Monday, January 18, 2010

Kingdom of Ealdormere 12th Night

Kingdom 12th Night, January 2010

Last weekend was the annual 12th Night event for the Kingdom of Ealdormere. What is 12th Night you ask? 12th Night was traditionally the 12th day after Christmas, a time to celebrate as apparently people in the Middle Ages thought those 12 days were pretty darn spooky. It was a time to blow off some steam and there were often role reversals, with Lords playing peasants and vice versa (as long as the peasants didn’t take themselves too seriously). Sometimes you’d even get things like cross dressing.

After a pretty easy pack we left our place around 10:30 and picked up two of our SCA friends, Devin and Andrea, and headed off to the event. It was about an hour and a half away and the driving weather was good. We arrived about noon.

Ealdormere’s 12th Night is a pretty laid back affair. It was held at a community hall in Mono Centre which is near Orangeville. The site is quite pretty but a bit small. We attended last year and almost went back home when we saw the layout. This year the space seemed to be organized a bit better and easier to handle. Having the two kids with us always complicates things for us, but I guess we were feeling less stressed than last year. We set up in a corner of the hall and relaxed for a bit. For once, there was no drama getting Matthew into his SCA garb. There was SCA armoured combat in a downstairs part of the hall but no fencing, which was actually kind of nice, because it meant I could just hang around and schmooze. Most of the organized 12th Night activities seemed to be outside. There was some organized sledding events and a bunch of stuff on the ice rink like human curling and Ealdormere Armoured Hockey. I didn’t catch much of this as we were setting up when a lot of it was happening and we wanted to stay in the warm for a bit.

As 12th Night is a time where people can be a bit different, I went with a different choice of garb than my usual Elizabethan. It’s nice to have a good selection of garb in the wardrobe and I think I can do almost every period between the 11th and 16th centuries. This time I went a bit exotic, wearing a 16th c. Persian red silk caftan and blue puffy harem pants. I was also wearing a dark blue turban with a nice pin on it. Around my waist was a green silk slash, which also doubles as my rank scarf for the Ealdormere Academy of Defence. I looked pretty spiff. It is January so I also wore my brown wool Norse coat with some gold silk trim. Belted with the green sash it actually looked very appropriate for the Persian look I was going for. Asa went with her Norse garb as it is warm and comfortable, and can take messes better than silk garb. Matthew wore one of his tunics and Elizabeth was in a pretty purple dress that we had gotten at an auction sometime last year.

The event had some local people who owned a team of horses and a wagon, and they were having regular rides for the attendees. I took Matthew on one of the trips and it was nice. The wagon wound its way through Mono Centre and there was some nice scenery, including the house of an Australian ex-pat, judging from the street sign in the shape of the continent and a totem pole with Koalas and kangaroos carved on it. Matthew had fun on the trip, but talked a bit too much about various horsey bodily functions, much to the chagrin of the Lady sitting across from us when her son started to repeat some of the same things.

They had a nice area set for kids, which included a table of craft and colouring supplies. Matthew had fun playing with the various kids there. He played cards, coloured and messed around with a giant Megablocks castle set that someone had brought. Elizabeth was given plenty of chances to run around with Asa and I switching off chasing duty. At one point I took Matthew to the tobogganing hill. From the angle I first saw it from I didn’t think much of it, as it looked like a big mound of snow. When we got there I was much more impressed as the little mound I had first seen was on the lip of a valley. There were some very nice icy runs and our flying saucer shaped toboggan flew down the hill. Matthew had a lot of fun and it was a near perfect hill. I couldn’t stay out too long as, even with the wool coat, it got pretty cold standing at the top of the hill.

A lot of time was spent just chatting with various friends, many of whom I hadn’t seen in awhile. Lady Jocelyn was there with her boyfriend, Rurik. Gunther was there with Mistress Nicolaa as were Angus, Isabeau and there daughter Aurora. There were a number of others and it was nice to see them all. There weren’t a lot of the traditional 12th Night shtick. There was no Lord and Lady of Misrule or silly contests, at least indoors. Some people got into the spirit of things, and I noticed several strapping young lads who looked vaguely familiar and slightly feminine. The lack of shtick, which I admit has gotten oppressive at other 12th Nights, was a bit disappointing.

The Queen was in attendance with the Princess of Ealdormere and there was a Court. Lady Jocelyn’s SO is now Lord Rurik as he received his Award of Arms, and Lady Catriona was inducted into the Order of Thorbjorn’s Hammer, a high level award for skill in the Martial Arts, of which I am also a member. She is amazing at Thrown Weapons, using her expert skill with the throwing knife, axe and spear. Lady Jocelyn was presented with a cup called a quaik (sp?) and charged by Their Excellencies Septentria to always keep it full and share it with others, an old Septentrian tradition.

After court we decided to head home. We were not staying for feast and it was getting dark out rapidly. We stopped in Orangeville for a quick supper and then proceeded home without incident, dropping off Andrea and Devin at their places. They made for very pleasant travelling companions.

It was a fairly relaxed event and Matthew and Elizabeth were well behaved. I’m glad we went, and my only real quibble was the lack of some of the traditional 12th Night stuff. Maybe next year.


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