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Investiture - Saturday and Sunday

Saturday morning dawned way too early, and I wasn’t moving very quickly.  Also, my motivation was fairly low.  I was exhausted, I’d had a few weeks of being bombarded with all the people who *weren’t* coming, and I had absolutely *no idea* of what we were supposed to be doing, despite trying to get someone, anyone to tell me.  I’m a person who needs a plan.  And a backup plan.  And in a perfect world, a fallback position from the backup plan.  All of the “don’t worry, we’ll work it out that day” that I’d been getting shoved down my throat had ratcheted the stress level well up into the red zone.  And then they’d crawl up my ass about being stressed.  Can’t win for losing.

At any rate, we got to the site about thirty minutes later than planned, and then we sat around waiting for someone to please tell us what we were supposed to be doing.  That didn’t work so well for Charlotte – she was miserable.  Eventually, I took her for a walk to try to stop the whining, and she went happily out into the courtyard, finally contented.  Naturally, that’s when I got pulled back in.  Full screaming meltdown.  So now I have a kid who’s been cooped up in a side room for two hours having a full tantrum right before I need her to sit quietly in public for forty-five minutes or so.  Best part?  Then we sat around for another ten minutes or so waiting for someone to tell us what to do.

The next thirty minutes involved a lot of people in bad moods.  We’ll leave it at that.

Not much to say about court/the investiture.  We hung out at the back of the hall, we walked in, got hats, sat down.  Apparently we could have done some business right then, but since we’d only found out about that option approximately an hour previous, we had nothing planned and no time to figure anything out.  Royal court was nice and included the thing that I did enjoy that day – vynehorn’s laurel, which was very well deserved.  People who know me know that I generally don’t approve of diverse arts laurels – the whole idea defeats the concept of “mastery.”  But there’s a tipping point for me, and she’s passed it.  If I weren’t behind it I would have smiled and offered congratulations, but I certainly wouldn’t have threatened mayhem to protect my prerogative to a) create the document and b) organize the whole thing.  People said nice things, the regalia all came together perfectly, and people actually figured out the neat thing I did with the document.  It was a fantastically dense piece of legalese that I stole damn near word for word from a couple of sixteenth century documents.  I try not to do that often, but for the right occasion, it’s fabulous.

It damn near killed me not to talk about it here while I was working on it.  I’ll post a picture as soon as I take one…

Charlotte did fairly well during court.  There was a bit of a fuss at one point when she wanted Bob’s chair, but I distracted her to sit on the stool, and she was happy to make that her spot.  What got to be a problem was that she decided that she needed her night-night blanket – in the middle of Vynehorn’s laurel.  I really couldn’t leave and go get it.  I couldn’t send Auntie Camma, since she was reading testimony from Master Allyn.  She headed down the wrong stairs, and ended up in the hallway.  Luckily anarra took her in hand, and it was all okay.

After court we wandered around a bit, and tried to stop by and see what was going on.  I got to Vynehorn’s reception, which had graciously been catered by jtdiii, to fabulous effect.  I *loathe* asking busy people to do things for me, but I was up against a wall.  It was a fabulous spread, including my favorite tarragon chicken pies.  I’m a fan of tarragon.  I wandered on at that point, and Charlotte stayed with her sister, beginning an afternoon of “who has my child?”  I got out to the fencing and the rattan fighting, but never made it to the archery. 

