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Everyone who has ever been into space and seen the world from that high up says the same thing, how small we are, how fragile the world looks. Precarious is always the word that comes to my mind when I read or hear comments like these.

We inhabit a small space, really the Earth is small, and we’re protected by this thin layer of atmosphere, when you look at pictures from space it’s like a veil of gauzy pale blue. Dandelion fluff. Fragile, precious. And we human beings who like to think we rule the universe with our money, politics and our important lives are really blips on the map. Momentary fragments that vanish in a cosmic blink.

Someone once told me, when I got all bent out of shape over something trivial though it felt huge at the time to think; Will anyone care about this in a hundred years? If the answer is no, then let it go.

Sound advice that’s incredibly hard to follow some days.

We live our lives. Good days and bad and we forget that there is just so much more than us. So. Much. More.

When I was very young I remember thinking I had to go outside to watch things happen because if I saw it from behind a window it wasn’t real. The glass changed my reality and at 8 years old that was quite some perception. Open windows and open space. I was a strange little Scottish girl with weird ideas on how the world worked.  I have not really changed all that much.

When I was ten and we moved to northern Newfoundland I remember one night staring up at the brilliantly clear sky in awe at planets and stars wishing that whatever it was that made me see all of this magic never left me. I never wanted to change. Of course I did, but that ability to see magic in everything stayed and I am very grateful. I never wanted to be one of those frowney faced grownups I saw all the time, I never wanted to be like the two women I once shared a class with who were so old and so stuck in their ways even though they were not really much older that I was at the time that not only were they unhappy but they managed to infect everyone else with their unhappy as well. I, who am descended from gypsies, never ever wanted to be like that. I wore crazy clothes, wrote mad poetry, stuck my tongue out in every photo and drank beer with my mad, fab prof never ever wanted to be like that. It didn’t win my any popularity contests but I didn’t much care.

When my dad died it was earth shattering in so many ways there are not enough words to describe them all. People die every day but when you stand and watch someone’s last breath leave their body there’s no coming back from that. Gone. forever. And the lesson I took away from this was that life is fragile. In the blink of an eye everything changes. There is no going back. Ever.

Lesson learned. Every single day things change. People I love will die, will be hurt, will know pain. It sounds very drama llama I know but this is the state of me. I am aware everything changes all the time and even in the happiest of moments there will be sorrow. You cannot have one without the other. Change, as much as I hate it, flail against it, dig my heels, fight, curse and swear will happen anyway. It’s given me a low tolerance threshold for bullshit, rudeness, jealousy and all the other garbage that feeds our demented egos into doing really ugly things. I don’t put up with crap, I speak my mind though mostly I try to be polite about it( not always) and I don’t really care too much about what other people think, especially about me. No really I don’t. Like me, hate me or ignore me I do not care. I am a tiny blip on a tiny planet hanging precariously in space. In a hundred years no one will even know who I was. Only right here right now matters.

After my father’s death before his memorial service when I was away from home, back at school and feeling very very alone I remember lying in bed crushed by the depth of loss. I learned, in the dark, to breathe and let the sorrow wash through me, to allow it to be and accept it for what it is. This is a moment, accept it and move on because you can only go forward. I still experience these odd points in time where an unbelievable, overwhelming sadness takes my breath away but I close my eyes and let it journey through me until I can breathe again and walk on. One step at a time. Suck it up buttercup. Push through the pain and go forward.

Now 4 years shy of 50 I know my journey on this planet is pretty much half over if you calculate that most people live to around 90 ( give or take). I’m on the down side of the hill and I’m okay with this. I don’t regret a thing. Not one. Every single step I have taken, every single hard lesson learned, kindness given and received, loves lost and found have led me to this moment, right here right now and it is a good place. It won’t stay that way, nothing ever does, but in this moment, in the sunlight and the morning quiet I know that every second, good or bad, is precious and that I am lucky. Incredibly lucky. And I am grateful for all of it.

They tell you to cherish each day, to live each moment as though it would be your last. I don’t take this to mean be manic and go around doing amazing things etc… I take this to mean be aware. Life is short. Words have lasting power. Stop for a moment and breathe, watch birds fly, smile at a stranger, be kind, mind your manners and remember to say thank you. In the end I think we all want the same things, to be loved, to be noticed, to matter.

You only get one shot. Make it count, you know.

In the midst of all the angst, wars, brutality, bullying and hate I guess I find some joy, some excitement in watching a man do something no one else has quite done before. Maybe it was just a stunt to some but I think it was more. We don’t see too many amazing, good things on TV anymore, we don’t see too much about exploration, or testing our limits in a good positive way. I watched this with bated breath and I cheered for him when he reached every goal safely and when he landed, perfectly on the ground I cried because this was fucking cool. No one died, no one got shot for heresy and we learned new things. So it doesn’t matter to me one bit if this was just “another stunt” because even if it was it was amazing to see, to be part of the world who were watching ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I am willing to bet that aside from me I could name a few others who cheered like crazy when Felix landed safely. He did the impossible and that makes him mighty.



