Saturday, May 19, 2007

Pictures tell a thousand words

Okay - pictures.

Now, in lead up to my overseas trip & the pictures I hope to take & post (with a camera I haven't bought yet) I though I would post some pictures here that will tell a little bit more about me.

First up is a painting that done by my Mum (Kat-ja). She is a truly talented artist who has accomplished many great pieces of artwork in many different artistic fields (bobbin lace, quilting (including 2 native birds of Australia quilts), painting (flat pictures of all sorts & 3d objects).

This painting was inspired by a tshirt that my Uncle (Ian) brought back for me from Greenland/Canada/Alaska. It was my favourite shirt until I wore it out. So, my lovely mum decided to use it as a basis for her painting, except she used me for the human side of the picture. It is a strange & moving picture (slightly haunting when you are the one in the picture).

The next picture is some more artwork - this time made for me by a professional artist employed by my younger sister (Myra).

Above, are two pieces, each a model of an Ypotryll (and that's me behind them). She surprised me with these at Xmas a few years ago and it is still one of the best presents ever.

For those who don't know - An Ypotryll is a mythical creature with the body of a camel, head of a boar, legs of a hind (deer) and the tail of a serpent. It is part of my heraldic device within the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronisms - the medieval recreation group that I have been a part of for many years now - ). My device is shown on the left side of this text).
The reason for the Ypotryll is that within the SCA each person creates a theoretical personality (or persona) of someone that could have existed during the medieval times we are trying to recreate (roughly 600 to 1600AD). Different people decide on a personality in different ways, but I initially liked the name Hannibal (which it turns out wasn't a popular name during medieval times due to the stigma associated it with it from he Cartheginian Hannibal who crossed the Alps but failed to successfully take Rome - nice idea but planning was lacking). Anyhow, a herald offered me Hanbal, an Arabic form of Hannibal (and still a good name today) so that was it, I had an Arabic persona. Therefore a mythical creature that looks like a fierce version of a camel was perfect.
I have also named my SCA Household (ships crew) after it (The Flying Ypotryll - for which the flag is shown below).

Anyhow, that's enough pictures for today. Do please feel free to write & let me know what you think or what you want to know.

A great short film about zombies

Hi all

Just wanted to quickly post a link to a great short film about zombies by a new friend "Crow Barr". In the credits look for Rohan Barr.

Watch it & let me know what you think - I'll pass any good comment on to him.



Saturday, May 12, 2007

Rowany Festival - Final part (3) - Even more fighting & fun

54 days till I travel.

Sorry about the lag in time since my last post, but I've not had inspiration recently to write. The Travel agent I'm dealing with is on holidays (back this week) - so I'll be contacting people after I talk with her & collect my tickets.

Now, Rowany Festival, the final part.

Monday (Fighter Auction day).
A couple of things I left off the last post were the evening before the fighter auction, the fighters all get auctioned off & bought (its a fund-raising thing - the money all goes into a pool & is used towards things that further the Rowany Festival & the Kingdom) by people we refer to as Patrons.
The fighters will fight for the fun of it (and also to get an idea of where they stand on a Kingdom level (as this is the largest annual tournament in the our Kingdom - last year had over 100 fighters, this year had just over 80).
The Patrons support their fighters & will collect a prize dependant on how well their purchased fighter(s) do.
The populace at large donate gifts to the prize table (I have seen everything from bottles of beer and a drink token for the tavern through to helmets & valuable pieces of armour up for grabs over the years (and have seen prices for fighters as low as 50c & as high as $250.00 (and beyond)).

This years format was that each fighter had 5 tokens and had 1hr within which to challenge fighters until they lost all their tokens.
In the end I had won 7 tokens & lost 5, whilst enjoying some great fighting. The second part of the tourney then saw the top 18 (of which I learnt the bottom 3 had won 8 fights a piece, so I only just missed out) all fought in an elimination tournament.

I think this years tournament concept was really good - in previous years it has been a single kill, double elimination tournament - which means a lot of lower level fighters are out in 2 fights (hardly worth putting their armour on). This variation is much fairer as any fighter will get a minimum of 5 fights (more if they fight each as a best of three) and for those fighters who do better it also gives everyone another level to be judged on (stamina & staying power).

Following the tournament the King ordered his Knights to council - having forgotten their pre-arranged destiny in assaulting the Childrens Fort.
After keeping the kids occupied for around 45 mins & still no sign of the Knights, Duchess Yolande unleashed the children & they started to jeer & rhyme at the Knights council (from up the hill) with the hopes of having the knights come out & fight them.

After some enthusiastic jeering from the children (with much quiet laughter from adults within earshot - none wanted to officially condone what the children were doing (disturbing an important meeting) - a small number of knights finally appeared & took to the field. The children formed ranks behind the walls of their fort & all was in readiness. The small number of Knights were joined by a couple of men at arms & then chaos ensued. After much Knight killing was had, the Knights traded with the Children for the fort and the kids then all sat back to enjoy the spoils of their victory (the Knights had been equipped with victory tokens which the children traded for spoil bags (containing chocalate eggs I believe).

As Monday afternoon continued, people commence & continued to pack up, whilst the rest of us continued to enjoy the fun environment that is Rowany Festival. In the afternoon was closing court - then cars came onsite & packup really kicked off.

A final night of partying with various friends and a quiet reflection upon the Crossroads site.

Tuesday was packup all but the tent & bedding, as well as helping various people all over packup their stuff (& Berengar the Autocrat with his stuff). A quiet dinner with Libby (after showers at the truckstop) and then we were up & away on Wednesday morning.

Next year is a whole new challenge, with different thoughts running through my head with how & where to camp.

And I'm going to run another quest for the kids - any ideas are welcome - I suspect I may be inspired by upcoming trip overseas.

Bye for now - 54 days till I travel.

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