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13 July 2014 @ 11:36 pm
I have a minion!  
This week I have been at the Medeltidsdagar held at Hängnan, the open-air museum located a 7 minute drive from my house. This is a fun event that is an interesting mix between an SCA event and a public demo, and it is put on by both the SCA and LARP groups in the region, who join forces to provide lots of entertainment for the visiting public during the days, followed by our own stuff in the evenings. (Note that the membership lists for the SCA and the LARP groups up here have a very large overlap, so it can be hard to tell that there really are multiple groups involved in this event.)

We had people come from all over. northernotter and her son drove down from Lofoten (10ish hours, I think), some others were up from southern Sweden (though I think that most of them have local family, so came to the event in the middle of their summer visit home), and quite a number drove up from Sunsvall (6 hours south), Umeå (three hours south), and Sellefteå (two hours south). We had 87 people signed up to help out with the event, and I think that most of us made it there, and at least a couple of people who didn't sign up in advance also showed up and pitched in, so it was a good group.

The site opened for set up on Tuesday at 11:00. Since we had been busy with other projects in the week leading up for it we didn't really start any packing or organizing before Monday, and then we didn't do much, since my friend K, who stayed with us a couple of days before the event, did me a fabulous drawing of a knot-work cat inspired by the Mammen axe, so it was necessary to get that into the computer so that we could print it out large enough to look good on the sexy viking cloak I started ages ago, and which has been on hold waiting for a suitable design to applique onto it. Then it was necessary to cut out the lovely cream/white wool to that shape and pin it to the cloak.

I am certain you all understand why one would suddenly pick up a long paused project and resume work on it when one ought to be packing for an event...

Therefore we got up early on Tuesday and loaded the pavilion and rope bed into the car, then started doing other packing and organizing, till 11:00, when we took a break to drive the 7 minutes to site, choose a good spot for the pavilion, set it up, and assemble the rope bed frame, before driving home, where I started work making my version of hais (my version isn't dusted with sugar, has more types of dried fruit and more types of nuts, a slightly higher nut to fruit ratio, and a much lower proportion of bread crumbs and butter) and K and lord_kjar started making sushi rolls so that we would have something to eat on site for dinner that night.

Their task took less time than mine, so when they were done they took the next two loads of stuff to site, while I kept working in the kitchen, then I had time to clean the kitchen, pack up my last few things, and do some much-needed vacuuming before we took the last load (for that day) over. The last load was mostly musical instruments--that new moraharpa we imported from Australia and its case is huge, and the nyckleharpa and dulcimer also take their share of space.

It sounds like we had lots of stuff, since it took four trips to get it all there, but really, my friends in the West take more stuff to events every weekend. All we took was pavilion, sunshade, rugs, bed and bedding, garb, toiletries, food, feast gear, musical instruments, sewing projects, some archery stuff, and the large box of Shire pottery (serving dishes and jugs etc.). But the car is small (he bought it before I and my pavilion moved in--if he were shopping today he would be looking for different features).

This time of the year, this far north, the sun is still up all day and nearly all night (and it does not get dark, nor even twilight during the time the sun ducks behind the northern horizon), yet there is still a huge difference between the various times of the day. During the day there are only a few scattered mosquitoes, and they don't really bother the humans much. However, starting in early evening the mosquito density increases, and by night they are everywhere, and seeking out any hint of exposed flesh they can find.

As a result each night the people on site tended to retreat into "långlogen" (one of the buildings on site that we have use of). This is a long, narrow timber building with a low ceiling and a kitchen on one end (where breakfasts and lunches were prepared for us each day). Långlogen's main room has several tables with benches, so we tended to pull them together and then squeeze people onto the benches so that everyone is as close together as we could manage, so that everyone present was part of the group.

Most evenings the group would break into song--with a few of the girls who know all of the words leading, and everyone else singing along, at least with the choruses, while those who could joined the verses too. My life-long ability to sing along to a song I have never heard before by reading the lips comes in handy, but I have noticed that the part of the brain that can pull off this trick is not the part that understands language, because I have no idea what the topic of many of those songs are, let along the details.

The first actual day of the event was Wednesday, which was also the hottest day so far this year (and hopefully no other day will even try to beat it, since I think we made it into the 30's C (which is way too hot (30 C = 86 F))). I was not happy with the heat--I didn't move to northern Sweden because I like warm weather. I was, however, very happy with my pavilion, since I made it while living in California, so it has two doors and two windows, which meant that it had good air circulation and was much cooler inside than outside, since it provided shade.

