Wednesday 31 July 2019

leather lad


As I haven't posted any pictures of cute young men recently, I decided that this lack should be rectified.

Here is a picture of a saucy leather lad that I found in my sketch books.

until next time


Tuesday 23 July 2019

Hurstbourne Tarrant


I seem to have posted early this week!

Last Weekend the Paladins did a show at a Village Fayre in the small Hampshire village of Hurstbourne Tarrant (near Andover).

I arrived first and had quite a wait before the others arrived. I took these pictures of the rather fine tythe barn.

When everyone had arrived we had ten people including six fighters.

We set up the camp right next to the childrens' play area.

We had three tents and my shelter , as well as a separate archery display.

We did a dance show , displaying two medieval dances and spent a lot of time talking to the public.

In the afternoon we did a tourney.  We had six fighters, so no one need to fight twice. The weather was hot, but overcast and windy, so it was good fighting weather for an armoured man.

I fought Alex with hand-and-a-half and then chose shield and mace for the mele. I ended up against Jim (visiting from the Knights of Honour) and we proceeded to beat each other to death, gently subsiding to our knees as we hit each other over the head.

I also used this occasion to field test the use of my better quality long spaulders with my new harness.
They worked just fine, including when using hand-and-a-half.

After the tourney we heard that there would be a tug of war, so Jim, Adam and I decided to take part.
Jim was still in full harness, Adam was in mail and I was still wearing my mail skirt and legs.

Jim was sent off to be on the other side and I formed the endstop on our side with Adam just ahead of me. I had had the foresight to put on leather gloves and made sure to wrap the rope one turn round me. I then took a wide stance, dug my hobnails into the ground and leaned back.

It was a hard fought contest, with the line swaying one way then the other. Unfortunately, we ended up being slightly handicapped by two waste bins which we ended up nearly banging into and lost by a narrow margin.

Until next time


Wednesday 17 July 2019

Rivaulx Abbey


Many years ago I visited Rivaulx Abbey whilst on holiday.

I painted this watercolour.

Having recently rediscovered it, I may use it again in one of my Landscapes at some point.

Until next time


Wednesday 10 July 2019

Re-enactment at Andover


The other week, I attended a one day event at Andover to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

The event had been added to the Paladins calendar very late in the day and many people had previous engagements, so I volunteered, even though it meant that I had to be on site by 8.30 at the latest.

This, I knew , meant that I had to be out of the house by 7.00, if not before.

I planned ahead and packed the car on Friday ( all save the sword and emergency food).

I set an earlier alarm  and all went (mostly) to plan.

I arrived and had to wait for a couple of tank transporters belonging to the Sappers to manoeuvre before I could get in and find the guys.

Only four of us had managed to get there. We had two tents, three banners, my standard and my shelter.

We got set up and then one of the organisers can to find us and asked if we would like to move the camp, as we were behind some of the food trucks and there was an unexpected open space nearer to the area.

As it would take us about an hour to move, we elected to stay where we were. We were still on a main path through the site and reckoned we would still get enough people coming by.

As the organisers were linked to a local radio station, he also asked if one of us was willing to do a brief interview. The others were not keen, so I volunteered.

We also found out we would be doing two fight shows, instead of the more usual one.

I should mention at this point that it was extremely hot -no wind and a clear sky.

I had brought my light harness, consisting of leather arms and legs with steel elbows and knees, mail skirt, thin jack, collar of plates and standard and breastplate. I opted to wear everything except the arms for the first fight.

Only three of us were fighting, as we needed a commentator, but this meant that we had no-one to leave as camp guard. Once we had explained this, the organiser immediately volunteered to send us a security guard to stay in our camp. They also sent us free water and a lanyard each that would entitle us to free food at their concession stand.

The radio interview went well enough and I am fairly sure I did not make a twit of myself.

The first show went quite well, I fought Tony with hand-and-a-half, then Tony and David did a three part fight, changing weapons twice. We then finished of with a melee.

I decided on minimum armour for the second show: Just helm, gauntlets, jack and standard and collar. This time David fought Tony first and Tony and I did the three part fight, ending up with hand-and-a-half. We then finished with a melee again.

I was really impressed with he organisation of the event and with the organisers themselves. They really looked after us and clearly cared about the performers. I, for one would be very happy to work with them again, which is just as well, because, even though there were only four of us, they were very happy with the Paladins and said they wanted to use us again!

They even let us start to pack down early and get our cars on site earlier than it said in the schedule, so we could get off site ahead of the lorries, trucks and tank transporters.

Finally, my old set of bellows( used with my fire rig) is a decorative one I found in a charity shop and adapted for medieval.

These are starting to get a bit ropey, so I bought a new set at a re-eactors' fayre. These had concentric circles carved into them, so I have painted them up to personalise them for the bishop.

And here is a close-up:

Until next time


Wednesday 3 July 2019

Gonfalone of St Michael


A few re-enactors' markets ago I bought the top section of processional cross (with a nice brass cross) with a brass tube section (to slot in the missing base) and a brass fitting to hang  a banner horizontally.

In medieval ( and heraldic) terms this banner would be called a gonfalone.

I made a replacement base section for the pole and wood stained it to match the top.

As my character, the bishop, is a knight of the order of St Michael, I have now painted a suitable gonfalone.

This shows the saint and archangel as a warrior of Christ ,standing over the defeated Devil.

Once I have added suspension tabs and a backing I will post again, showing the gonfalone on its pole.

When completed, this will give me three types of flag outside my tent, as I already display a banner and a standard.

Until next time