Gyllengran XXX

We arrived on site a bit after 22:00 on Friday. The hall is a "Folketshus" in a small town about 100 km inland from Sundsvall. The main room was set up with tables, and crash space was available on stage and on the balcony.

I took a spot on the balcony, set up my bed, put on a tunic, belt and hood (sports bra straps don't show when wearing a hood) and went downstairs to be socialable. Some old friends I hadn't seen in one to three years, some folk I see often, and some interesting people I hadn't met yet.

I was feeling a bit tired, so borrowed a sheepskin in the myshornet to do yoga around 23:40. One of the children who was still up was doing handstands, so, of course, I couldn't resist doing some too, and also let him fly on my feet and stand on my hands in the sugar cube acroyoga pose. Then I had a lovely visit with his parents, who were at their first SCA event. I hope they attend many more.

I went to bed about 01:00, and soon thereafter I heard singing start up downstairs. If they had only started before I went to bed I would have happily joined them, but I didn't have the energy needed to get back up.

The next day I worked some on my sewing project, visite with people, and competed in the games. I, and the other American on site, a Cadian who lives in Germany these days, joined the Gyllengran team. It was a pentathlon. The first contest involved one person from a team sitting on a sled holding a lance while people from another team dragged the sled over the grass. The goal was to scoop up three rings on the point of the lance. We had a really tall and rather big man on our team, so he sat on the sled, which meant that the other team couldn't run too fast for him to get all three rings. When we went to drag someone from another team we ran fast enough that they fell out of the sled.

Another contest was to stand five team members on a (slightly wobbly) board on the grass in order of precedence, then rearrange them into alphabetical order and then rearrange them in order of how long they had beenin the SCA, and finally back to OP order, all without anyone touching the ground in the process. This meant that I never moved from my end of the board, since Talventytär was far enough back in the alphabet as to declare my end bottom for that list and top for the others (as a Viscountess from 1986 I was highest rank on site, and as I started playing in 1982 I was also longest in game. Now, the same game in the Mists I could have been counted a newby...)

Another game was a three legged fetching race. Tie the legs together on two people, they run across the field, pick up another and carry them back. I got to be the o e carried. :-) but we weren't as fast as the guy with a little girl tied to his leg--he picked her up (still tied ro his leg) and ran normally, and had no problem also carrying back her brother.

But the most fun round was "write a song in praise of Gyllengran and perform it at feast. We wrote, to the tune of Gaudete:


Gyllengran, Gyllengran
We drink a lot here.
Yes! We do, we drink an awful lot here!

Carrier pigeons we eat here,
for breakfast, lunch, and dinner,
wash it down with mead and beer
no one is getting thinner.

When you're neither north nor south
there is no one who wants you
that is why this middle Shire
so gladly shares their home brew.

We have Knights and Masters here,
skilled in arts of fighting.
Welcome here to try us out,
we're running fast as lighting.


One of the other groups performed a filk to a modern song, with two singing and the rest of the group doing back-up singing. The other group let a single member perform a story. It was well done, and even won the round, but I don't have the patience for listening to stories and wish they'd have done a song instead.

I was feeling tired already by 20:00 and did my yoga then before the feast ended. After the feast some of us started singing but then a brewers guild meeting was called and half of the singers went to that (they really do drink a lot there) the meeting went on for a long time, presumably because many had brought stuff they made to taste.

While we waited three of us swapped songs. Eventually the others returned and we continued to sing till sometime around 00:30 or so, as I went to bed at 01:00, when I realized we wouldn't be singing more. (We did a little dancing before the feast, too.)

Today I helped clean the hall and drove the hour in to Sundavall with some friends. They had bern two in their car on the way to the event, but we were four on the way back, which, with the stuff, meant we were tightly packed.

They took me to the train station and we sat at the restaurant there for an hour or so before they went home. I will board the train as soon as they open the doors (the cleaners are soon done), and should be in Göteborg by midnight.

