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27 July 2016 @ 03:56 pm
E. and I did a short acroyoga performance at the fireshow at our Medeltidsdagarna på Hägnan event this weekend. It turns out that there is a film of our performance, so if you want to see what it is that I have been doing for my latest hobby, go check it out. Acroyoga is so much fun!

There is also a film of the final performance of the night--a fire breathing duel between the professional jester/fire breather in the audience against all four of the fire breathers in our group, plus one other random fire breather from the audience. The goal was for the five boys to keep a breathed flame going for longer than the professional could keep his going. The professional told them to cheat and use as many torches as needed to accomplish this, so that they wouldn't have to keep passing the flame from one mouth to the next.

There are films of the other acts, too, if anyone wants to see them let me know I can add links--mostly fire staff, poi, and fire fan numbers.
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25 July 2016 @ 11:03 pm
After all the rain at Cudgel War I was a bit concerned about the weather we would have for our Medeltidsdagarna på Hägnan, which started two days after Cudgel ended. However, it turned out to be fine--not one drop of rain all event. It was warmer than many of us would have liked, but their Majesties, who had camped in the lowest, swampiest part of Cudgel, were delighted to have a dry event.

I really enjoyed all of the event, especially the singing, dancing, flirting, hot tub, sewing time, awards for deserving people, and doing an acroyoga performance as part of the fire show. (See my new fb cover photo.)

I opted to take today off from work as recovery time, so I will need to work some extra hours this week to compensate. This morning lord_kjar drove down south to visit C. and bring some of her stuff back north, since her job finishes next month, and she wants to have little enough with her when it does that she can bring the rest home on the train.

He gets home next week, and a couple of days later I will head south to Visby for Medieval Week. It isn't looking good for much earth cellar progress this summer, though we should manage to squeeze in some.
10 July 2016 @ 10:24 am
The SCA camping event Cudgel War, held each year in southern Finland, has a reputation for being as much of a vacation as an event. Now that I have been here, I can see why.

The site is a truly beautiful Scout camp in the forest on the shores of a picture-perfect lake. The woods are full of ripe blueberries, which is quite a surprise for me, since at home they are never ripe before August.

I left home early Friday morning, did the two hour drive to the airport at Kemi, where the terminal is a tiny building surrounded by green grass and trees, with a small parking lot in front of it. This lot is both long and short term parking--simply tell the computer how long you are staying when you pay and put your ticket on the dashboard.

I had budgeted extra time in case of road construction or other delays, so I had 1.5 hours to wait for my flight, which meant 30 minutes hanging out with a tour group from the Netherlands who had just seen much of Lapland while we waited for someone to open baggage che k in.

When I landed in Helsinki I had just time to get my luggage, some euros, and eat some of the food I brought with me before the wonderful Kaarina, who had already been to site and set up the tents, arrived with her two youngest daughters to pick me up. She had hoped to arrive sooner, but the traffic near the airport was so jammed up there was a stretch where the limit is 120 km/h, but they could only do 20. I feel bad for subjecting her to that, but from my perspective the timing was perfect.

We stopped at a grocery store on the way to site, arriving at camp just before 19:00. I had time to get my borrowed camp cot and air mattress set up in the cute little pavilion she had borrowed from a friend for me, and had just started to get changed into costume, when she said that she and the girls were going swimming.

So, of course, I joined them. The lake is kinda cold, but no where near as cold as the lakes and rivers up north where I live, and the sauna was hot, so I spent about 40 minutes alternating between the lake and the sauna and back again. Up. Vacation.

Followed that up with some pleasant conversation and then yoga before going to bed before midnight. I slept poorly till 05:00, when I went to the toilet and considered just getting up, but I decided to lay down for another hour, and the next thing I knew it was 10:00.

So I got up and took my sheepskin to the sauna building, where I did my situps and the pushups and squats from the phone app workout that I have been not using in recent weeks since I got too busy to do both that and the workout from my personal trainer. But he failed to send me the summer workout he devised for me before he left for his vacation, so I am resuming the phone app one in the meantime.

After exercising I hopped back into the lake followed by sauna, and a second quick swim before getting dressed.

The first Saturday of Cudgel has no classes on the schedule, and I enjoyed a relaxing day visiting with old friends and new, working on sewing projects, cooking some food, listening to music and handling out flyers for Norrskensfest.

Kaarina showed me the Sistina she had written on the Mary Rose, and wow, is she good with words. She chose to write it in English, in part because Finnish (her native language) is one where grammar is indicated by changing the ending of the word, which doesn't lend itself well to an art form where one needs to use the same word/same *sound* of the word so many different times in different places in each paragraph.

