October 30th, 2005


Fun weekend

Up at a moderately ungodly hour to pick up Jo and Kate to head up to Warwickshire for a couple of re-enactors' trade fairs. For the first time ever in my experience, the AA web site had *over*estimated the travel time so got to the first, smaller one pretty early and settled in to grab some coffee and breakfast while waiting for Simon and Pete. The fair was predominantly medieval, lots of lovely looking swords, but all I picked up was a leather pouch for burntcopper for use at Pratchett cons and some buttons.

We then moved on to the other fair, some 20 minutes down the road and met up with Mark, another of the Norfolks, there. Also caught up with miniosiris/Cathy and did the introductions thing. Well, she'd been keen to meet Kate for a while as we're all Horizon/Blake's 7 veterans. Hope no one was too badly traumatised by the experience. Cathy also introduced me to various members of her medieval group, including one chap dressed as a Bishop so we had to give him the old "No Bishops! No Popery!" battlecry. More attempts to recruit me though...

Also bumped into Sarah, another member of the Norfolks who I'd met at various airsoft events. Her first comment was "She (Kate) hasn't dragged you into this, has she?", followed by yet more pressure to do musket. Now, this came on top of a similar comment by Jes, coach at the fencing club, on Thursday. I replied to both that I didn't need a whole load of dragging. Why the assumption I needed to have my arm twisted?

Anyway, more promising on the shopping front. Got myself a spare shirt, a Monmouth cap and, get this, a pattern for an *American* Civil War Confederate double-breasted shell jacket. Why? Because I figure it looks like a good approximation for a Galactica bridge jacket! Also bought a hat off Simon. Been pretty lucky - Simon appears to have a habit of acquiring kit that never fitted him but does me :-)

Jo was being terribly tempted by a yew longbow. Kate and I were egging her on, mainly so we could make bad puns about making this a "yew bow trip" in retaliation for all her piss-taking when we mistook a poster at the gym advertising the AU (Atheletics Union) boat trip for "a U-boat trip"...

We then retired to a pub and kind of settled in for dinner and the evening. I appeared to raise eyebrows because I'd been reading Royle's Civil War ("You're not reading about the period we re-enact, are you?") and was asking questions like why hobnail boots are called startups. Also turned out that out of the five of us, I was pretty much the only one who'd covered the Civil War at school!

Oh, and more hints about sorting out Kate's PC: questions about how long it'd take me to get down to Ealing by Tube so she could bribe me with beer. Heh. Had to point out yet again that the issue is not my willingness but her diary/availability!

Finished Royle's book. Been an absolutely rivetting read about a fascinating period - seeing the emergence of modern British political institutions and principles e.g. primacy of Parliament and yet largely driven by deep-seated fear of perceived Popish plots to re-impose Catholicism. Main impression though was: Charles I - what a knob!

Met Liz for lunch. She came over, returned my Farscape season 1 discs, grabbed season 2 and then we headed over to Highgate to the Rose and Crown, a pretty nice gastro pub, and had a pleasant lunch and good gossip, including background on R&D tax credits for interview on Tuesday. Interestingly, she mentioned that Serenity had grown on her quite a lot on further reflection and definitely wants to watch the TV series now. However, Farscape comes first and BSG probably comes next.

She then said she was heading to Camden Market to check out a bed for her new house and asked me to come along. Figured I might as well. Turned out the stuff she was interested in were metal beds at Raven Iron Art. Kind of surprising as it was rather more Goth-y than I would have expected from Liz. Huh. Learn something new every day...

Still, interesting wander around the stables. As Liz commented, nice to have a good long chat for a change as we normally meet to catch films.