Tomorrow I can cook some food for our field trip, and Tuesday morning my cousin Carola will pick me up for the adventure.
BSE garnet

The week was even busier than expected

...but not near as productive.

Sunday I went to bed around midnight, but since I hadn't heard from Thorvald all day, I turned internet on on the phone in hopes of seeing him on line. My phone download an email that had come in during yoga. It said only:

"You have your priorities, and I have my priorities. They are not meshing well for either of us right now.

I think you will be relieved to hear that I will not be visiting you this fall."

This was completely out of the blue. In every recent skype call he looked delighted to see me and was cheerful and affectionate,. In every fb message exchanged recently everything seemed happy and good between us, and I thought that we were both looking forward to his visit.

So I frist replied via email to say that I was not relieved, but I was both surprised at the news. But then I was way too adjitated to be able to sleep, so I also sent a fb chat. He agreed to talk there, but he wasn't willing to do a voice call, so we exchanged messages until almost 03:00 in the morning. Apparently he had been feeling like he doesn't mater to me because I have been getting busier with work, research, and normal hobbies resuming now that summer is over. The fact that I am also spending lots of time with Villiam also, for reasons which my polyamorus mindset will never truly understand made Thorvald feel like he (Thorvald) doesn't matter to me. However, he didn't let me know this when it started to bother him, he didn't notice how I would hurry to the computer in the evenings to spend time with him before going to sleep. Instead of giving me a chance to comfort him when he felt down he chose to wait till it hurt enough that it seemed right to hut me too by changing his plans without warning.

Needless to say, staying up that late, combined with unexpected emotional turmoil made Monday work kinda hard. I still made it to my 09:00 meeting, and I tried to be productive after the meeting. But I can't really claim to have accomplished much before I finally gave it up as a lost cause and pedaled home for a nap. I got 1.5 hours more sleep, which mafe it possible to then take mt tricycle back to work just on time for my meeting at 14:30, followed promptly by a practice presentation by the PhD student in the next office, whose defence was scheduled for Friday. That session ladted till pretty much 17:00.

This meant that I had just time to head home with Villiam and make some cookie dough before David picked me up for Nyckelharpa night and Villiam went home. (Without his help I never would have managed to get the dough made and the mess cleaned on time, given how many different nuts, seeds, and dried fruit we used.)

We didn't have room this time to bring the dulcimer, so it was just sewing for me, as I listened to beautiful music. Swedish folk music really is my favourite type of music.

That nighr I managed to get to bed before midnight and sleep till 07:00, which helped, but not enough. While I was in the office from 09:00 till nearly 17:00, I didn't accomplish as much as I would have liked, as emotions were still unsettled and I was feeling resentment towards some of the things I had heard him say.

But Phire practice followed by Choir helped, and after Choir Villiam came over and we baked the travel cookies, which also helped. That night Thorvald was finally willing to do a video call.

He started out looking pretty miserable and unhappy, and wouldn't look at the camera, but gradually he opened up, and by the end of the conversation he could look me in the eyes again, and we both had a much better understanding of basic assumptions that had been made (on bith parts) didn't actually apply.

However, by then it was once again 03:00. That gave me just over 3.5 hours of sleep before I had to go to work on Wednesday.

I didn't have brain enough to accomplish much before my 10:00 meeting with that PhD student to go over his presentation for grammar etc. That turned into a fun two hours wherin I learned a fair bit about powerpoint animations and putting öinks into pdfs and he got some good help making the presentation better and easier for the audience to follow.

Then I tried to work for another couple of hours, then took a ten minute nap on a couch near the room where he would do another practice presentation, waling just on time for the presentation. After that I had planned on working till time for the parkour and aerial silks session at 17:00, but was too tired, so I went home and slept for 40 minutes, then managed to get up and drive in for practice. After practice Villiam came over and helped me bake naan to take with me, then I drove him home (he had caught the cold I and several other Phire folk had last week, and so hadn't the energy to bike), did my yoga, and was in bed by 23:00.

