I am an artist, costume maker and re-enactor. I went to Sandroyd School , then Bedales School. After that I went to Putney School of Art, Wimbledon School of Art and graduated from Kingston University.
I have been going to Science Fiction conventions since 1987 and have been a Medieval Re-enactor since 1992.
I have previously been a member of the Far Isles Medieval Society, the Sealed Knot and the Medieval Siege Society.
I am currently a member of the Paladins of Chivalry.
I have been entering costume in competition since 1987 and was made a Master Costumer at the 2005 Worldcon in Glasgow by winning the Best In Class award as a Journeyman.
I have been exhibiting and selling artwork at Science Fiction conventions since 1987 and also exhibit at local art shows.
First, I got called for jury service -for the third time. My service was set to start on the day after I came back from the Filk Convention.
I am my father's carer ( he has dementia) and he was due to have a blood test on that Monday ( and can't get there on his own), so this was a bit concerning. I decided that I'd have to try to get the blood test done on my way home in the evening and hope that the surgery was still open.
So, before going to the con, I got all the paperwork and ID for jury service, my father's pills ( so I could refill his automatic pill box) and his blood test paper work ready, as I knew I'd be knackered after the Filk con.
For those not in the know, Filk is music based on Science Fiction, Fantasy and related subjects. It usually uses (borrows) existing tunes, but people also write original music- and other people often borrow ( steal ) these tunes and write new words.
I have written a lot of filk, including some with original music. My music has, on occasion, acquired new words.
Anyway the con when well- mostly. An old friend from the Far Isles Medieval Society ( of which I am a former member and Knight) brought some rebated steel swords along, so that two American convention members ( who had recently joined the Society For Creative Anachronism) could try some light fighting.
As I fight with the Paladins of Chivalry, I could not resist getting involved and, unfortunately, a mix of bad luck, bad timing, slightly different rules of engagement and- yes, I must own it- my decision not to borrow a fencing mask- resulted in me getting accidentally struck on the head.
This left a four centimetre cut in my scalp. Luckily, I have a hard head and it was just a cut.
Everybody rallied round and there were enough First Aiders, first aid kits etc to get me steristripped together enough to stop the bleeding and avoid me having to spend the rest of the day in the local Hospital's Casualty Dept.
It did however mean that my hair had to be shaved round the wound, so it looks like someone tried to give the bishop a tonsure and put it too far forward...
Anyway, I had only very mild nausea and lay on the floor till it went away. I recovered in time to sing in the main concert later that afternoon.
You may recall that my friend Lissa won a very nice set of oil paints, which she kindly gifted to me when she realised she was not going to get round to learning how to use them.
I had helped her start a small oil painting and said that I would finish it in my style as a "thank you".
This is what the painting looked like when she had started it :
This is what it looks like now that I have finished it:
I presented it to her when I get to the convention. She was very pleased with the result.
Despite my injury, I enjoyed the convention and heard many good and some extremely funny songs.
My friend Annie was one of the Guests of Honour and I was able to assist in one of her sets by reading a speech in my finest Churchillian voice whilst the audience hummed patriotically.
A major storm had started on the last day of the con and , as I am the driver, I decided to leave early.
It wasn't a nice journey and I could have done without the wind throwing individual buckets of rainwater randomly at my windscreen, but was not a bad as it could have been...
Anyhow, I got up early and out of the house early, as the trains were still messed up due to the storm.
I got to the court and signed in, then I went and found the jury officer. I explained why my head was bandaged ( which she was remarkably unphased by) and also told her I was sole carer for my elderly father with dementia and needed to ring him regularly, or he wouldn't take his pills.
Happily, she decided that this was sufficient reason to release me from jury service and I was able to go back home and take Dad to have his blood test ( rather than having spend all day worrying that he hadn't taken his pills and that the surgery might not still be open to do the blood test by the time I got back in the evening).
So, as you see, life has been a bit complicated. I taking things a bit slowly until it settles down again...
I bought an old broach at an antiques fair which looked rather like the Small George pendant for the Order of the Garter. The Small George is worn on the junction point of the sash of the order, but, in Tudor times it was sometimes worn on a neck ribbon.
I carefully clipped off the broach mount and filed the stumps off.
I have mounted it on a dark blue neck ribbon and have found a jewellery box to keep it in.