Crown was fun, silly, side achingly laughingly silly. I was tired, in pain and sort of drugged up on painkillers so I laughed a lot, wore old garb and did a lot of dishes. Back to the roots, well my roots are ren fair style garb, the kitchen and being generally bawdy and silly. If my back hadn’t been so buggered I may have ended up dancing on the tables like the Randall, King of the East once did at a tiny event across the border oh so many many years ago.

It was quite the weekend and as an adventure it didn’t begin quite the way we had planned, what with the flat tire and all 40 km away from our hotel. But we made it anyway thanks to the amazing service from the Audi service center in Suhl. We were in time to check in have a lovely meal at the hotel and then be there for the evening court which sent Lief and Gottfried to vigil, it was an awesome, fun and little sweetly silly court. The two vigils were set side by side with an open bar so I don’t think I need to say much about that, we laughed a lot.

We stayed up until 2am then went to bed, got up early had breakfast to be on site for morning court. It was lovely and the weather held and people laughed at the right spots when the star wars scroll was held up and read out. I figured it would not be to everyone’s taste but then again it doesn’t matter as long as Lief was happy. A long time ago in a kingdom far far away suits the SCA very well and I think sometimes we forget this. Vive la revolution was in play and we played, had fun laughed did dishes and sang sea shanties.

We buggered off site at lunch time, ate something bad, took painkillers for the buggered back burst cyst thing what-ever then slept the afternoon away under a nifty fuzzy blanket and a heating pad, oh yay for heating pads. Sam and max kept me company.  It was either sleep in the afternoon or not make it to evening court and evening court was way more important. Gottfried was laurelled, many awards were given out and a mass birthday party complete with silly hats, cake and noise makers ensued.

Sometimes it’s about the friendships and the sheer joy of being with certain people who have the amazing ability to make everything shiny. Now we have heirs who will bring their own brand of special to the mix, I’m expecting lots and lots of joy, giggles and laughter so bring it on.

There were a few WTF moments, a few annoyances and a couple of disagreements but we, the collective, have decided that these are too unimportant to let them bother us and we ignored them in favour of laughter and awesomeness. I got some seriously good minion time with both my lovely fabprentices and got to spend some time with what may yet be our youngest scribe in training.  

My hero of the weekend is and always will be Marcus who is grace under pressure and loving when I am cranky. And for the delightful, long breakfasts with C. and P. as well as some equally nice Q time with E and C.  So many people found their way back from the awful sterility that’s been clogging up the works lately and just went all out, let their hair down and showed some ankle. Stripey stockings FTW ladies and you know who you are.

this was a good good solid event, all things considered, for the barony a definite win. Thanks to everyone who made it simply amazing because you know you are all fucking awesome.

someone always has the words.

I could not have summed up the SCA or how I currently feel any better so I will let Comtesse EzaBella Allyot, 19th Queen of Drachenwald, my dear friend and the woman who was my 1st queen in Drachenwald speak for me.


Within our society we have two types of people, Romantics and Authentics. Many people are blends of the two. I myself am a Romantic Authentic. My great passion and joy is in figuring out how they cut the fabric to achieve that look, and

the construction methods along the way. This has been such a great passion for me, that I spent time within the Living History communities. In fact, I help write the Norman Female Kit Guide for the Battle of Hastings reenactments. Pictures of my family and friends, in the clothing I sewed, were used as examples. It was very personally rewarding for me, but at the end of the reenactments I walked away thinking something was missing. There is no family in the living history world, no sense of community, no village in which we raise our children and we ourselves become better people.

The wonderful thing about the SCA is, there are no authenticity checks and there is always family. Some might argue the lack of authenticity checks are not wonderful. Without these checks, we get to have the Romantics as part of our society as well. They are the ones who bring the joy to those of us who have our noses buried in books and inches from monitor screens reading and searching for how this and that were done in period. They create for the pure joy of creating, they dance for the pure joy of dancing, they fight for the love of movement and beating up their friends, they sing for the laughs at their witticisms, they drink around campfires for the joy of time spent with friends. The Romantics infect us Authentics with this joy. Once I would have called myself just an Authentic. My love for beautiful Romantic people, has helped me find joy in more things than just how it was done in period. We as a Society cannot cater to just one type of person.