Thursday morning I drove in because David needed to drop the work car off for service, so I picked him up, je dropped me at uni, and used Styx for work.

Then I met my apprentice at the office; her first visit since she moved this summer. She has settled into working, and the job is week on, week off, so she plans to finish her thesis on the off weeks. I hope so, I think she should publish her results.

Despite having managed seven hours of sleep that night it was still necessary to go home and nap for 40 minutes, and even then I didn't have the energy to pack for the trip, so I started a load of laundry (sheets) and spent another 50 reading and listening to an audio book (in Swedish).

By that time David was home from work, so we cuddled up and talked on the couch till it was time for me to put on my Swedish folk dance costume, drop him at the apartment and head to a little dance performance we had been hired to do for a group of German tourists.

Then I finished laundey, caught up my logs, finished packing for the trip, did yoga, remade the bed and was in bed before midnight.

Today (Friday), I had to be at the lab by 08:00 to meet a technician, who managed to fix the ICP-MS autotune so that the instrument actually pases the performance report without further manual tuning! He also taught me a number of other useful things.

He finished up just on time for me to head to the actual thesis defence, which was a much better presentation than it had been on Monday. I didn't stay for the Q&A part of the session due to wanting to type notes from what I had learned in the lab before I forgot. That took till time to head to the train station to head south.

All of which means I didn't manage to send my advisor a draft grant proposal before leaving, so it will need to wait till I get back to a computer in 10 days,

I love events in Aarnimetsä

Though, to be fair, this one was rather special, being advertised as a "music bootcamp". Firday night the first singing workshop started fairly promptly after I was on site, borrowed sheets onto my bed and into costume. The singing continued till just before I went to bed around 01:30 or 02:00. We sang SCA songs, period songs, traditional Finnish call and response songs, and more (those were the themes of some of the workshops that evening).

Saturday morning it was lightly snowing, so after breakfast and before the first workshop of the day I went for a short walk in the forest. I can report that my Thorsbjerg trousers, with their attached sheepskin bottomed feet, do fit fine inside my "näbbskor" (Swedish folk boots with a pointy "beak" like toe), if I take out the thick nålbinded liners I have for them. However, doing so means that the boots aren't so comfortable around the ankles without the padding from the liners. Therefore I did only a short loop walk. I need to decide what to do about that. Perhaps it is time to make new liners for the boots and then cut away the old bottoms of this pair so that I can have the uppers in the boots at the same time as the trouser feet?

Saturday's workshops included many more singing workshops (all of which I attended), some instrument playing workshops (which conflicted with singing, so I didn't get to attend), and some theory classes--mostly in Finnish this time, so I used the time to sew, since I couldn't follow the lecture. However, I should have been sitting over by K. and the one other visitor from Sweden--apparently she kept up a running translation for him.

There was a short Baronial court during dinner, where, much to my surprise, the Baroness conducted the business herself without the help of a herald. I sat next to her at feast, so got to ask her about it. She admits that it is never done that way, but she wanted to try it one time, and a small event with only three pieces of business (tokens of welcome to newcomers, thanks to the autocrats, and one baronial award) seemed like a good opportunity.

It wasn't quite all singing--I got to dance some, too. Some of the Finnish ballads are sung while dancing a basic double bransle, and late in the evening a couple of violin players played some Swedish folk music, so I couldn't resist dancing with a couple of new friends

Loving this linen

One week and a day ago I cut out a new underdress in the lovely white herringbone twill linen that I bought at the recent Viking costume workshop. The more I sew on this the more I am loving this fabric, it is so nice to touch.

So far I have accomplished 12 hours of work on it:

* Cut most of the pieces
* Finnished the neckline
* Attached the sleeves & finished those seams
* assembled the three triangles for one set of skirt gores and finished 1.25 of those seams.

