So that was a thing. It’s an amazing thing. It’s a medieval city that pops up in the middle of nowhere over a few weeks, around a war. For me, the only bits of the war I hear about comes from campmates who return sweaty and exhausted and chattering about tactics and reliving hits and who gets the shower first and repairs that need to happen before they do it again tomorrow.
A word of warning, I am just as awful about taking pictures at Pennsic as I am everywhere else. This is gonna be a lot of rambling, and not a lot of pretty pictures. Sorry about that, you’ll have to close your eyes between paragraphs and pretend.
For me, Pennsic is about A&S. (I’m sure you’re all shocked, based on the name of this blog and all of the content to this point.) I spent 2 weeks, top to bottom, A&S. From peace week projects in camp (usually garb I hope to wear <cough>), to helping out at University point, to taking classes (and teaching classes), and chatting with other artisans I meet, to A&S display, both looking at everything and helping with the consults to a full day of A&S war point. (Oh hey look at that, we do contribute to the war effort, a teeny little bit.)
We’ve a mix of talents in camp: from experts in sewing, to woodworkers, to blacksmiths, textiles, brewers, cooks and of course everything that all of the curious natures in camp have poked their noses into, even if not an expert. There’s a lot of questions asked, and answered, and written down to look into more later (or googled). It’s amazing. I can only presume that most camps are like this, cause most SCAdians have so much knowledge crammed in, it can’t help but burble out, but I can only speak for our camp.
This year, I managed to take a couple of classes (one of Cariodoc’s middle eastern food classes, and a warp weighted loom class), taught my saponification class (more on that in a moment), volunteered at University point, helped out with consults at A&S display (and got a lot of good gawking in). I got to stop by a friend’s vigil AND got a see a friend elevated to laurel in a drive by. I managed to be out and about enough to catch some of a friend’s camp’s song night, and finally got to see midnight madness. I got to visit the hot stone brewing setup, and got to help out a smidge at war point and judge all day. Phew. It was a busy year, but it was good.
Saponification class was held, by sheer dumb luck (or exceptionally cleverness by the scheduling people!) immediately following one of Mistress Elska’s hands on classes in soap making. It was perfect. I had 5 students, and 4 of them arrived with their bottles of proto-soap, answering perfectly the ‘how many of you have made soap before?’ question. It went well. It doesn’t go for a whole hour, so I can add more information, but I do fear overwhelming people with info, so I’ll have to consider that for next time. The modern alchemy series seems to be moderately popular.. I’m teaching the mordents one again at Althing. I need to see if there’s anything I want to revise in that one. FooL feels so very long ago at this point.
I’m really pleased with how well the body held up this year. Every year has been better for the joints than the last. It’s almost like years of physiotherapy and healing actually helps, even with degenerative issues. It was the sort of year where I didn’t die walking home after the buses stopped running, and where I ended up downtown (or back in camp) having forgotten my cane somewhere. When you feel hale enough to forget your cane places, it’s a damn fine sign. I still have to be careful, and aware not to overdo it, but that line is getting pushed further and further, and I’m damn pleased by that reality. I’ll take it for as long as I might have it, won’t be forever, but I’ve got it for now.