The Locals The Call It Senlac

What a day. Eddie and I drove down to Battle to see the Hastings battlefield.

It was fantastic. Battle Abbey itself is very impressive. The shop is in the main wall, and the museum is over the main gate. The main building is now used as a school. Much of the old Abbey has fallen into ruin, but the buildings that remain are impressive. The Dormitory is a series of beautifully vaulted rooms. The Cistern is fascinating. The remains of the Chapter House, Chapel and Crypt are all neat as well. There’s a plaque where the original altar was built supposedly on the spot that Harold died. Incredible.

Eddie and I did the walk around the battlefield itself. The hill is substantial. Between the hill itself, the thick, high grass, and the Saxons, simply charging up the hill was an impressive feat. In the Bayeux Tapestry, there’s a second hill that Harold put some troops on. As I was standing in the field, I was looking but I couldn’t find it. The only thing that might have worked was on the other side of the battlefield from where I expected it to be. I asked a tour guide and he pointed right to where I had originally thought and said that there used to be a hill there but likely was quarried for stone to make the Abbey. That’s the hill they think is the one referred to on that panel. What was once a hill was moved up as a fortified abbey. Fascinating.

I have lots of pictures and as soon as I can I will be putting them on the web somewhere.

I bought a few things in the gift store, but I resisted the £80 tapestry showing the sailing scene from the Bayeux Tapestry. I thought about it, though 😉

The Abbey walls and trees shut off the field from the mundane world. Once into the field, you can’t see anything that isn’t medieval. However, it’s right next to a road and the front is right in the middle of the town. There are a series of shops and pubs and restaurants out in front. Eddie and I had a pint and he got the steak and ale pie while I went straight to dessert and didn’t pass Go by having the toffee pudding with toffee sauce. Delicious.

Anyway, the plan is to lounge about for a bit and then later hed on to the pub and meet with some of Eddie’s mates. I will not drink Sambuca tonight. I will not drink Sambuca tonight. I will not drink Sambuca tonight. At least I hope not 😉

A Win, A Tie, and A Loss

The Win? I had a great time last night. We went to a real nice pub called the Black Horse and watch England in the World Cup. It was a great experience seeing true soccer fans in their element.

The Tie? The game was a great game, with lots of action, three great goals plus the game tying goal in the 89th minute, and a lot of drama. In the end, it was a 2-2 tie, which was probably appropriate given how well both teams played.

The Loss? I fought the Sambuca and the Sambuca won.

The Black Horse

I had a great night. Mia is Swedish, so there was all sorts of tension in the England-
Sweden World Cup Match. We were at the Black Horse, a nice little pub with a landlord named Terry.

Once again, to reiterate: I was in an English pub for an England World Cup game. How cool is that?.

The rest of my stuff should be here tomorrow. Then I’m going to Hastings and then to Portsmouth.

I’m a lucky and, currently, drunk man.

BTW, 2-2 England and Sweden. Both scored goals in the last 10 minutes. It was
a very good game.

Did I mention how much fun I’m having.

Tomorrow: On the Road 🙂


With fresh horse and harness
And armor bright burnished
Our ships tossed by tempest
Made sail for the east

OK, so I had quite a bit of tempest sailing for the east. The flight from Milwaukee got into Boston at 6:35pm (originally scheduled in at 4:55) and I literally had to run to catch my flight to London. I have discovered that I run faster than my suitcase. Hopefully, it will show up here tomorrow 🙂

Overall the flights weren’t bad, especially on Midwest. I have to give them their props for comfy chairs, even for me. American held the entire flight for a few minutes for me while I hustled through Logan and the inflight TV had a flight tracker showing speed, altitude, and location.

I noticed a couple of things. First, I’m pretty sure I’ve never gone 676mph before. Even in the thin air at 38,000 feet, that’s not bad. Second, as we were halfway over the Irish Sea, the flight tracker said we were about 250 miles from London. 250? That’s essentially driving I-70 across Missouri. And we had half the Irish Sea, Wales, and the Midlands to cross before London. It’s all about context and perspective.

Eddie and Mia, two Viking re-enactment friends of Halvgrimr, picked me up at the airport and have welcomed me with open arms. I’m going to go nap for a bit, but we’re planning on hitting a pub and watching England in the World Cup. Should be a fun experience for this sodding Yank. Tomorrow, Eddie and I are probably going to drive down to Portsmouth and see the HMS Victory. Tomorrow evening is a big get-together of Eddie and his friends at the pub.

Anyway, I’m sorta off my sleep schedule and I think its time for a nap.

Station to Station

Well, I’ve made it to Milwaukee. I’m pretty confident I can make it to Boston. I have no clue after that.

My flight is now supposed to arrive in Boston at 6:15 instead of 4:55, and my outgoing flight is 7:05. We’ll see what happens.

On a different note, the landing here in Milwaukee was kinda cool. I’ve mever flown into here before and you come in over Lake Michigan. It’s a nice day here and the lake was very pretty.

All I can say at this point on getting to London is: Wyrd bith ful araed.


Well, here I am at KCI. I’ve still got an hour to my flight but I’m ready and waiting.

