This weekend was the final event of the re-enactment calendar, a local Medieval Fair in Somerset, complete with joust and medieval living history (us!). I was in two minds about going as I was quite depressed and tired on Friday. I got lost twice on the way and nearly succumbed to the desire to turn around and drive home, but I headed on, the car blue with curses, until I found the site and pulled up in the absolute dark (getting lost made me an hour late) to a cluster of medieval tents and people huddled around the fire.
I asked if the people who had the tent I was intending to purchase had arrived and they had apparently gone back home - with the tent still in the back of their van. Thinking maybe this was a bad sign, I thought maybe I should have gone with my gut feeling on the road.
I scrounged a bit of floor in the tent of one of our 'smelly soldiers' Master C (thank you, Matt!!) and put down my bed. Pulling out a large bottle of cider I joined my fellow re-enactors around the fire.
The news that the portaloos were closed overnight was a bit of a downer, as there were about 40 people on site, drinking and eating. One elsan each for male and female didn't really make the math.
But we made the best of it, with a roaring fire, lots of alcohol and singing we all had a wonderful evening and wound our way to our beds at various times through the night - I understand my esteemed landlord got back to the tent at 2am.....
The next day we arose to the sounds and smells of Vintner preparing one of his classic re-enactor breakfasts (bacon, sausage, black pudding, egg, bread - enough for all). Life seemed a little better after breakfast, the toilets were opened (you've never seen anyone so happy to see a flushing toilet as us!), the sun came out, and the site began coming to life. We donned our kit, dusted off our weapons and market stalls and prepared to meet our public for the last weekend of the year.