I went to Southampton for king_pellinor's 40th birthday. I already did this once, but you can't do these things too thoroughly. And my goodness, thorough was the word. It snowed food and rained drink, as hobbits would say, most of it either brightly coloured or gilded in a remarkable and expert manner.
There was much dancing to a very energetic folk band (with a spectacular bright green electric violin!). I would say that I'm no good at dancing, but as I have never put any effort into being good at dancing, it's not really surprising that I constantly fall over my feet and turn the wrong way. Still, when in Rome, at least make an effort to try to do as the Romans do, right?
The four kids present flung themselves very impressively into the cavorting, sometimes with hilarious freestyle results involving much skidding on knees across the slidy floor. Also, excellent medieval(ish) costumes from most present, very impressive. I particularly admired the bloke who came as a black and white jester, for keeping the ridiculous hat on for ages while solemnly twirling, he must have been baking...
Tent. Having driven through blattering hail and driving rain for 4 hours, I was thinking that my decision to camp overnight was a mistake and almost wimped out and slept in the hall. But then in the evening, the clouds rolled away and the weather turned perfect. So I got to walk up to my tent at 2am under a sky full of stars, and wake up in a sunny field under birch trees, surrounded by bluebells and cherryblossom. (There was admittedly a distant rumble of motorway. Where are so many people going on a motorway at 2am that there are enough of them to make a constant rumble? They should be in bed!)
Note to self : for camping in April, ideally I need an extra blanket as well as the sleeping bag, particularly when I don't have a lurcher to tuck into the sleeping bag with me.
I didn't take my camera (drat! I kind of wish I had, as I could do with some reference photos of dancing people! Also, skordh made a superb vaguely-Flemish-looking peasant, and I had a vague idea to try to paint something like this:
with him in it. Though possibly imitating Bruegel is a tad overambitious! ),
I did paint this as a birthday card beforehand. I think these dancers are more organised and coordinated and also more consistent in size than the real ones! But then they are in a medieval idyll, not a scout hut on the outskirts of Southampton :
There was also a mountain of sausages not entirely eaten for breakfast. I didn't take any of the sausages away with me, got home, and cursed when I realised that Brythen has a training class tomorrow and some cold sausages would have been the ideal lurcher-bribe. I had to cook more sausages! philmophlegm looked after the hounds while I was away. The hounds seemed unbothered by this, and fortunately, so did Pp.