Luckily for me, I was in charge of the Arts and Science contest, which was on display in a small round (octagonal?) barn next to the field where nearly all of the outdoor activities took place. This barn also has two doors and a window, and a very high roof, which meant that while it was still hot inside, it was many degrees cooler than being out in the sun. Therefore I took my duties to watch the display and interact with the visitors very seriously--only leaving the barn during the day to run to the toilet or go grab a plate of food at lunch and hurry back.

I wound up wearing my oldest remaining garb on Wednesday, since it is the lightest weight and loosest I own, even though it is getting rather ragged and tattered these days. But it was way to hot to consider wearing anything I have made since moving to Sweden (since that is pretty much all wool). Even Wednesday night was hot, which was bothersome, since it was necessary to keep covered to keep the misquotes off. I would have been happy to sleep under just a sheet, if not for those darned insects, but instead I stayed under the feather quilt, safe from mosquitoes, and woke up sweaty.

Luckily for me, while the rest of the week was still hot, it was not as hot as Wednesday, so I was able to wear my nicer (and not in need of mending) clothes on the other days. It was, however, sunny enough and hot enough all week to get pretty much everyone (both visitors and us SCA folk) commenting on it (and I continued to not leave my barn during the heat of the day if I didn't need to--I am glad I hadn't volunteered to be one of the fighters!).

Wednesday night was a song workshop to teach everyone songs (and we sang most other nights, too), Thursday night was a dance workshop (which I found out I was running during the morning meeting, but, of course, I was happy to do so--heck, I need the practice teaching dance in Swedish anyway) followed by conversation and song, Friday was a feast (including a whole spit-roasted pig) followed by a fire show and a play (and then more singing in långlogen, and Saturday was another feast (this one with some provided side dishes, and grills provided for people to grill their own food), followed by hanging out with friends. That was when I got my minion.

While we were sitting at the feasting table Saturday night the conversation somehow turned a direction that caused me to say "I want a minion!", whereupon the 19 year old across the table said something to the effect of "I could do that", and I happily sent him to fetch and carry stuff the rest of the event. Of course, being me, I am not just taking advantage of his youth, energy, and enthusiasm to accomplish stuff, but I am also taking care of him. He had had a minor eye injury some time back that has resulted in his eye getting tired and sore towards the end of the day, so that he has to close his eye (which gives him a somewhat silly resemblance to Odin). This caused me to remember making eye patches for the pirate-themed birthday we attended the first year I was in Sweden, and to further remember that I had tucked mine into my SCA jewelry box.

Since it was right about the time of transition between too hot out to wear wool, to cooler temps and the advent of the evening mosquitoes I went back to the tent to add some more clothes and while there checked the box. Sure enough, I still had the eye patch, so I brought it back to the feast and gave it to my minion. However, making it fit him involved needing to send him back to my tent to get the sewing bag, so that I could use a needle to thread a new, longer, piece of yarn through the wool patch (my head is much smaller than his), and then sending him back to the tent afterwards to put the bag away. He hadn't thought of using an eye patch before, but was pleased to report that his eye felt better fairly quickly after using it, since the eye could truly relax.

Since he is a good minion, and eager to be useful I decided that I need to be a good master and provide him useful SCA stuff too. Luckily he is short and slender, so I was able to provide the next minion perk straight away after the event. I hadn't brought one of my older tunics (seen in this photo) to the event, since I don't wear it often anymore, since it is so loose on me. It is made of a lovely linen twill, and the embroidery (which doesn't really show in that photo) on the neckline is a knot-work Viking style dragon in green split stitch.

I thought it would probably fit my minion, so I asked his driver if he would be willing to do the short detour to my house to see if it would fit. Since they had a three hour drive to get home the driver was perfectly willing to do a 7 minute detour, and they followed us home after the event, where I cooked up a quick pot of soup for everyone (and the driver lay down in the guest bed for a nap while it was cooking). It turns out the tunic fits my minion as though it had been made for him, and I am pleased to give it to him. However, I did attach a catch--if he ever cuts his hair off, he has to give back the tunic.

This is because over the course of the weekend the topic of him contemplating cutting off his hair had come up on a number of occasions, and every time it did everyone present said "No!!" (especially me). The boy has incredibly thick curly beautiful long brown hair that is even thicker and nicer than clovis_t's hair was when I first met him. (I compared--I divided the minion's hair in half, and half again, and it wasn't till it was in sixths that all of my hair combines to a thicker rope than just one section of his.) He is, of course, welcome to do what he wants, but there will be more consequences than just getting short hair (which, in my world, is quite a bit of punishment already) if he does cut it.
 
 
 
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Elise Kingston: Cenedleliskimo on July 15th, 2014 02:23 am (UTC)
This post actually make me laugh out loud and I had to read the line about "I am certain you all understand why one would suddenly pick up a long paused project and resume work on it when one ought to be packing for an event..." to theagentx
('cause, you know, I've never done that ...)
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