Still to do:

* Finnish the seam in progress
* Assemble and finish the other set of three skirt gores.
* Attach the skirt gores to the body
* Cut and attach the underarm gores
* Decide if I want gores inset in the middle of the skirt, and if so cut and sew them
* sew shut sleeves and side seams.
* Hem dress and sleeves.

some good ideas take longer to think of than others

I bought my hammer dulcimer almost five years ago now, and since then I have had to memorize each new tune I have learned, and learned them slowly, by carefully looking at sheet music, writing down the letters of each note, and then using that list of letters to learn which strings I needed to hit for each song. This works, but takes enough effort that I still only have a list of about a dozen songs I can play.

Monday night, while working on a sewing project at Nyckleharpa night and wishing we could have brought the dulcimer (there were four of us in the small car that night--no room for the dulcimer, too), and that I could play more of the songs they play, it suddenly occurred to me that if I were to put coloured dots on the dulcimer to show which string is which, and overlay coloured dots on the sheet music I might be able to learn to play from sheet music, instead of treating it as a translation language.

Today I finally got a chance to sit down with the computer and try applying my colour code:

B purple
A red
G brown
F orange
E yellow
D green
C blue

Note that for this I am not bothering to distinguish between sharps and flats--my dulcimer isn't chromatic, which means that the next string is the next note in the series. In some parts of the instrument the next string is sharp (or flat, depending on one's point of view), in some parts it isn't.

The colours of all the strings on my instrument are:

and one of the songs I have coloured is:

I tried this song (which I have heard the nyckelharpa players play so often that I can sing along with it) today from the coloured sheet music, and I am delighted to report that it is SO much easier to play it this way. I can look back and forth from the music to the instrument when trying to figure out which strings to hit and my eyes just jump to the correct spot. I could never do that when trying to look at all black sheet music. Note that for the dulcimer image that goes with the sheet music I have made it simpler by colouring only those strings that I will actually use while playing.
fresh baked rolls

Uppsala excursion

I flew south on Friday morning and took the train from the Stockholm-Arlanda airport to Uppsala central station, where I was met by M. and we walked back to the apartment into which M, H, and K moved only one week ago.
After eating a quick lunch (yay, leftovers!) dropping my backpack at the apartment we went back out to the museum at the university that I had visited a couple of years back when in town for a conference. I found it more fun this time as I had a friend to share it with, but, of course, the highlight of this museum, as with last time, is the display of the items from the Vendal age boat grave, including the lovely gold and garnet sword hilt. (The kisses shared in that room were another highlight, but not actually related to the museum.

After the museum we stopped by the store and picked up some real butter and kale and went back to the apartment, where I cooked the kale with sunflower seeds, made dhal of lentils from their pantry and a batch of naan.

By that time K & H were home, so they joined us for dinner, after which we watched an episode of a show in which some people were moving into a farm in the UK to spend a year living ad they did in Eadwardian times. Since I was feeling linda sleepy by then I did my yoga during the last half of the show, and we went to sleep not too long thereafter.

Saturday morning M, K and I played a cooperative card game in which the goal is to make the best fireworks display ever, but one can't see one's own cards, only those of the other players. We take turns either giving the other players hints about the cards they hold, or trying to play an appropriate card based on the hints we receive. This turned out to be both very fun and a little stressful as one wished to give the most useful hints possible, yet it is easy to get confused and forget the facts that one has already learned about one's cards.

After the game M and I went out to Gammal Uppsala, where there is a museum by some old burial mounds and an old stone church. That was a lovely excursion, with a highlight of a nice garnet and gold broach, followed by a Belgian waffle with cream and jam at the restaurant (note to self: next time order it without powered sugar on it (I would have if I had known they would do something so unreasonable to the otherwise yummy food)).

That evening I made more naan to go with the leftover dhal and kale (no surprise that we had eaten all of the nann the day before). After dinner H and K went to the home of one of H's old friends and I did my workout followed by yoga, while M caught up with a computer game. Then it was time to snuggle up to sleep.

