I've posted before about the Tournament of the Golden Swan. It's a persona-development SCA event, originally designed to encourage the more creative and less combative aspects of the Society for Creative Anachronism, or more pragmatically described, to give non-fighters something to do. This is done by testing how thoroughly entrants have researched and imagined the medieval person they present themselves as being.
Given that it's been going a fair few years, the contest has been stuck in several ways in a very SCA mindset, perhaps describable as a 1960s take on a romantic Victorian idea of the Middle Ages. As knowledge about medieval society and daily life has grown, and research within the SCA reached a higher standard, the better-researched your persona, the less likely you were to find a good fit with a contest that required an embroidered favour (an SCA tradition, not a medieval one) and expected entrants to inspire the lord who fought for them. Last year the outdated format was addressed once again, and actual changes were made.
Perhaps relatedly, there were three entrants this year, compared to none last year.
It was hung up inside the hall, so I took the opportunity to get a digital pic of it.
Geez, guys, you could hem it sometime, you know?
Anyway, Joan and Rosie and I drove out Friday morning--a beautiful clear Friday morning--from Port Moody. The plan was to have enough time to stop for scenery and wineries, and this worked out nicely.
Despite wineries, we arrived in good time, and set up our tent alongside Alicia and Stephen's tent. Most people were sleeping inside the hall because of the cold, but we hardy medievalists were relying on wool and down (and straw mattresses) to shield us through the night. I have a photo of the frosty grass taken early the next morning, but perhaps the point was made above. It was cold. The stars were amazing, bright white in a black black sky. Until I set off the motion-sensitive light outside the hall.
Another shot from the bowls game that meandered all about the site. It started in the field beside the hall, wandered past the bandshell, behind the mock-frontier streetfront, through the seating for the fair bbq, past the animal pens, and around to the fighting field. (There was fighting going on, with HH Gemma exclaiming 'Man fall down!' at intervals.)
Needless to say (but I will say it anyways) Alicia kicked butt in every category. Happily, all three entrants carried it off successfully and joined the Order of the Golden Swan.
We packed up as early as we could manage the next morning and set off, managing to stop at another couple of wineries on the way back, and take our pictures with the sasquatch.