This last weekend was An Tir – West War down in Gold Beach. I had more fun at this event than I’ve had at a camping event in a long time.
K and I left our parent’s house pretty early on Friday and got to the site in the early afternoon. Once we found Duchy Blackhart we set up camp in the “mundane grotto.” Being in the mundane grotto wasn’t too bad though because it meant our tent was kind of out of the way which was nice for napping. Friday was pretty low key; once we finished setting up we just hung out and talked to people. His Grace is learning to play the mandolin and he played for us a bit. A bard stopped by later and played the bagpipes and sang to us. (Not at the same time of course.) Another friend, M, played the bodhran as well. It was really nice and I went to bed a little on the early side that night.
Saturday I watched the fighting in the morning and then hung out with Her Grace and some other friends. I met Master Conchobar Clarsair and talked to him about the harp a little bit. He said that since I already play the piano learning the harp shouldn’t be too hard. He suggested Stoney End as a place to buy a harp kit since the kits are about half the price of a finished harp. He suggested the Anne model as a good place to start.
That night several of us stood outside the day shade and looked at the stars. It was such a gorgeous night. M showed me how to find Cassiopeia and Her Grace showed me how to find Sagittarius so now I know two more constellations. We also saw some pretty amazing shooting stars. Later we just hung out and talked and I discovered the joys of sheep skin blankets. I’m going to have to make a trip to Tandy Leather to pick up a couple.
Sunday morning I went to visit Eulalia, Ref, and crew at the period cooks area. (I had tried to stop by a couple times before but they were eating each time and I didn’t want to interrupt.) The rest of the day was spent mostly hanging out. We did find out that there was going to be a roving court so we gathered up all the kids and went to the war field. We followed Their Majesties onto the field and M got a very well deserved AoA.
Since Sunday was the 4th of July, and the site owner didn’t want fireworks on his property, the parents all brought glow sticks for the kids. They had a blast and it was hilarious to watch. When the kids went bed they left most of the glow sticks lying around the camp. His Grace started throwing them at K, M & I so, of course, we had to throw them back. It started a little war and only ended when we were laughing too hard to continue. It’s hard to say who had the most fun with the glow sticks, the kids or the adults.
Later that night we saw the most awesome shooting star ever. It was huge and towards the end it split into about 5 pieces and the biggest one split again. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before and I hope I never forget it.
M also helped me with the guitar on Sunday. I was having a hard time with up strumming sounding right and it turns out I was holding my hand wrong. That kind of figures since that’s what always got me playing the piano. I’m really excited about this though because I need some way to make music in my apartment.
Monday K & I packed up early so we could help everyone else but His Grace sent us home. We got lost a little because I was looking at the signs for 99 in Corvallis and failed to realize that it was for 99E instead of 99W. It’s probably a good thing we got sent home if I was that tired.
All in all, it was a great event. It was really low key for me since I didn’t work at all and didn’t really feel obligated to do so. My only regret is that I didn’t get to spend more time with Eulalia, Ref and crew. I meant to go back on Sunday but I never got that far. I did make several new friends and had a great time though.