Saturday, August 19, 2006

Muck and mither

Four days in a muddy field in the middle of England can do things to a sensitive soul. But it just ticked off the likes of me. And tired me out. It's my age, I know. I wasn't quite right till yesterday (Friday). The best day of the event was actually the first one. Thankfully, we were able to set up whilst it was dry. And we were also able to watch the the 1st World War airplanes practice their stunts. They looked fabulous, chasing around the grey sky over the field. It was a shame the crowd was not treated to the full show on Saturday due to the gusting wind. However, the planes were out and about on Sunday after the rain had stopped, and they wowed the crowd.

The weather was predicted to be 'variable' - yeah, only variable between being overcast, windy, and/or rainy. Very little in the way of sun was seen the whole four days. Much like last year, to be honest. There were tent casualties, but when someone's tent falls over, all the group mucks in to put it back up again swiftly. Suprisingly, our two tents held out for once - we had guy ropes and big killer tent pegs. Verdict on the weather: cruel. It kept on being nasty right up until we packed on Monday. There was rain in the wind, and an actual downpour as we pulled out.

I commuted between camps, as I was pursuing my mosaicing (pix when I swap USB cables around; another Broadband problem) and also doing two shows a day in the arena. My previous link to the event will give you an idea of the groups represented, except for the earlier ones. The Romans were out in force, with the first century Ermines lining up formidably, and the late Roman groups ignored each other magnificently; re-enactment politics, don't ask, but I don't indulge in that, and will talk to anyone from any group.

There's always a good market at this event, and I was able to purchase a 15th century kirtle and undergown - museum, for the use of. I've just got to get shoes, belt and coif now, and then I'm ready to be a costumed guide :-)

Despite what I've said, overall, I did enjoy it. There are always great sights to be seen at these multi-period events. And lots of interesting people and cherished friends to meet (in the other groups and amongst the public who visit). But it does seem to be getting rather predictable that this event is being linked with bad weather ...

11 Comments:

At 5:15 pm BST, Blogger Stephen said...

I'm sorry that I missed Kelmarsh this year. This was due to being in Foreign Parts. We did get to see quite a few Roman sites (and sights) though, seeing as we were in Rome...

 
At 7:04 pm BST, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

That Ermine Guard site looks nice. Pics of Romans in full regalia are always useful.

Costumed guide sounds like a fun occupation, but perhaps not so much with an uncooperative foot. ;)

 
At 8:15 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

Stephen - Stop showing off ;-) (I'm just jealous) I hope you'll be detailing this in your blog

Gabriele - The Ermines are fantastic, but people tend to think that Romans looked like that until the 5th century! They always think my late Roman group are Vikings or some such (eek)

The foot tends to be OK at present (with a lot of massage), plus the house/museum is not that big and there are plenty of places to sit down :-)

 
At 9:39 pm BST, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

I'm coming over in spring, so you better keep those garments up to date. :)

I decided to change my journey plans. There's no way I could do the southern tour with the money I have without leaving out too much, thus I'll travel to York and the Hadrian's Wall instead. It's cheaper to get there as well, because I can take a ferry from Amsterdam to Newcastle. Beats a flight to London, and is less stressful than a 12 hours trainride.

 
At 10:19 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

I didn't realise you were coming to England so soon :-)

Most people seem to want to come in at southern ports to the point I wondered if it was only used by Northern Brits to get out and about! You probably already know that Newcastle is one hour from York, and that you can get close to Arbeia (South Shields) on the Metro. You must also visit Bede's World (6-7th century Anglo-Saxon farm) - I believe the Metro is quite close, though have forgotten which station. Same goes for Segedunum, I think.

What is on your itinary?

 
At 10:20 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

PS Managed to mis-spell itinerary ...

 
At 10:59 pm BST, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

OH, Bede's World sounds cool.

My itinerary so far: York, and then along the Hadrian's Wall (there's a bus touring several times a day) with longer stops at Vindolanda and one or two other places from where I can cover the rest of the wall from Housesteads to Carlisle. I'd like to do some good walking, too.

How much time do you think I'll need for York (Roman, Saxon, Mediaeval) and places around York easily reachable by public traffic?

 
At 9:09 am BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

Oh cripes - that's a 'how long is a piece of string question':-) What sites in York you do you count as 'must see'? I would say: Jorvik, Yorkshire Museum, Clifford's Tower, The Minster Undercroft, The Roman Baths (exhibition in the cellar of a pub), Barley Hall (Medieval house), The Dig (new archaeology orientated exhibition), various medieval houses just in the street, etc. What sites outside York do you intend to visit?

btw, I can recommend the *free* museum in Hull - recently refitted and some great stuff on show, including lots of Roman. Medieval Beverley Bar and Minster are also worth a look, though Beverley is a pain to get to - probably a bus journey, rather than train, but you get to see East Yorkshire in sloooow detail :-) I've just found out about a bus which may go to Aldborough, where there's a Roman site and small museum. I could check on other sites for you, if you want.

From volunteering in the Museum, I've learnt that there's a York Pass, which can be purchased and will get you into some of the museums above much cheaper - though I'd double-check exactly which museums are included before purchasing to check it's worth your while. But we've had glowing reports from several people using it though, including one couple who were calculating how much they've saved as they went along. Details here: http://www.yorkpass.com/

Drop me a line at: alex_bordessa@yahoo.co.uk if you want to discuss this further. But put a note on the blog so I know if you've emailed.

 
At 6:20 pm BST, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Thank you. Sure, I'd like to discuss this further. Some time in January when I'm planning the details of the tour, scheduled for April. Right now I only did some preplanning to see how much money I'll have to save. :)

This new tour will leave me some bucks to visit Trier (Augusta Treverorum) in September this year.

 
At 7:20 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

I've heard about Trier. If we ever do a European tour, I'd love to go there.

 
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