This morning M did some laundry while I borrowed M's computer to skype into the Frostheim annual meeting, where I agreed to run Norrskensfesten again (and managed to get the sleeves attached to my new nice herringbone linen underdress). Then a quick lunch and K, M, and I went out for a walk to enjoy the pretty day. We also stopped by the store and I bought them a new Turkish yoghurt to replace the container I had used up making naan and K bought some things to make a lasagna for dinner.

Before dinner we four played another board game I hadn't seen before. This one involved us each getting one of the seven wonders of the Ancient world (I got Stonehenge) and trying to build up the best civilization from cards that are available in a variety of types. I was usually the slowest each round to decide what to do as I had to take time to find out what each card type does. However, despite coming in last place I still really enjoyed the game.

Then we had a bit of time to cuddle up on the couch and watch the first half of a cartoon about the Book of Kells before M walked me back to the train station to head to the airport.

Now the flight has landed so I can turn on internet and post this before heading home.

Avancerad Motorisk Träning

While at my birthday party last month my acroyoga partner, E. got to talking with L., one of my folk dance friends whose children are very active in gymnastics locally. (It was her son, E., walking on his hands all the time during our weekly dance sessions that really inspired me to start training to learn to walk on my hands.) In their conversation L. let E. know that the local gymnastics association has classes for adults, so E. sent them an email to get more information. They replied, and it turns out that the class that is appropriate for us is the "Avancerad Motorisk Träning" (AMT) course which meets on Tuesday evenings from 20:00 to 22:00. This is not a good night for me, since I have been in the habit of working late on Tuesdays, then attending Phire practice from 16:30 to 18:30, then choir from 19:00 to 20:30. While it is, in theory possible to attend at least Phire, and possibly the first half of choir before heading to AMT, it doesn't sound sensible to do so much in an evening.

Therefore we decided that this week we would skip Phire and I would skip choir, and we would go give AMT a try. If we didn't like it we could always return to Phire and Choir next week.

As it turned out, Monday was a really tired day for me--despite getting 8 hrs of sleep the night before, I seem to have been burning the candle at both ends enough last week and on the weekend that I woke up tired and stayed tired all day, with the result that I went to bed just before 21:00. This resulted in my waking up at 04:15, and deciding that I may as well get up and do morning workout before leaving for work. However, first, as is my custom, I told the computer to hook up to wireless and looked at email and livejournal while doing my situps before geting out of bed. Much to my delight, my personal training has finally sent me the new workout he promised to send me before Christmas. He gave me one totally new workout for day four, but for days 1 & 3, which have been a circuit training hand-stand focused session with an interval timer of 30 seconds work, 15 seconds rest for three different tasks, four rounds, then switch to three new tasks (same repeat pattern), and again for one more set of three tasks. This has become reasonably easy. Therefore my trainer has made only one change to those days--instead of 30 seconds work, 15 rest, it is now 45 seconds work, but still only 15 seconds rest in between.

When I read that I thought "45 seconds is ever so much longer than 30", but then I thought. "Ok, how hard can it be? Perhaps I had better give it a try." I can report that, yes, indeed, 45 seconds is ever so much longer than 30. "Half again" may be an accurate description in terms of the math, but it feels longer than that. Indeed, the 3rd and 4th times I was meant to just hold a handstand up against the wall (belly to the wall), I wound up giving up with 12 seconds to spare.

Because of the early start to the day I did the workout (54 minutes total, including the warmup and "finisher" sections), then had breakfast and walked to uni (only 42 minutes, since it was cold enough that I opted to run part of the way to generate more heat) early enough to get in an hour of work before meeting my trainer at 08:00. He was delighted to hear that I had found the new workout challenging, and then he went through the new tasks that I will need for the day four workout when I get there.

