she who keeps this diary

23 November 2003 - 9:49 AM

Everyone knew I had an autocratic streak ...

I was hoping this would be a weekend off from dealing with Grandmaman's leftover goods. Sadly, this is not to be. The Viking and I will be spending several hours this afternoon with Maman working on that. The Son of Grandpapa's First Wife is supposed to appear briefly to claim some object. Apparently he asked Maman if the Viking would be able to help him haul the item in question out of the apartment. The Viking's response to this conveyed request was largely unquotable; the upshot was that Grandpapa died in the Viking's arms (quite literally, as he was in nurse mode and helping the staff) and where was SotFW?

SotFW and #2 DotFW both have called the lawyer in the last week to ask when they were getting 'their' money, too. The lawyer (who is, bless him, an excellent, excellent solicitor) reminded them that there was a marital trust and that no monies will be disbursed to anyone before Grandmaman's death. This news apparently was taken with some bad grace on the part of the offspring, but as the legal i's are dotted and the t's crossed, there is not a thing they can do about it.

As Sis likes to say, sometimes I just hate people.

But enough of that. Yesterday the Viking and I got a little break and went to Holiday Faire. I spent my alloted budget in my first fifteen minutes at the event, all at Spanish Peacock, but I got a set of waxed tablets which I have been coveting deeply. The Viking fought in the tourney and did pretty well. He won a few bouts and didn't lose any too easily. He needs to work on his targeting, and a couple of times his bad habits with tabling his shield resurfaced, but he has made big strides forward in his fighting even since Pennsic.

I've been talked into being autocrat for the Bright Hills event next October. At fight practice on Friday, one of the heads of my household sang out my name:

'Oh, Aleeeaaaaanooooooooooooooraaaaaaaa?'

'What do you want?' I asked as I walked over, knowing full well he was up to something. He doesn't stretch out the vowels in my name unless he wants something. He was also talking to the seneschale, which didn't bode well, either

'Oh, I just wanted to give you a hug,' he started, in the same musical tones.

'What do you want?' This time I used the voice of authority, and both he and the seneschale wilted.

'We were just wondering if you'd like to autocrat T&T next fall,' the seneschale whispered meekly.


'But ...'


Of course, they'd phrased the question improperly. They'd asked if I'd like to be autocrat. Absolutely not. I like that sort of thing the same way I like major dental work. I may be a glutton for punishment, but I'm no masochist.

Eventually I agreed to do it, because it occurred to me that it might be an opportunity to revitalise the T&T franchise. A little history: Transylvanian Travesty was one of Bright Hill's original events (possibly the original event, I will have to check). For several years it was a fun thing, well attended. The themes changed annually, but since the event fell near Halloween, the focus was on the spooky, scary aspects of the Middle Ages -- the danse macabre and Italian Renaissance poisoning parties and suchlike. After thirteen iterations, 'Transylvanian Travesty' was retired and a series of autocrats tried to come up with other 'T' titles ('Towers and Trolls' was one). These drifted further and further into the realm of fantasy and the later events were not, frankly, very successful. This year's October event suffered a bit due to site change and some other issues, in addition to the planning and theme problems which plagued other versions. I doubt there were fully fifty people in attendance.

Now, I do not expect that I can suddenly turn Bright Hills' October event into a huge, must-go-to event, but at least I can try to turn it away from fantasy back to something a little more authentically mediaeval. I was pondering ways to do that on the way home Friday evening when the Viking put in his two cents.

'If you do the event, you could have them do a holmgang tourney,' he said wistfully. 'I like holmgangs, and no one does them out here.'

'Hrm,' I replied.

Saturday morning, I woke up smartly at 6.

'Beowulf,' I said.


'Beowulf. We build the event around Beowulf. It's familiar to most people, it has the spooky, scary elements we want, it would let you have your holmgang, and the greater Anglo-Saxon/Viking cultural milieu would provide the resources for other activities.'

'Did you just say "the greater Anglo-Saxon/Viking cultural milieu"?' the Viking asked groggily. 'What time is it?'

'Too early to be saying things like "cultural milieu." Go back to sleep, dear.'

'Uhn.' The Viking rolled over, and then rolled back. 'So what are the T's going to be?'

'I don't know. We may have to give them up.'

Watch this space.

verso - recto

The WeatherPixie

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