The day has dawned clear and hot. The cicdias are already droning. Even in canvas, the tent becomes too stuffy to sleep late…
Saturday started earlier than I would have liked, but it was yucky hot and humid, and even in the pavilion it was too hot to keep sleeping. I needed a door open, which meant that I really just needed to get up for the day. Lo and behold, Charlotte was already awake and I suspect had been for some time. She was happily hanging out on her cot, letting us sleep. When I looked over at her, I got a big grin and a wave. Her father, however, was less happy about the start of the day. I have to say though, if he was hung over at all, he covered it well. On the other hand, HE thought that he’d come to bed before 11:00pm (actually 2:15am), and had no recollection of my having made him drink a bottle of Gatorade before coming to bed. Or of having fallen asleep on the floor when he was “just going to lie down for a moment.” Despite all that, he managed to be moderately functional. Which is good, because I was disinclined towards sympathy.
Saturday morning set the pattern for the rest of the mornings. Sleep until something drove me out – heat, hydraulic pressure, hunger, “GOOD MORNING WEST KINGDOM,” whatever it happened to be. Wander out to the common pavilion in my chemise, socialize for a while, then dress and head out of camp. The complication on THIS particular morning was the discovery that I had slit all of my cotton/linen chemises for nursing. So I threw on a chemise, and discovered that it was open to my navel. Oops. I rectified that with a ring brooch and a clothes pin, but still… Coffee improved Bob’s outlook on life, and eventually all three of us got moving. Charlotte was pretty unenthusiastic about having her hair brushed and braided, but unlike two years ago was very cooperative about putting on sunscreen. That was helpful. I pulled out my handy shopping list, and off we went. My first stop was thatpotteryguy’s booth, where I exhibited a complete lack of willpower. A plate and bowl for Charlotte, to stay in storage. A pitcher and basin to stay in storage (leaving them was a wrench – they’re very pretty. But now I don’t have to transport breakables.) As I was dithering between the handled quatrefoil cup and the quatrefoil pitcher for a Pennsic gift for vynehorn, lucianus stopped in and I solicited his two cents worth – we went with the pitcher. Did I need another cistern? Nope. But it was just too nice to leave behind for someone else. After that it was a bit of a whirlwind shopping tour. I figured that I had a list – let’s just knock everything off of it. That would leave the whole week for browsing. (By the way Kate – I didn’t see those earrings, or even anything close.) Despite the fact that it was just grossly hot and humid – standard Pennsic stick-to-yourself weather, we got most of my list knocked off, although we didn’t really get up Battle Road to the new market. Most of what I wanted was in old market anyhow – I got our t-shirts early, got a good quality straw mat to leave in storage, and picked up some trim from Calontir Trim to make tie-backs for my living room curtains (I have enough of it now – I measured wrong for Birka).
Saturday was the day that drove home how much I was going to miss the Fruity Cobbler. I didn’t realize how often I ate there until it was gone. The steak sandwiches were SO convenient at any time of the day – and I missed catching them right before they closed for a cobbler “sweetheart” – two spoons to share. The place that took their spot is NOT the same. More expensive, and not as good.
That’s really about all we accomplished on Saturday. It was hot. It was humid. I was tired. I was dragging, to be honest. A bit later in the day Charlotte finally crashed for a really late nap, and I took the wagon back over to Eadric’s to pick up my pottery. On the way I found the baskets that Vynehorn had asked me to pick up for she and her mom, and they had itty bitty ones – I got one for Charlotte.
I know that we ate dinner back in camp, but I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what it was. When I put Charlotte to bed, I put me to bed also. Bob stayed up late again – just because I’m tired doesn’t mean that *he* has to go to bed, but it was only midnight this time. Sometime in there Charlotte fell out of bed, and unfortunately landed on the banner poles. That occasioned a little bit of crying, but after a hug she wanted to go right back to sleep. I had trouble sleeping because of the ants. Early in the war there were little tiny ants *everywhere.* I much prefer them to earwigs or those red beetles that are usually all over, but I kept waking up with them crawling on me. Yech!