After the workout I returned to the lab and ran a quick experiment, then returned to my office and started processing the data, until about 13:30, when I was ready to head home. After walking home I plugged in the car as I knew it would be needed this evening, and then went in and baked a broccoli-spinach-carrot egg & cheese pie and some bread rolls. After I put the rolls in the oven I let the phone hook back up to wireless, where I discovered that blamebrampton has written a new Harry Potter fan fic. Since she is one of those writers whose work I so enjoy that I would read her grocery lists if he posted one, I, of course, had to start reading it promptly. Three hours later it was time to head out the door, and I had just managed to finish reading the story (which I strongly recommend reading).

So I grabbed a water bottle and went out and tried to take the tarp off of the car, only to discover that it was frozen to the roof. If I had been wise and tried taking it off when I first got home I would have had time to get it loose, but since I had pushed leaving to the very last possible second so as to finish the story, that wasn't an option. So I went back into the house, got the keys to the other car (which has a carport and so doesn't need a tarp, and hurried out to pick up E. at her place. She was already outside and waiting for me when I arrive (4 minutes late, but we had budgeted plenty of time and still arrived early to the class), so off we went.

The class turned out to be really fun, but oh boy am I grateful that I have been working out with my trainer for the past year--I couldn't have managed the "warm up" part if not for the fact that all of those exercises are ones I have done before. After the warmup they broke us into three groups of ~4 people each and we got to do some basic skills training. Our group's first stop was in front of some extra cushy mats, with a horizontal pole just off the ground in front of them. The task was to do a handstand on the pole, then fall, butt first, into the mat, with bodies held firm in all muscles. This was fun! We also had a set of what look to me like plastic basket-hilts with sword hafts in them, but no sword sticking out, that we could hold and do a handstand on the rounded surface before falling onto the soft mats.

The second station was a horizontal bar around my shoulder height which we were meant to hold onto with our hands, then kick up and roll our legs up and over the bar, coming to a rest with our hands at waist height, arms straight, holding ourselves above the ground. This was also fun, but not so easy.

The third station is a higher horizontal bar from which we practiced swinging motions with correct technique which will, eventually, build up to being able to do summer-salts in the air.

After each group had been to each station they set up lots of stations of strength training activities and sent us around to each of them to do 30 seconds work, some rest, and then another 30 seconds work before moving on to the next station. Again I am grateful that I have been doing a 3 to 7 days a week workout for a year, because I was able to accomplish most of these tasks, too. Though I did find climbing the rope difficult, since I am not used to that. Ropes are not as pleasant to touch and wrap legs and feet around as the aerial silks.

E. and I both enjoyed the evening very much, and plan to return next week. I guess I will have to find some other time in my week for singing, because this AMT stuff is too much fun to miss now that I have tried it.

since some are moving to Dreamwidth

I am still not really 100% clear why, but it seems that some people are moving from LJ to Dreamwidth. I remember that happening a long time ago, too, and back then I went as far as setting up an account there and importing such journal entries as I had. But then never did anything with it again (last time I imported stuff was 2010). I have just set it to import now, so, perhaps, my entries from here will show up there. If my friends quit using LJ, but are posting there, then I will follow. Therefore I mention it here so that mom can bookmark that link, so that she doesn't miss stuff if I do.

an empty inbox

...used to be a normal thing in my world. Every day I would turn on the computer, check email, read everything in my main in-box folder and either reply, file, or delete it, and then check the various folders the list emails went to. Only after reading all of that did I start my work for the day.

Then I moved to Sweden, life got busy, and my in-box would start filling up with stuff I didn't have time to answer yet, and, sometimes months later, I would go through it and clean it out again, keep it clean for a while, and then get busy again. But at least it did get cleaned semi-regularly. Then I encountered that weird issue with gmail not working on my home computer, and the inbox got really full again. But not anymore! Gmail works again, and I have managed to go through everything in my inbox and reply, file, or delete as appropriate. All of my folders for various email lists and FB groups have also been emptied. It feels wonderful!

Now, how long will I be able to keep it clean this time? Will I go back to my original tidy email habits?