Wednesday, June 16, 2010

History Alive 2010

Phew, what a busy weekend. I attended History Alive (a re-enactor event) with my group RIFF. The event represents different periods of time which include war re-enacting. There is everything from Ancients through to the Vietnam War (1970s) included. We become part of the Napoleonic scene and display the upper class.

Friday morning saw me hopping out of bed early with my baking shoes on. I had volunteered to make a couple of pies and a cake to take along as part of our food for the weekend; and of course the car had to be packed. I met up with a couple of other members out at the site (Fort Lytton) at around 3pm. Though, that was after making the drive out twice. I made it about 5 minutes away from the house and realised that I had forgotten to pack all of my dresses. We got cracking with the set up, trying to get as much done as possible before evening fell.

Which brings us to Saturday. We were up early to finish setting up the encampment before the public arrived at 9am. This included setting up my new shade shelter. It is made of two lengths of canvas fabric (12 ounce from an art supply shop) each 4.5m long, sewn together with a french seam across the length. The poles that I used are ex-army poles (15 in total, all 1.5m tall) that my wonderful father spent his time preparing for me; sanding, painting, joining, sleeving and adding spikes to the tops. He also whipped up all the ropes for me, splicing the ends together and making wooden adjusters. He really is a wonderful father. It worked really well, looks fantastic and kept us all shady for the weekend. I am so glad that we got it done, and now I have shade for whenever we want to go historical camping again.

It really is amazing how fast a day can go when you are re-enacting. We had breakfast, set up the encampment tables, chairs, cushions etc, then wrote the invitations for our afternoon tea that we would be hosting. By the time that this had been delivered it was time for the males in our group to head off to help out with the Napoleonic war scenario. They got back and we had lunch spread out. We cleaned up and prepared for our afternoon tea; where we invited all the officers and ladies of the various Napoleonic reenactor groups to join us for tea. We ended up going through quite a lot of pots of tea and my macarons were the favourite of the day for nibbles. By the time we were done (everyone was very appreciative of being able to meet the other Napoleonic reenactors in a social scenario) it was time to clean up and the public were off site for the day. Which is when the real party begins and the pub opened at 7pm with live music.

Not everyone was quite so bright and sparky come Sunday morning, and there were quite a few late starters to the day. We ended up using our breakfast as a bit of a show after our group meeting in the morning. It was a much more leisurable day, with both myself and another member joining our dance group for a 1/2 hour of regency dance. We even managed to find time for a round of whist and a promenade in the afternoon before it was time for pie. And before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head home. With only an hour or so until sundown, we were quick getting into action, but thankfully I made it home just on 6pm.

I have never been so happy to have a hot shower and lay down in bed with the internet. I slept like the dead. And 10 hours later woke to start the public holiday Monday. Which in hindsight, its a good thing it was a public holiday or I would have needed another day off work to recover. I am looking forward to next year though; and have many plans for both new dresses and camp equipment from clothing trunks to folding tables. I just hope that it is a bit warmer next time around.

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