Shortly after that we were due to report back to the royal room, which we dutifully did, and sat and waited to be told what to do.  Somewhere in there Her Highness arrived – she seems like a lovely lady – and we all sat for a while longer.  I wasn’t entirely sure what we were waiting for, but it turned out we were waiting for champions to show up.  Wyatt arrived just as we were about to leave without him, and off we went.  First court didn’t go too badly, for the first time out of the gate, and most of the missteps weren’t us.   When we were going to announce the heavy list winner, the marshal wasn’t in the hall.  We moved on, and he arrived, so that resolved itself.  Fencing was announced without a hitch, but apparently a prize was never arranged.  Archery left me irked.  There had been a serious dearth of communication about the archery – at least to us.  As of the last barony meeting, we needed a prize.  Then on the list, we didn’t need a prize.  We brought one anyway to be safe, and it turned out that we did need a prize – except all of a sudden we needed three and we had one – and found out IN court.  That was awkward.  All stuff that I’ll likely micromanage from now on, so that shouldn’t happen again.  Bob presented an archery ranking badge that we knew about, but after we’d moved on, it turned out there was another that we didn’t know about.  Also awkward.  Not as awkward as the whole Runnymeade thing though.  That was one of the things on the docket that we didn’t put there, and didn’t know what it was or why it was there.  Okay – I hadn’t gotten input on anything else, just wait and see.  Except that none of them came to the event.  Ateno and Lassair were there because we had asked them specifically to come and help with the brewing.  So they got there, looked at us, and said “You called us.”  Except we hadn’t.  Bob covered with something about thanking them for coming up to help, but WOW was that uncomfortable.  And awkward.  And embarrassing.  I’m not quite sure what that was all about, but since they hadn’t originally planned on making the trip, the idea of what that would have been like if they hadn’t been there makes my skin crawl.

We wrapped up fairly quickly after a few more missteps, and got the hell out of there.  I had vague feelings of guilt about not helping with cleanup, but I just really wanted to be gone.  We hit Great Taste in New Britain for dinner with isabeau_lark, Jan, and Erica.  I’ve heard good things about them from co-workers, and I’ve wanted to try them for a while.  The reports weren’t wrong – really good food, fantastic service, and Charlotte loved the fish tank.  We’re definitely going back there again.

Sunday we went down to my parents’ to return the Jeep.  I actually could have skipped making that whole round trip – I borrowed the Jeep due to all the dire warnings of all the things we were going to need to bring home.  Honestly, I didn’t need a larger vehicle to bring home a gingerbread cake and a box of quince paste, but all the extra room did make the packing easier.  Had a nice day with mom and dad, came home, and went to bed early.

So that’s over and done with.  Now I just need to catch up on my sleep.



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 22nd, 2012 02:50 am (UTC)
What you couldn't see was how much Charlotte was eating up the whole, "I'm on stage and everyone's looking at me!" When you were up there for the Holy Rodent Empire donation she was grinning like a Cheshire cat. I'd say to take it as a warning for things to come.

Honestly, I saw that she wanted Bob's chair, but it was only about 20 seconds of darn quiet fussing that half of the people probably never noticed. I'm sure it seemed awful from your end, but it really wasn't from ours. She was so, as Erica put it, "diabolically cute" that she could have gotten away with murder anyway.

That document was spectacular and you should be very proud. I'm so glad I got to see this one. Vynehorn really deserved it.

The leftovers from dinner were just as yummy last night. BTW, I made it to church early, with time to stop for another cup of tea. The travel mug will find its way home eventually.
May. 22nd, 2012 03:03 am (UTC)
When my parents cleaned out the clutter, they gave me a bag full of them with the idea that we could send them on the road with people without worrying. So whenever it makes it home is fine.

I'm damn pleased with that document. And the award. :-)

New Britain isn't that far away - we'll definitely see if we can work them in again sometime when you're up.

I've gotten pretty good at diverting Charlotte during barony meetings, so that was fairly practiced. We'll just let her free range, and it'll work just fine.
May. 22nd, 2012 03:12 am (UTC)
We've noticed how good you are at the art of distraction with her. It's obviously a gift.

BTW, did you get a chance to check out the pics? My favorites are the one where you're talking to her, but she's turned to the camera and the one where she's got the "I'm not amused face" on.

I talked to the other Bob...there will be more appropriate length veil pins in Charlotte's future, as much for my safety as hers. I leaned over to hug her and noticed them just in time to keep from getting stabbed.

Edited at 2012-05-22 03:12 am (UTC)
May. 22nd, 2012 11:26 am (UTC)
I too would be driven mad by the lack of a plan. That being said, I don't think that most people noticed the mistakes you mentioned above. I certainly didn't notice most of them, and that's typical in any kind of performance. Usually, the audience knows something was messed up only if you let them know, and I didn't see that happening.