It has, however, been a very odd morning.

First, I get a call from the History Department while on the road that a student is contesting her grade and they need to see my gradesheet. Umm, could I have heard about this two hours earlier instead of while I’m on my way to leave the country? Ironic indeed. I think it will be OK, as I believe Dr. Cook does have a copy as well, but we’ll see. I may have to send someone to send the file from my computer.

Second, it was very odd to be driving by the Smithville exit this morning. It’s less than 24 hours since I got on to I-435 at that exit from Lilies yet it seems like weeks. Some of that is the missing being at the war part, but another is just the mental shift of changing from the SCA to traveler.

Third, I go a tremendous scare at the check-in. The guy was staring at his computer and said: “that’s odd.” Odd? I don’t want to hear odd. Another guy comes over and says: “Oh, that always happens when a flight is delayed and the person might miss their connection.” WHAT!?! No, no panic there, none at all. Really.

Anyway, I’m here and soon will be there.

Quick Post

Greetings all

Well, I’m nigh unto packed for the trip to Europe. I’ll be leaving tomorrow at 7:30am and will be in Heathrow at 6:35 their time.I’ll be using my LiveJournal page to record my memories from the trip.

Right now, I’m pretty tired from Lilies, though I had a great time. I got my Swan, the Calontir AoA Arts award for in His Majesty’s words being good with my mouth.

I also picked up my new helmet from Waldryk and it is beautiful. He intentionally designed it with hammer marks. The dragon crest is hand forged brass. It’s heavy, but it’s awesome. I can’t wait to wear it at Pennsic.

There were also a lot of good friends who got peerages: Duncan and Clef were knighted, Seonaid was laureled, and Constantia, David, Cara, and Aoibheann were all announced for their laurels as well. It was a great war.

Anyway, to get back to the root of this post, I’ll be updating here with some regularity the progress and interesting things during my trip, and yes, to those who insisted I should get a camera, I did get a decent one and will be adding pictures.

Next stop? Well, maybe I can find wi-fi in Boston tomorrow afternoon.


I’ve been struggling to find what to say about Lilies. There was so much going on and so many memories.

But we go to SCA events in the hopes of finding those 15 seconds where we’re actually a part of history, not simply spending a day dressed in funny clothes doing funny things.

I had not only 15 seconds, but several minutes of being part of Alfred’s scipfyrd. I got my chance to row in Dongal, Brockman, and Halvgrimr’s longship. It was a lovely calm night, with the moon shining off the ripples in the lake.

And as we rowed, we sang songs, and I did my version of the Wanderer. For those minutes, especially the parts in Old English, I nearly lost myself. I did a horrible job because I was continually remembering where I was and the beauty of the moment.

All of Lilies, for that matter all of the SCA, all of the work and fun and silliness and everything else condensed in that incredible moment for me. There was so much more to Lilies, but all that happened was overshadowed by being in the right place at the right time.

Quest for the Grail / Three Rivers Carousel

I’m combining my event reports for Quest for the Grail and Three Rivers Carousel because these two events tried to do something similar, though the execution was very different. Both of these events had people engage in a variety of engagements and both were similar to an event idea I’ve been tossing around. I’m very glad to have gone to these as I’ve learned how to improve my own event.

The Quest for the Grail was in Forgotten Sea on Memorial Day at the Lilies site. It was sort of a Lilies test-run. The fighting on Saturday was structured around a series of fights in the woods. Each team consisted of 3 or more people, with 3 fighters active at a time. We proceeded down the path of the woods, encountering opposing fighters, many with different attributes, puzzles, or demeanors. Overall, the opponents represented the seven deadly sins. Most interesting was Sir Thjo’s team who were Anger and Sir Duncan Bruce of Logan’s team which was Sloth. Can’t forget Her Excellency Yasamin, and a horde of beautiful women represented Lust. Most humorous was Sir Colin who was given an immense amount of padding making him look fat as he was gluttony.

It was a beautiful day for a walk in the woods. The teams were allowed into the woods separately and we were one of the last teams in. We were read a preliminary bit and given a shield with a white cloth. We then proceeded in the woods. The white cloth was given so that whenever we lost a fight, or in other words lost to a deadly sin. If you were pure and innocent, like Galahad, your shield remained white. If not, your shield was marked up and unclean. So after every fight we lost, the winning sin would write something on the shield. These writings were supposed to hint at the fact that they were a deadly sin.

At the end, we were quizzed by the final guardians, St. Peter and two archangels. We were asked by them what the nature of the fighting had been. We hadn’t been smart enough to look at the big picture, nor had we been smart enough to read what had been written on our shield, so when we were asked if we knew that our opponents had been the seven deadly sins, we had no clue. We weren’t the only ones, as I don’t know if anyone guessed it correctly. Nevertheless, it was a very good time, but during the trek I couldn’t help but wish that more of the fighting encounters were also puzzles where we could talk our way through them. I suppose that’s me.

