And now for something completely different…

The last few weeks have been all about shoving me forcibly outside my comfort zone. Usually entirely in manners of my own devisings, really, but when you pause and go ‘what on earth have I gotten myself in for!?’ very shortly thereafer, you know you have found yourself solidly outside your comfort zone. It’s entirely because of various events that have been going on recently. The first was the Lady Mary Memorial Tournament, which was a scavenger hunt this year. Not a ‘find the object’ hunt, but a ‘complete these tasks’ sort of quest, done in teams. I.. am a competitive person. I don’t say that with pride, it causes me more grief than anything else, but when it comes to leaving points on the table in a ‘friendly’ competition.. well that was just not going to do.

My best beloved and I pretty much act like a set in most things, and this was no different. First up was well within my balliwick, teaching a class in 60 seconds. Saponification is (relatively) easily explained, and I have a slide deck! 8 takes later (I kept getting to 63 seconds, grrr!) and voila! One challenge done and dusted.

Next up, I decided to face the harder ones (for me at least) and dig into scribal. A whole lot of web searches later (and talking myself in.. and out.. of the idea) and I found some scroll blanks that looked to be not too hard. I knew full well that these were going to be very beginner, but my goal was to enter anything in the category, and not let my amateur efforts hold me back. Everything is still closed here, so I was hunting through the house for something to make a scroll from. I decided to go with cold pressed watercolour paper (8″ x 8″) and the watercolours that went with it. I have no clue why I own watercolour paper and watercolours, I haven’t used watercolours since elementary school, but there we have it, so off I went. It worked not too badly! I did a basic layout with pencil and then took a deep breath and went for it. I need smaller brushes for white work (found some for the second scroll!) and more opaque white would help too. Also? That lion is a nightmare, but I am generally pretty darn pleased with myself. The challenge was to work up scroll blanks for two specific baronial awards for the hosting barony.

Returning back to ‘things not done since elementary school’, there was a challenge to produce period music and after some asking around, we settled on a recorder duet. My spouse can play recorder, any of the dozen or so that live in our house. I last played recorder sometime in the early 1980s. I do still read music, but remember exactly zero fingerings. Fortunately the piece we found had a harmony part sufficiently simple that I could learn my four notes (yes, literally four notes for my part!) and off we went.

Phew, I think that’s enough new for one post, stay tuned for more pushing me outside my comfort zone that happened all through May!

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