DW XXX: A Recap

Da red shoes

Da red shoes

Hard to believe that I came home from Double Wars nearly two months ago.  Funny thing about longer events is that they are like a bubble– 10 days with friends as if you’d only seen them yesterday, not two years ago.  And after returning home, that’s the challenging bit.  The goal for this year’s DW was to do as little as possible.  Seriously.  As I stated in February,
“To keep me on track, I am using the following constraints:

  • Everything must fit within my baggage allowance of 2 suitcases (23 kg), plus allowable carry-on.
  • Items will be created with materials and/or tools in my stash.  Supplemental purchases will be kept to a minimum.
  • Goal is focus on 13th-14th C, preferably Norwegian/Norse.
  • Effort will also be made to enhance the ambiance of the sleeping quarters/other activities.
  • Any weaving sources fiber from the stash only.”

I quickly realized that there was no way to get any weaving done, and I even put aside ideas of getting many UFOs done.  The goal became one of toning down pressure on myself and just focusing on some ‘low-threshold’ projects I’ve had in the queue.  By ‘low-threshold’, I mean projects that add to my experience at war, but only used equipment and materials out of my stash and based on research already done.  ‘Low-threshold’ also gives a nod to the SCA idea of “an attempt”; That it is o.k. to personally define a point along the continuum from modern to historical replica, and that sometimes “good enough” is just that.

Blogposts

I’ve broken down my projects into individual postings, and I’ve surprised myself at how much I actually did manage to complete before DW.  Two posts, Pimp my Bedchamber: Glamping at DW XXX and Faux Floor Tiles present bedding and soft furnishings changing my corner of the crash space tent into a temporary home.  Food for War: Lunch for a Norse Persona at DW XXX presents another way persona play meshed with the prosaic need to eat during the week.

The SCA can present opportunities for shenanigans, like my admiralty.  Drachenwald Navy, Church Tax, and Paying Dues presents this bit of fun, while A Coin Purse from Bergen (or twenty) presents the A&S project presented at feast.

Writing the above posts has been project in-and-of itself, and it feels good to be getting back into the habit of writing.  Goodness knows I’ve been nattering on about stock fish, Northern Norway and Medieval Norse (Norwegian) culture for years, so time to get on with sharing.

One last post, On the Hunt for a Golden Egg touches on a project in the embryonic stages.  I’m excited to see how this develops in the weeks to come.

Activities from the war

Two lovely presents: A Tar candle from Lady Silwa af Swaneholm for co-hosting Weavers' Tea, and a salt-cellar and sewing wax from Queen Isabetta del verde for retaining

Two lovely presents:
A Tar candle from Lady Silwa af Swaneholm for co-hosting Weavers' Tea,
and a salt-cellar and sewing wax from Queen Isabetta del verde for retaining

The central activity this war was participating in the shoe seminar by visiting laurel Master Vyncent ate Wodegate.  The three day class stretched on into both four and five days, and I will honestly admit I learned quite a lot.  I know I will use boar’s bristle for sewing future leather projects.  I have also finally understood how the different parts of the shoe go together, especially heel caps.  But I also learned about my limitations– I simply don’t have the arm strength to produce shoes in a limited time-frame.  I was also overly-ambitious by choosing a late-period shoe type with double soles.  I was frustrated when I made the decision to not complete the shoes on my own, but I won’t consider it as admitting defeat.  It is not defeat to accept limitations in time and physical ability, but learn along the way.  I’ve gained an even greater respect for cordwainers, and am reminded that medieval craftsmen were specialists, while modern reenactors are more often generalists.

Weavers’ Tea on Tuesday was a delightful meeting of the Drachenwald Weavers group.  Nine participants shared their ongoing work and interest in weaving, both narrow wares and from larger looms.  Thank you Åsa Martinsson (Åsa vävare) for co-hosting this meeting! I hope others can also take the initiative to create space for networking at other events around the kingdom.

My real love for these events is that they bring people together.  It is so good to see friends, but also to have the time to build the groundwork for new friendships.  There’s nothing like hanging out under a sunshade, working on a project and letting conversation flow naturally.  I definitely need to improve my skill at taking mid-day naps on blankets in the shade, but hey, always room for improvement!  I am not going to list all of the people I spent time with, for fear of forgetting someone.  What I will say is that it is this time together with my friends that keeps my batteries charged between events.  I will send a special thanks to Camp Clueless for hosting the shoe seminar and for being so welcoming throughout the event.

Things to remember

This is a short list of other stray things I wish to remember from Double Wars XXX:

  • Volunteer more.  I retained for Her Majesty the Queen one morning, and helped in the kitchen for one breakfast.  Volunteering not only makes these events possible, they are a great way to meet new people.
  • Layers, layers, layers.  This year’s war was late in May, but it was still quite cool at night and during court.  Overdresses and warm hoods made bulky cloaks unnecessary.
  • Less is more.  I kept a log over which clothing was actually used, and I surprised myself.  While changing shifts and hose, I discovered that I really used one wool dress most days, a Greenlandic D10587 short sleeved gown of light weight wadmal.  It tolerated abuse as ‘work clothes’ and was comfortable on warm days.  On the coldest evening, it layered over another gown and kept me toasty warm.  I need to rethink my wardrobe for fewer, more flexible items.
  • Wool is da bomb.  Yes, anyone who knows me knows I love wool.  At DW I found that I disliked the feeling of linen– that it was ‘clammy’ and cold.  I would like to experiment more with wool as first layer, for example tropical weight wool for chemises.  Bonus is that it may well be more persona appropriate.
  • If you want a hot shower, go before breakfast.
  • Can’t do it all.  The shoe seminar took up a large portion of time at DW, and I ended up missing a cooking class due to working on Da Red Shoes.  Choices have to be made, but I need to think carefully on how to prioritize time at future events.
  • Naps are necessary.  I am an introvert.  Hanging out with all the awesome people evah is awesome, but exhausting.  Take naps preemptively.
  • Tree sex.  Take along antihistamines to counteract the concentration of pollen at this beautiful campsite.
  • Taxi Österlen (tlf 0414-17777) was reliable and actually did taxi service to and from the site.

Sum of the parts

Double Wars is one of my favorite SCA events.  I think I achieved my goal of reducing stress and simply enjoying myself.  I completed a few projects and now have inspiration for new ones.  In conclusion, I will share one photograph from Jonas Evertsson as proof of presence at DW.  I have many pictures stored in my heart and memories to mull over in the months to come.

External links

Francis Classe (Master Vyncent ate Wodegate) , guest laurel instructing in cordwainry (shoe making) (http://www.raisedheels.com/blog/?p=1323#more-1323).

Jonas Evertsson's (Eadricus fillius Offaeus) photograph from Double War, shared under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 liscence, appears in this Flickr album (https://www.flickr.com/photos/lord_edricus/35122560880/in/album-72157685355093576/).  This photograph is (https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4212/34667737294_8487215f06_b.jpg)

Drachenwald Weavers can be found on Face Book (https://www.facebook.com/groups/211543799056367/?fref=ts)

Just another day at the war... Photograph ©Jonas Evertsson

Just another day at the war...
Photograph ©Jonas Evertsson