The Carousel event was a series of games. We did pretty well in every event, not necessarily the best in each event, but consistently scored well. In the end, we won.We started with Bardic part, which was their take on Whose Line Is It Anyway. They tasked us with coming up with a Irish Hoedown. They said we got bonus points if we involved beer and pretzels, so I gave them each a beer. That sort of started the day off in the manner it deserved, with our team cheating, bribing, and doing whatever we could to win.

The other events was playing a large version of Cathedral, a jousting game where blindfolded people pushed a blindfolded rider on this wagon horse guided by other team members to hit a ring, a spear contest hitting a series of targets in numerical order (including pi), a sheep-herding game using shepherd’s crooks to get balloons into a pen at the end of a maze, and shooting a trebuchet at a giant troll. We did pretty well in the Calontir trivia, answering questions that Master Brummbar developed and some of the questions were very obscure, like who was the first native Calontir peer and who was the first Calontir Pelican. We didn’t do as well in the Speed Heraldry, which was kind of surprising but it was a very tough event. We did pretty well in the both the target archery and the combat archery, which since we had Baron Jon Tristram was not too surprising.

The fighting portion was a combination of several things. It was ultimately a fight between the team and three previous Baronial fighting champions. We were asked trivia questions about Three Rivers, which the more we answered limited the weapons the fighting champions could use. We answered all 3, limiting the champions to single sword. Also, you could shoot at a target to try and take limbs away from the fighters. As many team members could shoot 3 shots as you wanted, but the baronial archer champions got 2 shots per team shooters to restore the limbs. Tristram hit one leg and so did Ben, who was a teenager who joined us midway through, but the archer champion restored them. We then fought, with Dongal and I facing Eric, Raud, and Josef. I killed Eric with a thrust to the throat with my axe, but I really was suffering in the heat. I had done 3 pickups with Dongal prior to the fighting as I was overheating. It was 97 and very humid with little wind and I was suffering. At about the same time I killed Eric, a hold was called. I decided to stop fighting because I was feeling nauseous.

Despite my wussiness, I don’t think there’s enough fighting. Part of the problem is that I was in armor running around doing other events for a couple of hours before we got to the fighting. I should have fought earlier, and done the games later.

Somewhere between the Grail and Carousel is a wonderful, balanced event. I’m going to play around and see if I can come up with it.

Face Down In The Gutter, Won’t Admit Defeat

Greetings all, I just posted one entry on War College. I still owe you all for the Quest for the Grail and Lilies. I’ll get those in the next few days.

I got back from Lilies and went to the Vans Warped Tour, though, and I want to chat about that.

I went to the Tour because of the Dropkick Murphys. I have been a major fan and pusher for them for 4-5 years now. The Vans Warped Tour is aimed at a younger generation who are into extreme sports. The Tour was much more than a series of concerts, rather it was like a convention for punk bands. It was really really cool, actually.

I got there just in time to buy 2 more Murphys shirts and then get in line for the Murphys signing. I didn’t know that they were going to have any kind of signing and I did not bring anything to sign, but Tuesday was the day that the new Murphys album, the Warrior’s Code, was released. They came around while we were in line selling the new album for $10, so I bought one, and got it signed by 4 of the band members. I also had a bit of a conversation with Ken Casey, the band’s bassist and one of the singers, and he said that they were planning on headlining a tour in the fall.

This is really great news, as what they did at the Vans Warped Tour was like an appetizer. I got all the way up to the front, stage right at the fence, outside of the mosh pit but still right there.

3 of their first 4 songs were from the new album. The highlight here was Captain Kelly’s Kitchen, their version of Courtin’ in the Kitchen. As I came to the Murphys from my love of Celtic music as opposed to the punk side, I was one of the few there that knew the song. I’m really rocking to it, enough so that Al Barr, the lead singer noticed, which was lots of fun.

They did something really really cool. They are getting someone out of the audience to sing Barroom Hero, the first song that they ever wrote. The deal is that whomever is chosen gets to hang with the band for the rest of the day if they do well, or get thrown back to the crowd if he sucks. The kid they got did very well actually, except he had no idea how to do anything extemporaneous, which Barroom Hero has a section for shout outs. Anyway, it’s a really cool thing from a band that isn’t forgetting their fans as they get bigger.

Again, the only problem was their set was short, only 35 minutes. They didn’t play Dirty Glass, Rocky Road to Dublin, Spicey McHaggis Jig, Blackout, Good Rats or a host of other great songs. I’m so waiting for their tour.

On the way home, though, I got to hear the new album. I love Blackout, but it took a little for that to happen. Most albums are like that, I require a certain amount of familiarity to properly appreciate them.

I didn’t need that for Warrior’s Code. Yeah, I’d heard a few of the songs at the concert, but there’s no doubt Captain Kelly’s Kitchen rocks, or that Shipping Off to Boston is great, and so on. But… I am a Wicked Sensitive Bitch (at least Liam should get this). I have never wept upon the first hearing of a song before, but I did upon hearing The Green Fields of France.

Did they play the drums slowly
Did they play the pipes lowly
Did they sound the death march
As they lowered you down
Did the band play the Last Post and Chorus
Did the pipes play the Flowers in Forest

It’s not period, but I guarantee I’ll have it ready to sing by Pennsic.

Opinions and fiction of person misplaced in time.

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By :