Friday: We got to Broadlands in the mid-afternoon which
was just as well, as once we got there we did not have a clue where
we were supposed to be. As it turned out we had, what appeared to
be, most of a field to play with although Howard wanted us
to form a horseshoe flanked by the Arctic Explorers and Tarin’s
Medieval Games and Activities…taking into account that
were set up behind us it felt as though we were preparing for an
attack from disgruntled and dispossessed natives.
Saturday: Once sorted I set off to find the Hoplites
to say hi. We first met this group about 10 years ago not long after
they had started and now they seem to have a small village to lug
along with them, including a shelter made from a ships sail. One
new addition that got my attention was the yurt for the Scythian
contingent. I used to have my doubts about yurts but once I had
a look inside a friend’s one I was converted – they are fabulous!
The inside of Andy and Elaine’s yurt
has been set up with furs, travel boxes and a beautiful wooden carving
of a wondrous stag in the Scythian
style carved by Elaine.
While I had time I also pop over to the Wyoming
Wild Bunch and said “howdee” to some of our friends there,
including Chris who has made a rapid recovery from his stroke
a year ago. Tucked away in amongst the trees were the Bushwhackers,
who portray a part of the American Civil War that was brutal
in the only way that a civil war can be.
I met a very interesting gent who was a curio collector. While
we chatted he took an odd little item from his pocket: a disc with
what looked like a crossbow point welded to it. The wording showed
that it had been issued by the London
Colonial Office and stamped with 64 on both sides. It looked
a bit like a large version of one of those old invoice spikes but
I had no idea what it was. I gave up on guessing and was told that
it was a whale research tag, issued in the days when the only retrieval
of data involved killing the whale – these days they use GPS.
What started out as a very nice evening turned into heavy downpour.
So far we have had rain at almost every event but, once the rain
had passed, we were in for a great sunset and I was rewarded with
a few common pipistrelles feeding overhead.
Sunday: Well, thankfully the rain had passed for good and
we had a great day. I met some interesting folks again, one visitor
who saw my tribal items told me that he had found a load of stuff
in an attic. My initial enthusiasm was dampened when he told me
that he had burned most of it! I told him that some Pacific tribal
items can sell for over £500. I suspect that he headed straight
home to salvage what remained.
I met a fascinating ex-army man who on seeing the cane toad told
me that while serving in the Caribbean he had played football
with them, by which he meant filling the toad with air and…well,
I’m sure you get the picture.
As the day drew to a close I kept seeing the Bushwhackers
leaving their woodland hide out, pushing their belongings ahead
of them in barrows as though fleeing a spud famine. I finished the
day discussing ancient epics such as ‘Gilgamesh’,
Iliad’ and Xenophon’s ‘Anabasis’,
more popularly known as ‘The Persian Expedition’. This involved
a bunch of Greeks going to Persia and backing the wrong side. Their
journey out of Asia Minor is an incredible one and would make a
great movie…possibly. And so, our penultimate event came to a close
with the luxury of dry canvas!
This is Prof. Grymm…getting the ger outta here!