I think you and Dorigen did a wonderful job throughout the entire day.
May. 22nd, 2012 12:36 pm (UTC)
OMG. I can't even describe the awfulness, but you of all people can understand. Spontenaity has it's place - worked into a nicely organized plan.

Well, I'm glad it wasn't glaring obvious because enacting all the things that I have nightmares about wasn't any fun at all.
May. 22nd, 2012 12:32 pm (UTC)
... I find myself at a failure as Herald for not immediately giving you the lowdown of what was expected and what was going to happen earlier. For that i apologize.

Also the Runnymeade thing is tradition that the present members greet the incoming. Sometimes there are gifts to be exchanged. I didn't know Ateno and Lassar didn't remember that.

Anyway. Court education. If you need anything just call or email or whatever. There was a learning curve for Dins and Shiro too. You did well. especially with a cranky 3 year old in the mix.
May. 22nd, 2012 05:22 pm (UTC)
An unpleasant experience does not a disaster nor a failure make - it is merely unpleasant. It was definitely a learning experience.

As far as Runnymeade is concerned - that would have necessitated some of them to actually attend, which clearly wasn't in anyone's plans. Ateno and Lassar were there as a personal favor to us at our request, so no surprise it didn't occur to them.

Next time I make her carry in the night-night blanket herself.
May. 22nd, 2012 12:55 pm (UTC)
As someone who was very much on the outside, I can only say that you must be an excellent actress, because *none* of the stress and meltdowns were noticeable, from my perspective anyway.

Though of course I spent part of the afternoon taking a nap in the car with a teenager with a migraine and an ear infection.....

We are planning on getting more active which should be easier since elder daughter wants to play too. (The current plan is Simplefare, Yule, and if they still hold it, Blackrose. Event attendence is difficult when one of you is always scheduled to work on Saturdays...)

I'm happy to help in any way I can, just let me know what you need.
May. 22nd, 2012 01:06 pm (UTC)
I'm *so* glad to hear it went of with nary a hitch! Sleep well.
May. 22nd, 2012 02:24 pm (UTC)
No problems were visible from the cheap seats - everyone seemed poised and calm and perfectly well-composed. Even Charlotte! I can see where you might have felt awkward from some of the missteps in First Court, but I'm being very honest when I tell you that they didn't come off as awkward from where I was. You seemed to be rolling with whatever came up.
May. 24th, 2012 01:51 am (UTC)
I'm sorry the day didn't go as well as you'd wished it would, but I view Investitures with the same eye as one would with planning a vigil, or a wedding. Something will always go a bit astray, and you just can't sweat the small stuff, unpleasantries or no. There will always be something that 'could have been done differently' - but what I saw was a good event, pulled together well.

As for the document - you did wonderful work. There was honestly no need for the joking threat of violence, since I couldn't picture anyone else as more suited to create it for vynehorn.

Congratulations again, and we'll see you guys at the next business meeting.
May. 24th, 2012 12:34 pm (UTC)
I agree - from what I've heard from people, it was a good event, if sparsely attended, and they all had fun. So far it sounds like we didn't lose too much money, so the group is in good shape.

I just like to be clear when requesting peerage documents. Sometimes there's competition. :-)
May. 24th, 2012 02:16 am (UTC)
From my perspective, and believe me I was on the look out for any potential pit fall at the event, Charlotte was extremely well behaved. Especially given the length of the day and the distraction of her parents.

When she took off after her blanket, I counted people on stage and realized the three of you were OCCUPIED. My only concern was knowing that you'd realize she had gone and wonder who'd kidnapped her! But the nice man at the doorway told me he'd reassured Dorigen.

Do NOT feel guilty about leaving early. I was home by 9:00 (!!) and was the last one out of the building.

Don't worry, by Simplefare you should be well-broken in. ;-)

Oh, and Great Taste is uber yummy. My friend Megan and her family come all the way from Eugene, Oregon to eat there.

Edited at 2012-05-24 02:31 am (UTC)
May. 24th, 2012 12:38 pm (UTC)
I've heard really good things about them, but they're just a little further than I'll go for a spontaneous "let's go out for dinner." We'll definitely be going back - and I won't worry about going with Charlotte! They were absolutely fantastic with her.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )