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Comitatus, Viking/Anglo-Saxon.

My first venture behind the barriers was a small scale Comitatus event in aid of the local village hall which proved a very gentle introduction in the quiet, sunwashed valley. I borrowed soft kit gratefully from Kobbi & watched amazed as a bespoke makeshift belt was kindly plaited for me on the spot. After safety instruction with a two-handed spear, I was able to join the group leader Victor for some javellin practice - managing to break one in the process! The relaxed pattern of throwing and collecting took me back to the couple of times I have tried archery & once again I wondered why I hadn't pursued it before.

Comitatus normally cover the late sub-Roman periods, but were doing Viking-age this time. The Living History Exhibit (LHE) was impressive, with some beautiful kit on display & Paulus' pole lathe which fascinated my Dad, as he's done a lot of turning in his time. Dai let me have a go making butted mail and I was able to borrow spear & gloves to take part barefoot in the combats - briefly! Mental note: when unequiped with a shield, don't choose an oponent armed with a javelin - my first 'fight' lasted under 4 seconds!

A mellow, sunny day with friendly people who made me feel very, very welcome.

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salvianus

February 2011

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