Lest you think my Pennsic was unremittingly awful – it wasn’t. Things picked up a bit on Sunday.
Sunday I got to sleep in a bit. Charlotte slept later, which meant that I got to also. In forty-four days when she’s not nursing any more I won’t have to get up when she does – Dad and I can take turns getting up to feed her breakfast. But for now, I’m stuck. On the downside, the pitter-patter of raindrops-keep-falling-on-my-tent was not making for lots of cheerfulness. That continued on and off while I laid there. The baby came nice and warm out of her basket, except for one icy cold foot that she absolutely insisted on keeping out from under the covers.
The whole living "cozy" in the wedge was instructional from one viewpoint. I love the regent – it’s spacious, it’s got great storage space under the slanty sides, and let’s face it – it’s an attractive tent. But there’s always a level of angst about keeping the rain from dripping in the doors because of those aforementioned slanty sides. Then once it’s dripped in, the ground cloth holds it. We’ve had more and more trouble with this as the tent has aged. Maybe things have stretched, maybe I’m not tying the doors correctly (likelier) – I don’t know. What I do know is that when it rains I check to see if I need to manage a drip. With the wedge I just rolled over and went back to sleep. Vertical walls – if it does drip, it’ll likely drip on the grass (we don’t have a sod cloth so that we can also use it as a sun shade/lean-to.) For years now I’ve regretted that we don’t have attachment points for a fly off of both doors of the regent. If we did I’d custom order a really short fly for the back – three feet, four at the most. Just enough to shelter the back door, but not have any footprint of its own. I suppose that what I ought to do is find out how much a retrofit would cost, because there’s no sign of needing to replace the regent any time soon. That thing is wearing like iron. It was awfully nice to not have to tie the doors up for the rain – just let them fall closed and go about my business, but I really like my pretty big tent.
I think Bob fed Charlotte breakfast to make up for Saturday’s disaster, and I wandered over to the common area to be a little social – or as social as I get at that hour. Time was lost track of, and Bob had to head off for the champion’s shoot. Sunday was "his" day – leave the baby with me and marshal the archery champions’ shoot all day. That’s why I was really pissed about losing Saturday. But I got myself and Charlotte dressed, loaded her into the wagon, and headed out into the merchant’s area.
One of the things on my "must do" list was to get to thatpotteryguy ’s booth *first thing.* You can see how well that worked. Nonetheless, it was my first destination, and this year (the year I have no discretionary income) I got lucky – he had an absolutely gorgeous cistern. Fourteenth century appropriate, English, really attractive, about 3 quarts. Right up my alley. I broke down almost immediately. There was also a really lovely pitcher, but I have three of his pitchers and I’ve wanted a cistern for years. The spigot isn’t period, but he offered to have an authentic one made and mailed to me. (Which reminds me – I never gave you my address…) Wonderful wonderful! AND Charlotte had fallen asleep in her wagon at that point, so I was able to have a nice conversation. I also picked up a cup for her – it’s 15th/16th century rather than 14th, but more to the point it’s not plastic. If/when she breaks it I’ll get her a new one. I nestled the cistern into the wagon next to the baby’s feet, and headed off to see more.
I roamed the merchant area a little bit, but it’s not as much fun window shopping alone. I didn’t even bother to look at the books this year. I knew I shouldn’t be spending money, and I can always order books. I came to the same conclusion about the things we need from Panther for the pavilions – when we have the money I can order them over the phone. It rained on and off during this trek, so the umbrella was broken out as the precipitation level dictated. It wasn’t nearly as nice a day as Saturday had been, but I rather like an overcast at Pennsic. Just not one that drips. Next I wandered off into the Serengeti to see if I could find Jan, and got there just as he’d finished putting the tent up and started unloading the "stuff." We had a nice chat that got more difficult when Charlotte woke up. That’s the hard part – I couldn’t really go into merchant’s booths because the wagon is too big and I wouldn’t leave her outside when she was asleep, but when she was awake I couldn’t hear myself think. She hasn’t grasped the concept of differing volume levels yet. She has two settings: on and off. She can be shushed, but that take so much effort that you can’t really have a conversation while doing it. This is just how it’s going to be for a while.
