While the lads were partaking of their 'post-packing coffee' I took the chance to show MB's friend the video on Mrs A's blog here, which is an excellent example of what we do in Italy, and even has footage of life in camp.
MB froze momentarily as he heard the clashing of swords and banging of shields and I said 'I will be on that battlefield, helping with armour and giving out water'.......
Despite the fact he has told all his pals about my new hobby, I really don't think he has either listened to me or thought the whole thing through. Guess he has a lot to think about while he's at Barkston Heath.
Update Saturday - the underdress I unpicked to get a pattern for my new summer shift has been sewn back together again. I'm not dying it for now - it's cream linen and cream it will stay - good for hot sunny weather! My new summer shift is all but done (my Young Lord will be relieved he won't be seeing my ankles any more!), just the neck to sort out (well, I mucked it up, so I have to debate how to make it good). So I just have to stick a few inches of material on the hem of my red dress and I'm good to go.
They're not perfect, but they are wearable and will do while I learn. After Italy they may get unpicked again and resewn when I have more time to fiddle around.
Oh, and I have posted the excellent question from Naomi on the Company of Chivalry forums to get the answers from the people who have been re-enacting longer than me for a more rounded response.