Her poem read at the first glance as a well done story/ballad of king and his ship. Then I remembered that she had mentioned a sistina, and I looked again and realised that yes, the ending words did repeat in different positions each verse, yet the story flows naturally, as though there were no restrictions in meter or word use.

Later that evening she sang for us a song she had written about a raven on a garden wall and the terrible news it brought, which had many of us crying. If she is this good in English, how much better must she be in Finnish? She also writes in Swedish, German, and French. I am in awe of this women's tallents. Apperley her daughters also write songs for fun.

I went to bed well after midnight--I considered going to bed sooner, but the Styringheim/Bageholm camp is right next to mine, so when I finished yoga at 00:34 and wandered down the hill to the pavilion I noticed that they were singing, and it was necessary to go join them.

I woke up a bit after 09:00 and decided to type the above before more days slipped by. Next I will take my phone off of flight mode for the first time since arriving and see if we have a signal with which to post it and check to see if there are any urgent messages. Then I will probably work out, swim/sauna and relax with my sewing till the dance workshop at 14:00.
08 July 2016 @ 01:06 am
It is 01:00 in the morning, my suitcase is packed. Registration for our Medieval Days event has closed and I have sent out the event info sheet to all 103 unique email addresses 126 people registered, but families are often registered as a group with only one address).

In 8 hours I need to start the two hour flight to the Kemi airport, just over the border into Finland. From there I fly south to Helsinki, Where Kaarina, the delightful bard I hung out with at the Known World Dance Symposium, will pick me up and take me to the event.

Then, for just over a week I will enjoy being at a large Drachenwald event with no responsibilities whatsoever. Ok, there will be a Laurel meeting to attend, and a LPT to see, and there are, of course, interesting classes on the schedule, but I am not running anything.

Then I come home, where I will have two full days before our event starts, where, as one of the people running the event, I will have plenty of responsibilities.

I am really looking forward to both. So perhaps I should put down my phone and get some sleep.

Will post if opportunity presents, but it is more likely that you will have to wait till I am back to hrar from me.
05 July 2016 @ 12:38 am
Our Medieval Days event is fast approaching, faster for me than for the other organizers, since I fly to Finland on Friday to attend Cudgel Wars. Since I am the one who has been processing registrations, this means that the deadline for registering is noon on Thursday. Before I fly I need to send out the information email to everyone who is participating, so I spent this evening editing last year's version to have this year's information, and then did an English version, too, since some of our merchants are coming from eastern Europe, and the feast cook is from Finland.

Then I finally solved a problem that has been bothering me. The google calendar for the event hasn't been showing up on my phone, even though it shows on my computer screen. I have tried, and tried, in both the the calendar app I normally use, and in the default google calendar app, but although under "calendars" in both programs this one showed as "visible" I still couldn't actually see any appointments. It turns out that it isn't enough to have it "visible", one must also go into the default google calendar app, click on the button on the upper left corner, scroll to the very bottom of the menu that opens (which shows all of the calendars one can see, and what colour they will be displayed) and click "settings". This will open a new, differently formatted list of all of the calendars you have access to. If the calendar you want isn't listed under the email address you use for calendar stuff, click the "show more" button under that address, which will expand the list to really show all of them. Then hold the name of the calendar that hasn't been showing up, and when the new menu opens activate "sync". One can also change the colour for that calendar in that menu.

This was a very important thing to solve, since I will be consulting my phone calendar at the event when I need to know what time things are meant to be happening...
01 July 2016 @ 11:30 pm
We are just driving home from the annual summer night folk music concert held in the big church in Skellefteå. Once again lord_kjar joined the others in Luleå Nyckelharpa to perform there, so we drove down for it after he got home from work this evening. This year they were the first band to perform.

We made it down just after 19:00, so we spent the better part of an hour at the motor home of B. & S. While they practiced and I worked on my jester costume. I love sewing to their music!

Sadly, just as it was time to walk over to the concert, as I started to attach the underarm gore to sleeve #2, I realised that I had done the first one wrong and will have to redo it. I didn't feel for taking that seam back out yet, so instead I started sewing the lacing holes onto the under tunic during the concert, which was long enough to complete the first six holes.

The concert always ends with all the bands gathering together at the stage end of the church and playing together a verse, then marching to their music down the isle and out the door, where they keep playing for a number of more tunes as the audience comes out to listen.

