned on the amount of stitching necessary on the class project to get the most from the teacher.
Flew back on April 29th early - left the hotel at 4:30 am. Worked the early part of the week, wrote my column, and then prepared for Beltane. Work in San Francisco is much more difficult and time consuming a commute with Devils Slide out (and no anticipated date for reopening). Opted to write an optional column on the RSN in Perry experience - with pics. The column on couched gold with the project will come next.
Since the weather had been nice, we opted to camp for Beltane. Cancelled the hotel on Wednesday and the flurry of preparation began for our 6:30 am leave on Friday. Made lamb handpies, chicken handpies, a lamb tagine for dinners, eggplant "caviar", an apple pie, and banana bread. Yes we eat well. It was just as well that I over cooked, since we ended up having friends in for dinner, breakfast and lunch (Their Highnesses of Oertha). I tend to cook fairly low fat and tasty so...
Arrived Friday am and camped 2 rows behind The Gypsy Wagon of Duchess Siobhan of Cloverdale. As it turned out the people who were supposed to camp just behind never showed. Thus we had a wonderful view of and access to the Eric, yet were back out of the way. The site is a sheep ranch outside of Cloverdale (yes it is the area where Siobhan grew up), with green hills, a few big trees with moss and mistletoe, and of course sheep. The emu were a bit of surprise. It is close to the coast, so we had fog drifting through the trees. Quite lovely!
On Friday afternoon was the Rubber Duckie races. It was a fund raiser for Toys for Tots. I donated my Queen Elizabeth I rubber duckie for auction to raise funds. It went for $50! Saturday was last court and coronation. Between the knighting of Duchess Bryne and the coronation of Duke Radnor and Duchess Isabeau (17 years since their last reign), there was not a dry eye in the place. Don't know what the final head count for the event was - probably around 1000. Sunday was relaxed and of course the Maypole. Since I'm now quite attached, I just watched.
It was our organization's 40th anniversary. To celebrate, Duke Henrik showed home films - 16mm (formerly 8 mm) of the first tournament (May 1966), the wedding of Duke Ziegfried, and a couple of the subsequent tournaments including where Henrik first won (March 1967). It was wonderful. I hadn't seen the films in many many years. While I'm not amoung the first in this organization, my first event was 1970 and in 1972-73, Henrik and I were an item. Lots has happened since! Needless to say, the SCA is not the same.
Came back to more work work. Tuesday was my day to stitch on the EGA National Tapestry project. Our region currently has the western panel (1 of 5). It was nice to get to know our hostess and Jeanette who will be our incoming Regional Director.
The rest of the week was catch up and prep for Collegium. Saturday was up and out at 6:30 am (I'm detecting a trend here) to go to Sacramento for the day. The site was lovely. A smallish school with lots of atmosphere. I coordinated the A&S display, taught the What to Bring to a Potluck class, and generally relaxed and chatted with people. Lunch, with period foods (yummy bratwurst with honey, lentil salad, egg) had been arranged. We had a "library" where some of us had "loaned" books for the day. Of course, for me it merely created a shopping list.
Back to a more normal pace now for a couple weeks.