Thursday, May 04, 2006

Gathering At Macktown

Well, that was a short one!

Like you've never heard that before.....

I showed up Friday around 6ish and set up. Of course, nothing I set out to do can be *simple*.

First of all, setting up a tent, - even a small one - like with so many other things, is always better with two people rather than one, even if the other person's only holding one side for two seconds.

I had the two uprights pinned into the ridge pole and canted at an angle, with one side of the tent staked down. As I was moving to the other side to stake that sides' corners, it happened.

The fecking ridge twisted, causing the bolt to tear out the side of my front upright.


An older lady across the way asked if I needed help.
I grumbled, "Rather late for that..." Then, "Ya wouldn't have any duct tape, wouldja?"

As a matter of fact, she did, and she laughingly got it for me.

Such a nice lady!

After getting settled (gear unpacked, fire pit dug, wood and water fetched, etc.) and after a wee visit with a friend whose mom wanted to hear me play, I heard the sounds of a guitar and singing: not sounds I hear often at rendezvous, unfortunately, so when I heard the call, I followed. It was the neighbors in back of my plot. I hung out with them for a good long while, listening to singing, telling stories, and generally laughing my ass off, until I wandered back to my tent, stopping along the way to talk with more friends.

Next morning, got up, got dressed, ate a breakfast of cheese, summer sausage, bread and apples

(Because I didn't have to cook it!)

and broke out the bodhran. I played for a while, chatting with passersby and having a good time, when it happened.

I placed my bodhran on my chair, and walked a short distance away. A freak gust of wind kicked up from the direction of my tent, and I heard a dull bang as my drum was blown off the chair, onto the edge of my firepit, a few scant centimeters from the fire.

NNNNOOOOoooo!!! My feckin' drum tried to commit suicide! AGAIN!!

(I'm thinkin' that pin-hole was self-inflicted, now...)

Thank God another grand woman, who was closer to it than I was, reached over and picked it up, saving it from certain fiery doom.

Bodhran secured, and with heart back in my chest and out of my throat, I went back to playing.

In between riffs, I'd chat with public, exchange banter with Contagion and Ktreva, and play with the Redcoat who came by briefly with his fife.

(That ROCKED.... I've rarely had the opportunity to spontaniously jam with another re-enactor/musician before, and certainly not with a Bloodyback!) ;^)

Soon after the fun started, it started raining. Back in the tent went the bodhran, and I began devoting all my time to tormenting Contagion.

(Don't feel sorry for him.... he gives as good as he gets, shy as he is....)

My favorite form of torture was going up to his still, while he was in the midst of interacting with public, with my little copper cup held out, and hearing him roar,


While he tried to hit me with a fire poker.

Good times...... Gooood times.....

FINALLY the public left and it was supper time. Contagion and Ktreva graciously invited me to supper.

Now, I must say this: there are few people I know who can really cook.... I mean really cook....

(The Wife is one, my mom's another, my grandma -- but she's dead now....)

and even fewer who can cook (without carbonizing what's in the pot) over an open fire..... in the wind..... with wet wood.

Ktreva cooked a chicken with stuffing and potatoes that was absolutely delicious, and for afters, her very tasty bread pudding with whisky sauce.

'Scuse me, drooling......

After a wonderful repast, drinks appeared and I, in my own humble way, entertained my hosts with bodhran and voice. After going through all my "happy" songs that I could remember, and knowing Contagions dislike of my "sad" ones, I decided to visit what clan members where there: Christopher, Grau, and others, along with those just hanging about in their camp.

(They don't mind the "sad" songs.)

Fun was had under the fly amid the wind and rain and free-flowing booze, until around midnight, when I decided to turn in for the night.

Sunday morning, I awoke to the sounds of trucks and people talking about the rest of the event being cancelled. Back to sleep I went for another couple hours, finally getting up about 8:30 packing up and getting home at 10:30.

So although the time was cut short, the time I did have was great.

I can't wait for the next one.

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