Saturday, April 28, 2007

Europe flights are booked - YIPPY!!!!!

Well, today I went down & paid for my round the world trip & travel insurance. Now I just need to work out trains & other smaller stuff.

It turned out that the difference between the 26,000 & 29,000 trips was $20.00 - so now I get to go to Canada as well - yay.

So, the flights are as follows:
Dep Melbourne, Australia 7 July 23:30 - Arr Naples, Italy 8 July 22:45 (via Bangkok & Munich)
- staying with SCA people in Naples, Milan, Venice, Nuremberg & Berlin.
Dep Berlin, Germany 19 July 15:45 - Arr Edinburgh, Scotland 19 July 20:40 (via Copenhagen)
- staying with SCA people in Edinburgh & Lichfield, then finding other accommodation in Normandy, then travelling via Holland to Koblenz & staying with SCA people there for a few days.
Dep Frankfurt, Germany 29 July 12:20 - Arr Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA 29 July 18:07 (via Washington DC)
- staying at Pennsic (Yippy).
Dep Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA 24 August 6:00 - Arr Vancouver, Canada 24 August 10:23 (via Chicago)
- hopefully (yet to be arranged) staying with SCA people in Vancouver or surrounds.
Dep Vancouver, Canada 29 August 16:15 - Arr Melbourne, Australia 31 August 9:35 (via Los Angeles)
- Arriving back home, resting for the weekend & then back to work.

Most of my internal Europe travel will be by train (or gracious assistance of those I stay with).

Anyone who has offered my accommodation, I will be in contact with you again soon.
Anyone who might read this & be able to assist me in either Normandy or Vancouver, please contact me & let me know.

Its amazing - its just so real now.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Rowany Festival - Part 2 - Fighting & fun continued

Okay - last time I wrote I covered up to Friday.

Day starts with the market - wander in to see what's cooking & help with arranging a few tables - then wander back with money & do a little shopping once things kick off. Some nice stuff (and silly swords) around, however not really looking to buy much this year - saving money for Pennsic and my new helmet. I did buy some great Lochac dice though (must get around to sending that email to Sir Gregory) and some really good beef jerky (Bowen of BordersCros is really good at making it - I should have bought more than just 4 bags).
I am however soon snatched away from the market to sell children (its a calling). Holy cow but we had a lot of children this year in the childrens boffer tournament (Vandel really has created a monster & since he was pushed by Yolande, we know where the blame really belongs - good job guys). Anyhow, after selling off 48 or so children (and making as much money in one year as we have in the last 3) with my assistants, I left the children to fight it out for the tournament. I was enjoying a day off and relaxing & went shopping a little more.
I mulled through the day, relaxing and not running a quest for the kids (which I have done for the past few years), watching the occasional troop come past our campsite (although Lorchan did set a bunch of them after me in my campsite).
In the afternoon we had the big court of the day - with Vandel announcing both the victor of the boffer & his successor (he'll still be involved of course). Court continued with some nice role-playing leading to the spliting of war forces between Alfar (the Usurper) & Draco (the Pretender). Night came & more sociallising, fire-hopping, etc.

War day - glorious war day.
Up with eagerness, because of all days, this is the one that I had been waiting for. Up, breakfasted & armoured up - off to the battle field for war (I forgot to mention in my previous post that I had a nice new red & gold surcoat to fit in with the Colus guys - much brighter than theirs & quite cool if I do say so myself).
During the initial preping at the field I noticed my Marshal's Tabard in Sir Steven's hands (I had lost it the previous Festival). I got it back & then got to Marshal the first set of 3 battles - no dramas.
Ute unfortunately had bow troubles during the first set of 3 battles & by the time I knew, she had walked back to camp (bow twisted and she couldn't fix it - I did eventually - it took 15 mins of fine tuning (without armour on)).
Steven is to be congratulated (& Cortain). They did an excellent job of planning out the battles - the spray paint start lines were great & made assisting as a step in Marshal much easier.
This year I was fighting with Blayney - unfortunately, due to various factors the Colus shield wall was down from the hoped for 12 or so fighters and there was just 3 of us - but we had fun. I really like working with Blayney - we get along well & both have a good battlefield awareness - I just have to get used to operating in a primary group rather than a fringe flanking unit.
Best fight of the day was probably the field battle where I got legged early & then killed 3 people from my knees (including lots of travel) and survived.
Lunch came & everyone left (except me). I camped out at the Battlefield, had some lunch, then caught up with Baron Gabriel (St Florians) - quite good really, he's a nice guy with a good view of the world & always interesting to talk with.
Everyone came back & we fought some more - some plans didn't go as planned but we still won the day and had a ball doing it. Only downside was that we only used the town 4 times & the fort once. After the really long walk back to camp I went for a shower, then got back to camp in time for dinner (Richard had cooked up a brillant Roast in our Camp Oven). I got my serving, a beer & then headed off to the Marshals meeting).
Another good night with many friends.