One of the nice things about summer is that I could stand outside sewing as I listened to their music, at 22:30, on a cloudy evening, and had zero problems seeing the stitches.
29 June 2016 @ 12:40 am
I took a couple of vacation days around the weekend, and Friday was a holiday, giving me five days off for the price of two. And I loved every minute of it.

Thursday I painted more of the banners advertising our Medieval Days event. I did some on my own, and then was joined in the afternoon by M. and C., who are part of Phire. She did the last of the sewing rope channels on the ones that hadn't gotten finished at the Frostheim meeting while he and I painted, then she joied us in the painting. We reached the end of that banner about the time that lord_kjar finished making a yummy soup of reindeer, frozen mixed veg, and black currants, so we fed them dinner before they went home and we headed to the park where people were putting leaves onto the midsummer cross for one extra rehearsal before Friday's folk dance performance.

Friday was a fairly typical midsummer: up early, at the Gillestugan by 9:30, dance rehearsal at 10:00, traditional Swedish midsummer lunch at 11:15, parade to Hägnan at 12:45, raise the cross and do all the traditional dances aroun it at 13:00, followed by our dance performance on the stage.

For this one lord_kjar was recovered enough from his cold that he not only danced, he even flipped me over his shoulder in the first polska. This made me very happy.however, in the process of flipping me my extra braids must have gotten caught on his wool shirt or something, as they came off.

Oddly enough, they managed to come out from under my headscarf without my losing the scarf, and without losing the pin which had held to my head the band of fabric to which the hair is sewn.

After that performsnce I handed out a few Medieval Days flyers on our walk back to the car to drive to the park in town for te second cross raising and dancing.

Some of my friends from Phire were at that park for a picnic, and a bunch of them joined us for the final dance, which is one of those long dances with everyone holding hands in a line while the line coils, uncoils, breaks apart and reconfigures.

By then I was feeling rather tired, so after the sound system etc was packed up lord_kjar and I went home, where I enjoyed some popcorn and a book, followed by a nap, work on the Medieval days event, yoga, and a reasonably early night to bed. I found out later that the Phire people wound up staying at the park till after midnight, even though there was an evening rain shower (which may have felt good after the heat of the day).

Saturday I did my workout in the morning, then lord_kjar and I did some worko the earth cellar. Only one batch of concrete, but it was our first this year, and it felt good to get to it. The rest of the day was spent doing indoor projects, other than hanging one of the banners alongthe road near the university.

Sunday we also did earth cellar stuff in the morning--found the rocks that will make the last layer of wall in the downhill back corner. Later in the day he worked on the extender for the kitchen cabinet that will let the microwave sit under the glass cabinet and on top of the lower half, while I did the alterations to my 12th Century underdress, whose upper arms have gotten too tight from all my working out this year. I had just exactly enough of that linen left to replace the square under arm gores with ones that go from armpit to elbow.

Monday I worked a few hours on a grant proposal, despite the fact that ir wasa vacation day.

Today I had a meeting with the client from work to show her te results of the laser ablation ICP-MS work we did for her. After that I got a massage, hungup three more banners, made nettle pasta with garden spinach and chard, and did a bit of Medieval Days event work before yoga.
26 June 2016 @ 07:37 am
I dreamed last night that I woke up with hair that was long enough to reach my hips again. This made me so happy that, in the dream I carefully didn't think about the fact that it was likely a dream to have recovered so quickly from the breaking that has shrunk it to only shoulder height. Instead I kept playing with it and looking in the mirror and enjoying it while it lasted. It was all just real enough as to be disappointing to look in the mirror this morning and see that it is still only shoulder lenght. How I wish I knew what would make it start growing again. While the overnight replacement of the dream was grand, I would settle for more lenght next year than Ihave this.
23 June 2016 @ 10:17 pm
I actually finished this project in April, but it took till now to get the photos off my camera. The case itself was 3-D printed by lord_kjar, and we both worked on the design till it was as small as it could be and still hold all four pairs at once (driving glasses, sun glasses, computer glasses, and sewing/lecture room glasses). I sewed the cloth cover, My apprentice did the tablet woven carrying strap, and the clasp is an old broken hard drive magnet.
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I really, really, love this case. It is strong enough to stand on, so I needn't fear damaging the glasses. It is light enough that I leave it hanging on my shoulder most of the day like a baldric, so they are in easy reach to change back and forth to the pair I need just now. It is bothersome to need so many pairs, but, since I do, I am glad we were able to make it easy to have them with me.