I have a tradition of writing up a “top ten” once I’m home from Pennsic every year. It’s a way to preserve memories while they are still fresh in my mind and hopefully, look back on the positive moments rather than dwelling on any, inevitable negativity that is likely to occur when 10,000 people share the same outdoor space for two weeks straight!
Home from Pennsic – car has been unloaded, laundry is done, camp trailer is unloaded, camp inventory has been taken, list of improvements made, and pavilions set up to dry – deep breaths – and now I can rest and reflect. In all honesty, Pennsic was a bit of a challenge for me this year. There were highs and lows. But in the spirit of remaining positive, I want to continue with my top ten list that I do every year so here goes (in no particular order)…
1.Peace Week – yes, the whole of Peace Week was pretty much perfect. I feel like I struck that balance of busy and relaxed. I woke up early enough to get up and get going, take or teach classes, volunteer, relax in camp as needed, and then party at night.
2. EldVatten/Craic Inne/Octobar – I hung out here at night more than anywhere else this year, mostly to see my friends, Esa and William, but also because the vibe is great. My friend, Mella, and I would get there nice and early, get good seats, drink good brews, and watch Pennsic TV. This is also where I had my one “I am exactly where I want to be/Feel Good” moment of Pennsic that felt like true Nirvana.
3. Chatelain things – I spent a lot of time teaching Newcomer classes and hanging out at Newcomers Point again, like I did last year. I enjoyed it just as much this year. And, if all goes as planned, I will be even more involved in this process next year! Special thanks to Baroness Desiderata and Duchess Kalisa for their guidance, encouragement, and faith in my abilities.
4. Watch shift – seriously, y’all – always one of my favorite things to do at war. This year I did my watch shift with my friend, Alexandria, from 1-4am – the night shifts are THE BEST – and we rocked it. I wanted to do at least one more before war ended, but time ran away from me. Next year though!
5. Known World Courtesan’s Roman Bacchanal – Wow, the Courtesans did an AMAZING job. AMAZING. AMAZINGGGG. It was fun last year, but the improvements made this year were significant. Everyone looked wonderful – the food and drink was delicious – the entertainment was fabulous. Everything was perfect. I cannot wait for this party to happen again!
6. Water bearing – another war favorite. This year I did more water bearing than I ever have in the past – being on the field for Allied Champions, the field battle, the Atlantian ten man, and the bridge battle – both rapier and heavy. Our army was amazing – they fought hard and honorably – and I was happy to see so many other water bearers there in support of our fighters. It made me proud to be Atlantian!
7. Retaining for Their Royal Highnesses. Since I was an SCA newbie when Ragnarr and Lynette had their first reign together, it’s been a joy to retain for them now and get to know them both a bit better. They are kind and fun loving people and I am truly looking forward to their reign together as our next Majesties.
8. Supporting my then boyfriend in his chosen activities. While we are no longer together, I remain very proud of him and how well he fought during war. He placed 4th in the Rose’s Tournament and tied for 5th in the Squire’s Tournament. He also earned both a Shark’s Tooth and the Vexillum Atlantiae as a member of Windmaster’s Hill Baronial fighting unit.
9. Shopping! I said I would buy less stuff this year… I lied! Mugs, socks, jewelry, and a lovely chair from Lord Stefan von Kiel (Gryphon Furniture) all found a home with me.
10. Wednesday Night, War Week – Atlantian Court, Ansteorran Chili Night, Midnight Madness. We came, we drank, we followed the flag. It was a lot of fun and I hope to have a repeat next year!
Despite the ups and down of this year, Pennsic remains my favorite SCA event. It always has been and always will be.