Its late & I should go to bed - the rest will have to be in part 3 - good night.

On a side note, the big travel plans are in final confirmation with travel agent.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Rowany Festival - Part 1 - Fighting, Wenching & lots of fun

Ah, Rowany Festival - the SCA highlight of each year.

For those who aren't familiar, a quick description. The SCA (Society for Creative Anachronisms) in Australia has an annual Festival run by the Sydney group (Rowany) over the Easter long weekend each year. Most people arrive on the Thursday (afternoon or night) and leave Monday night or Tuesday morning. The time in between is a magical mix of friendship, trust & fun.

We have just finished unpacking our trailer, having returned yesterday afternoon (and then eating a wonderful roast dinner provided by my Mum who housesits for us while we're away).

So, here with is a brief run-down on my Festival, day to day.

Monday, 2 April
Pack car & trailer in preparation for Festival - trailer much easier this year without all of the LARP monsters (the last couple of years I have taken Live-Action RolePlaying monster constumes alongs to use during Saturday afternoon quests that I have been running - light but bulky).

Leave home just after 8:30am after a hearty porridge breakfast. Easy trip with plenty of breaks & arrive onsite at Crossroads (the venue for this Festival & the last 4). Walk around & say hi to a few people who are around - then return to camp, set-up tent & bed - then wander off & drink a bit.
Started the campfire in Arrowsreach camp - they had the wood & I like fire so a good combination (also, they didn't seem to be in any rush to get it on with other things on their minds).

Wander down to Arrowsreach campsite & assist them to get truck unpacked (including the great fort built by Bryce & Ant). Wander back to our campsite (Ypotryll) and start setting up kitchen area and unpack trailer (which Ute had started). Wander around & helped a little here & there as needed (no where near as much as previous days).
Wandered to the tavern in the evening to enjoy some pre-festival merriment. Forever more the pre-weekend Wednesday will be known as Nipple Wednesday - a wonderful evening watching Eamon try to leave & fail. He is a lovely chap & exists just to enjoy life and does it well.

More mulling around & helping people in the morning, as well as just socialising & catching up with people from all over Lochac that I haven't seen in many months if not a year. Encouraged the kids to make a fort out of straw bales on the village green (that were still waiting to be collected).
Then the Festival fighting kicked off in the afternoon with a Pas De Arms (with Sir Berengar holding the field with Andre (from Aneala), Simon Macfaolin (now from Rowany) and later on Baron Gabriel (St Florians) - squire to Sir Berengar. The fighting was good - but I didn't do to well and was really hoping it wasn't indicative of how my Festival would be (it wasn't). I did end up with some lovely bruises on both upper arms and some good fighting afterwards in pickups (starting to show my form - finally). Helped out Ferret's lady (Leah I think) with how to deal with a pole-weapon - she was already good looking and was stunning in her pretty White Company vestments and armour.
Whilst I was fighting my household started turning up (yay). As they seemed under control I left them alone & returned after my fighting & started catching up.
In the evening I wandered a few campsites - offered to assist Arrowsreach in the Heraldic Melee the next morning if needed and then continued wandering - again renewing friendships & making new ones. Wandered into DX and was Wenching within one minute of arriving (after & whilst exchanging friendly insults with Max). It's good to know that I still have it.

Got my morning jug of Tea (yes, jug) and wandered down to Arrowsreach to find out if I was needed. After a bit of counting it became apparent I was needed so took a surcoat & returned to camp to armour up.
Heraldic Melee was fun but slow (as it always is). Many groups taking far too long to get themselves organised.
We fought the King (Alfar) & his guard first - unfortunately, their plan circumvented ours & I died very quick to Adam the Renegade & his flanking force.
2nd up we fought the Northern force (including King Draco - yes there were 2 Kings). I did fairly well, killed a couple of people & then moved to assist others until Draco found me & we fought - he killed me but I took his legs (a happy trade on my part).
3rd we fought Aneala (including Sui). Unfortunately he tried to be nice & only hit me lightly in the head, so I called it light & was one of 3 to kill him. Moving on I suddenly found only Arrowsreachians left standing - we all stood, turning slowly looking for someone to kill - uncertain in our victory (it was unexpected).
Following the 3 rounds we then did 3 team melees - I did well in these as well & felt that my war/melee fighting was coming back to me as well as my 1 on 1 fighting - very happy about this.

The afternoon was a very mild / small war - not many people made their way to the war field - it is always disappointing on the Friday afternoon that more people don't make it to war. Friday night was more socialising & campfire-hopping.

I'll continue with more in Part 2 - but have to go for now.

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