After a bit I got out of Jan’s way so that he could take the car up to the parking lot (the lots having reopened,) and wandered aimlessly. There were classes that I was interested in, but she was just too awake and talkative – we would have disrupted anything we went to. I bumped into a bunch of people I knew, and got a lot of compliments on Charlotte’s "tricked out ride" from friends and strangers alike. The "crib on wheels" is how I heard people describing it. At one point I was stopped for a good twenty minutes while various random herds of strangers cooed at the baby and took pictures. The big hit though? The cheap little clip-on battery powered fan that I bought at Babies R Us a couple of months ago. Parents with really, really nice wagons were eyeing that fan with open avarice. If I’d had a bag full of them I probably could have sold them at a tidy profit. Period? No. Anything to keep the baby content? YES.
Somewhere around 3:00ish the phone rang, and Bob let me know that he was done and heading back to camp. I gather the new concept for organizing the champions’ shoot didn’t go as well as it might have. Rather than having ten teams, ten stations, and having each team start at a different station and then change (I’m making these numbers up out of whole cloth, by the way,) they decided to run them through in order. He was marshalling the first station. So he was done at 3:00, but they had competitors who had been standing around for two hours waiting to shoot. I guess a couple of people may have walked away in disgust. Doesn’t sound like a good time to me, but it meant that I got the other parent back about five hours sooner than anticipated, and we went out to grab dinner. I regret missing the pork loin that they were making in camp, but I really wanted my Pennsic steak sandwich. It’s just one of those silly things I look forward to. After that we headed over to the White Rose camp to see if kamau_d_lyon had arrived yet. We haven’t seen Charles for a few years, and he’s one of the people I really miss camping with. We were actually timely and (I hope) not in the way, so we had a nice visit with Charles and hawkyns and gwendolynbasing and lady_kathryn_r and even saw peregrine58 for a few minutes. They have a drop dead gorgeous period camp. It’s got to be a ton of work, but I’d love to do that. The problem is that I’m just not willing to give up my century. That’s me – stuck in the 14th, but not good enough for the groups that are doing the 14th at that level. I just don’t have the time or the resources right now, and frankly most of the "14th century mafia" that I’ve run into don’t really have the time of day for the people who aren’t already up to their level. They tend to be very polite in an "aren’t you cute" kind of a way. So we’ll stagger along as best we can. As long as the kit keeps getting better, I’m happy. We’re getting there.
We stayed at the White Rose until fairly late, and made ourselves scarce when they headed out for a list of social engagements. That’s something else that I miss about Pennsic – we haven’t had a "social engagement" for years. We’re just not people that anyone invites anywhere. Not that I was ever a party girl, but it is nice to be asked. Notice how much angst I have about this. Wait, it’s here somewhere, really… After leaving the White Rose we headed up to Quatrefoil on the north forty (as I still call it) to find Carolingia and pick up vynehorn ’s baking stone and kerfew from lucianus and jdulac That was a long drag with Charlotte in the wagon. At that point I was doing all the pulling because (having had a whole day of practice) my technique was better and I didn’t want her dropping into a pothole in the dark. This was the point where the sins of Saturday almost came home to roost. Luke and Jehan weren’t in camp – they had gone to dinner at Concordia. hugh_mannity tried to locate the stone for us, but wasn’t successful. AND they were going off site that evening for a day or two – and WE were leaving Monday evening. Hugh, however, was saving the day for us. We left a message on Luke’s phone and Hugh vowed to get the details from them when they got back and make it all work. We were just in the process of swapping phone numbers when who arrived? Luke and Jehan! O frabjous day! Talk about perfect timing. So we collected the stone, swapped it for cash, and nestled it into the spot by Charlotte’s feet that had been occupied by the cistern the previous day. (I didn’t actually get to look at the stone until the day before yesterday. It’s GORGEOUS. I’m really jealous and want one of my own. But Elizabeth having one is almost as good as having one of my own. Maybe at Birka…) That mission having been accomplished, we thanked all parties involved profusely, told Luke to just ignore the message on his cell, and headed back to camp. On the way we ran into isabeau_lark in the food court and decided to stop and split a cobbler. The young man from camp who was with her kept Charlotte entertained and happy, so we were able to chat AND eat. Lovely. At some point between the food court and camp she passed out and was so limply asleep that when we got back to the tent she transferred to her basket with no problem, we stripped the padding from the wagon to bring it inside, and retired for the night.
And the morning and the evening were the third day.