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[personal profile] salvianus
Back under canvas and around a fire after almost a year :-)

Yesterday, we watched the sunrise dim the starfield until only the Morning Star remained.

Beautiful :-)

Sledmere is a wonderful site, we were surrounded by trees and peacocks. The horses were great fun to have in the camp with us, snorting and snoring and looking quite interested.

H. was amazing, looking after me whilst I indulged myself doing three times as much done I had dared to hope.

It felt great to fall in for the pay parade in my gleaming new Koblenz helm my cornu, sounding for the first time for the troops. It is true to say that I mucked about a little for the boys and girls :-)

I really was not expecting to do commentaries, but it allowed us to field a fourth rider when Nobiscum was injured. I enjoyed my first infantry commentary immensely - I am such a show off! The cavalry shows were much more difficult, as horses never do the same thing twice and Picador had particular problems on this occasion. Sight reading a script does not lend itself to simultaneously working out whether the cavalry have finished one section or are just persuading a horse to continue and it is hard to move on the pace slickly when you have never seen this particular sequence before.

It was really nice see Katarina ride: she works so hard all the time and it was a joy to see her having some of the fun herself. Unfortunately, the PA packed up for the last show, and my voice was on its last legs anyway, so although Victor is almost all of the script I was shattered by the end and, in the established tradition, as useful as spaghetti whilst H packed away, aided only by Fasta.

In short, replacing the fallen rider for the group meant that H and I could not do any living history, she never got into the kit that we had rushed to finish for her including the shoes we had bought especially for the occasion whilst others are being made, the ladies were left on their own at the camp again, and the weekend finished with a stressful experience which will impinge directly on a stressful working week. Not good.

I hate seeing riders fall. I could swear that I feel the impact adds the weight of armour drives them into the ground. Whilst in hospital I have seen enough brave grimaces from good people in pain to last me a lifetime and I have no wish to see more on my weekends away. A fall ruins a display for me, as it does for most of the audience and a sustained 40% casualty rate unacceptable. It is lovely to sit around the fire talking to Victor, but him nursing a freshly broken rib is not relaxing.

It is clear to me now, that this is enough to make me not want to watch one of our own cavalry displays and to perform the commentary upon one will lead quickly to having to deal with one of these awful events, putting me in the position of trying to manage the experience of the crowd when I find a more horrifying than most of them myself. Furthermore, it amounts to colluding with these seemingly inevitable injuries. I am going to have to say no.

Kit bit:
The new folding camp beds were a triumph, the locking aluminium stretcher frame was solid and free of creaks. We need a warmer layer under us, so a self inflating mattress seems ideal, new and much thicker sleeping bag & even hot water bottles perhaps filled via flasks. H's new hooded cloaks were totally windproof and just needs stronger loops to go over the toggles. We could use more protection from the scorching fire.
My cornu does not like being dismantled for transport and it is hard to brace it in exactly the right position. We plan to mark the best position and to tighten the joint sections with glue or perhaps even solder.
Victor had created a much better leather toggle chinstrap closure for my helm and I had carefully lined the cheek guards with felted wool, so as to match my Pannonian cap and large cloak. Being two helmets in one it is heavy, but my head seemed to hold itself all the higher.

Other standouts:
Everyone's faces around the fire, feeling at home as the infantry commentary kicked in, drifting off in the listening to the kids playing down the street.
'vulneratus non victus sum'

Date: 2009-05-06 05:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
you rock. honestly. and isn't it awesome when you can just go on past what you thought possible? growing stronger feels good, I bet. (maybe this year at squee I can give you a "real" hug and not have to hold back carefully?? ^^)

horses. having ridden since age 7 I can sorta see the issues, as well as the fun of having them in a show. poor guy, falling off is so not fun!


Date: 2009-05-08 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Yup, I am now fully hug enabled, and looking forward to seeing you and all the guys.

While some of the falls are by relatively recent or less experienced riders, others aren't & certainly the chap who took the spill at Sledmere has decades of experience (although admittedly mostly with stirrups), so the particularly bad fall rate could be any combination of heavy armour, stirruplessness, saddles that don't fit the riders perfectly, the horses doing other types of work or the feats being attempted.

It's so nice when they all go easy and stay on board. There's nothing quite like the sight of a galloping horse... :-)
Edited Date: 2009-05-08 09:58 pm (UTC)


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February 2011


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