Sunday dawned hot, humid, and gross again, and Sunday was opening ceremonies. Because of course, nothing is better on a gross, hot, humid day than standing in the sun in the middle of a field, in a crowd. Right? We gathered up all the stuff – the baronial war banner (the “sail” as I call it) lives with me. Mostly because I made it, and I want to be sure it doesn’t get ruined. The banner poles are mine – for whatever reason at the time I didn’t submit receipts for reimbursal, so they’re mine. The good part is that I can just leave them in my storage unit all year and there are no issues. This year I finally remembered that we need flag belts while there was still time to order them before Pennsic, and I’d placed an order in mid July. Mind you – I didn’t remember soon enough to submit a proposal to the barony in advance, but I knew that someone else was going to have to carry the sail this year so I ordered them. For less than $100 I got two military quality double harness belts, which are frankly necessary if you’re going to carry that monster. So we bundled up the banner and the poles and the belts, and the kid, and headed for EK royal. It became apparent that Charlotte would never be able to keep up with the procession – her legs were just too short, AND she kept stopping to look at things. The answer was going to have to be that we would need someone else to carry half the banner and I would take her back to camp for opening ceremonies. No big deal. Except folks from our barony were pretty sparse when I got there, and it was starting to look like I was going to take the whole thing back to camp – and then our friend Greg showed up. Fresh from the parking lot and only on site for a couple of hours. He was promptly drafted. Our answer when he objected that he wasn’t dressed fancy enough was “heraldry dresses up any outfit.” Given that the banner is five feet wide by eight or nine feet long, no one looks at the people carrying it very hard. I got them set, and headed back to camp with Charlotte. Which set off the crying for “daddydaddydaddydaddy.” Sigh. I figured that I would put her in her wagon and we would walk back and be in time to see the procession go by. Silly girl. We were back in plenty of time to stand around and process out with the barony. When the banner caught the wind, Greg pointed out to me that this is why modern flags have scalloped cuts in them – it was doing its best to carry them off like an actual sail. Let’s hear it for flag belts.
Charlotte and I didn’t stay for the ceremonies – I had no intention of standing around in the sun while the kings mumbled. I dragged Charlotte out the back, and back down the field, and our friend Camma came with us – and, since Auntie Camma was there she wasn’t as upset about leaving daddy. We headed back and I got to show Camma the camp. Bob and Greg brought all the gear back, and I took a nap. It was just too hot to do anything else. This time we stashed the banner poles on my side of the tent instead of Charlotte’s. After the assorted naps was dinner, and then Charlotte’s bath. I’d picked up a 70 quart muck tub at Agway, and every morning we would fill it with water and haul it over into the sun. By dusk, it was nice warm water. She wasn’t impressed. The entire block knew how unimpressed she was. Luckily, they all thought it was funny. I have a very cute picture of her in her Pennsic bath that sadly I’m not going to post. These days I would probably get in trouble.
After the bath we got her to bed, which is when Jan and his family showed up to say hi. We had a nice visit, and while we were talking she fell out of bed again. Because there were no banner poles to land on this time, she just rolled up like a pillbug and kept sleeping.
Shortly thereafter, I did the same. The sleeping - not the falling out of bed or the curling up like a pillbug. That lasted until about 3:00am, when the storm rolled in. I don’t know if it was the thunder or the lightening that woke me up, but I got up to check the tent. The rain was coming down in buckets, and for whatever reason, our fly was accumulating water rather than guttering it off the roof. So I was out in the rain loosening ropes to try to get it to drain. Eventually I stumbled on the right combination, and the rainwater started to run off the end. Then when I got back in the tent I started to check for problems – and we had a few. We’ve had a problem with the back door leaking for years – and it was at it again. I moved the ground cloth so that it could drip onto the grass, and that was taken care of. More concerningly, there was water coming in the seam where the roof meets the walls – right over my attic space. With the way the rain was driving against the tent, there really wasn’t much to be done about it. So I moved her books out of harm’s way, rolled up a couple of towels, and laid them in there as drip absorbers. It seemed to work, so I crawled back in bed. I heard later that we got a half an inch of rain in 30 minutes – which would explain why my 13 year old tent couldn’t entirely keep up. But there’s nothing like running around adjusting tent ropes in your underwear in the rain to tire you out, so I feel back to sleep as the thunder rumbled off to rain on people to the east.
And the morning and the evening and the morning and the evening were the second and third days.