salvianus: (Intercisa)
Comitatus, Dateline 400 A.D.

The ruins & reconstructed fort are in the unusual setting of quiet little streets by the Tyne which remind me of where I grew up by the Mersey. It was great to be able to travel light, lug a bedroll & bag (OK, a large bag) into the centurion's quarters & sleep in a reconstructed Roman bed - I got the commandant's wife's room, handily ensuite for Victor (or should I say Dominus?) in the commandant's room ;-)

Sunset behind the gatehouse was beautiful. We talked the night away in the triclinium, serenaded by candlelight on Victor's new lyre & Victor & Demetrius gave me a tour of the wattle & daub barrack block in the small hours - pointing out the location of the mail shirt currently in the Constantine exhibition at York by the lightening morning sky.

A relaxed morning, chatting to archaeology students & tanking up on water. The hourly displays were punishing in the heat with a bit of commuting the camp - oh when will my authentic water bottle arrive? Very happy with my bow - re-tied the archer's knot to raise the bracing height & hit 5 out of 6 on one of the displays. Sorting out the ranks for the foulkon whilst mustering reduced the faffing considerably - it's hard to fall into a pattern when we have a different set of soldiers each display.

The gatehouse assault was as fun as falling into a ditch can get. Leather soles & no hobnails = no grip & in the ditch I stayed, as I was unwilling to drop my shield to claw my way out & my spear arm was just not strong enough on its own.

Talked about hobnailing my boots, when they arrive - will see how they do at Sewerby. I can always keep my campagi for City shows. Left arm totally knackered, so dreamed of planing down my shield to lighten it, but I might be glad of the thickness in the cavalry displays. Put a slightly smaller & thinner (6mm?) patrol shield on the shopping list. Must paint some symbols on the interior of my shield & sort that strap out & linseed my bow.

A pizza run & a nice quiet evening, with Fortunatus as made up as me to be in these surroundings and a photoshoot for our furry mascot Julian & some local muppets. Caius & I tried passing juggling again, with more success - need a set of balls the same weight.

It was very hard to tear myself away in the morning, but the Waggon plays only come round every four years!

Standouts: Wishing I'd had an adventure playground like this outside my back door, the site of the mail shirt find in the pale skylight of 4am, Waking in a roman bedroom, juggling in the sunset & Julian making a public appearance to the delight of all.

See the Photo gallery.

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salvianus

February 2011

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