Thursday, August 07, 2008


Well, this has been a busy few weeks with re-enactment. We were at Caerphilly Castle two weeks ago and last week we were at Pembroke Castle.
Yeah, yeah, I know - you're all dying to know about being Mistress Brambles.
Well, my 'husband' was the lovely Anthony....

And Arthur of Fopwood was charmingly played by Matt (on the right in this photo)

I have never been the adulterous wife before - and was secretly hoping to be found guilty so I could be burned at the stake! :-)

Anthony must be about 6'5" and towers over everyone. When we were arrested and were waiting for the Lords to arrive, he periodically took some lunges at 'Arthur' and I tried to pull him off by his padded jack. He would get exasperated and throw me across the field. I could hear the heartfelt gasps of the women public as I crashed to the ground time after time.

With Anthony throwing me around and dragging me across the field on Saturday I have some LOVELY bruises - finger marks on my arms and compression bruising on my knees.

But it was an almost cathartic experience; having been in a violent marriage I found being chucked around by Anthony (who I could control totally) went some way to cleansing the memories I have carried around for twenty years.

On the Sunday show my beloved 'husband' was more gentle with me, as I had told him my knees were hurting. I told him and the sarge they must help me up from my knees - but make it look like they were hauling me roughly to my feet......and it worked.

'Arthur' recited some of his delightful poetry to me for the pleasure of My Lord's court - and you could hear a wide range of female sighs from the audience as he knelt in front of me, spoke the words and then gallantly kissed my hand. I swear, given half a chance, the women would have trampled me to get to 'Arthur'.

The sighs were cut short as Arthur and I were roughly pulled apart and thrown back on the mercy of My Lord Hungerford.

Let me see - what else is there.....?

Oh yes, when I was handed back to my 'husband' for punishment he hauled me behind a tent and then faked a beating with a switch on the tent canvas. With me screaming at each hit, it was reported to me later that the women in the audience went white. Reality TV eat my dust!

It was cool - painful but cool. I could really get into the part of Mistress Brambles and the following were overheard as I walked the castle grounds later....

'Miss - were you really crying?'

'Did he really hurt you?'

'Look! There's that poor woman........'

I think I'll do that again :-)

Oh, and to answer that eternal question 'why do you do this?' - I offer this wordless answer:

Pembroke Castle at dusk.......does life get any better than this?



Melli said...

Ahhhh Maiden Faire... does sound like a STELLAR performance! I DO believe there is nothing GREATER for one's soul (outside of the love of God) than a grand round of MAKE BELIEVE!!! I really DO believe it makes real life SO much more tolerable!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like a painful experience! As much as I know that it's faked, I found myself wincing at parts of your description lol.

I do love that photo of Pembroke castle at dusk. It looks surreal!

I finally did a blog post over at Brit Angel. Am I back? I don't know yet, but it felt good to get some of my blogging mojo back!

Bilbo said...

"...secretly hoping to be burned at the stake..."


Milady, thou dost have some strange ideas of fun.

If you really would enjoy being burned at the stake, though, you might try standing for election. Gordon Brown probably thinks he's being burned at the stake most days, anyhow...

Have fun in the 14th century...

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Reality tv would go pale over the beating sequence. An excellent performance!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

And lest we not forget the joys of "Let's Pretend"....You have been bit by the Acting Bug, my dear---an incurable disease that gives lots and lots of pleasureable rewards...! ENJOY, ENJOY...And yes, the Beauty of The Castle is pretty damned good ! (lol)

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

Brilliant! Have you thought about auditioning for such a part in a film etc as it all sounded so realistic?!

The photo looks wonderful. The tower looks lit by lights below, but I'm guessing it was the sunset?