One of the proudest moments of my life was when I was told no one really expect much of me as Queen, but they were very pleasantly surprised to watch me become the heart of Drachenwald. I have left my beloved Kingdom only to insure my Drachenwald heart keeps beating as I continue my battle with bone cancer. I feel very strongly the Queen should embody what is best and good for the Kingdom.

Taking something away from the Kingdom, is never giving it something. Once changed, this cannot ever be undone. Making the SCA more authentic leaves so many of Your people unrepresented. This is not Living History. This is the Society for Creative Anachronism. We are a society. A society of people who want to believe in and love a Queen. Who want the pomp, circumstance, and pageantry that is missing from the modern world.

Taking something away from the Kingdom, forever as once done cannot be undone, is not giving it more.

republished with kind permission.

well that was different

I must admit when I went with Marcus to the bathroom showroom I never expected to have to sit on a toilet that moved so it would measure the right height. Like an elevator toilet. Don’t need one at home but it was definitely interesting.  It’s also not often I get to lie in many bathtubs to test how they are, I think we found one that will be nice and work but it’s funny to try and explain how I actually lie in a tub , well not really lie but what ever. The guy was cool, and he got the message. So now we are one step closer to a new bathroom. This is exciting. The next step will be tiles. ooooh tiles.

that while yammering on about how we need to bring ourselves as a kingdom more in line with what is now considered period… at an event not too long ago,  a German who sang a medieval song in medieval German was asked to do  it in English and at that same event during a conversation it was uttered, apparently according to one American, that Germans have no sense of medieval knightly romance ( what ever the fuck that means) that it’s all the French.

So in the process of sneakily stripping away over 20 years of tradition because it’s not perfectly period ( this is the SCA after all I don’t think we can even use those words together with the name SCA ever) and then getting called out over it because telling one story to one person and another to another person didn’t work out quite as well as planned, and whinging because we need to be more period and having a device for the consort isn’t period said same person wanted a medieval song sung in medieval German redone in English.

I must admit the irony of this is not lost on me.

Now oh so many of us are counting down the days

A week or so ago the 501st Face Book page had a little competition to win one of win a Star Wars Celebration VI 501st 15th Anniversary trading card pack! . The competition was to write why you loved the 501st. This was my entry.

The 501st is an extraordinary, as well as rare, combination of people who love star wars and who come together for a common good, to have fun and work for worthy causes. Not only are we lucky enough to meet so many amazing people within the

501st, fellow fans, costume enthusiasts, and brilliantly talented artists, but we also get to share our passion and bring joy to other people from all walks of life, many of whom are less fortunate or gravely ill. We make a difference to so many lives, often without realizing it, by bringing a smile to a sick child’s face, or by reminding adults what it was like to be a child again. We get to share our joy by being joyful and that is why I love the 501st.

and I won.

today my prize arrived in the mail.

This is what i got:

In the magic envelope

Unopened and full of promise

Opened and wow!

Darth Vader Sketch card by David Michael Beck.

close up, this is done in pencil and it’s amazing
The back
framed ( with photo corners)
place of honour among the Tsuneo Sanda R2 signed print and the Grant Gould signed prints.

this was just magical.


So…our holiday was great. In fact it was so great that I have the post holiday blues or at least I did until Sunday night my entire star wars related facebook f-lists went wild as the news spread that next year Star Wars Celebrations Europe will be held in Essen, Germany.

We were at Celebrations Europe in 2007 in London and it was a blast but this time I expect it will be even more fun because this time we are going as members of the 501st and we know a HELL of a lot more people in this circle of hobby.  It’s 333 days away and I am so jazzed it’s scary.

It wasn’t until after we had already booked our hotel and then went to bed did we think to ask if this event clashed with the other big event next year,namely Drachenwald 20 year celebration. My immediate statement was  that if it did, then Star wars wins because right now we are having a LOT more fun with the 501st / sci fi crowd and events than we are with the SCA.

Luckily for us though there is no conflict. I’m relieved because there will be people coming I really want to see and hang out with it would be sad to miss them as well.

Still it got me thinking this morning about the two hobbies and how very different my current feelings are for them both. I know there are politics and nasty things that go on in the 501st, no group when it gets to a certain size is immune but so far we’ve managed quite deftly to stay the fuck away from any of that. What I love about the 501st and the star wars costuming groups in general is that there is a single thread that binds everyone, our love for Star wars. And it’s fun. I mean it’s Star wars come on it’s not rocket science, it’s fiction and fun.  There is a desire to make fabulously exact costumes and be a part of the magic but it’s not academia, unless you want it to be then I am pretty sure you could write a thesis about Star wars stuff if you really wanted to.

What I find is pushing me away from the SCA more and more is the ever present push towards extreme periodness and 100% accuracy. While this certainly is a nice goal to move towards the trend these days seems to be if you are not with us on this then you don’t belong and I find that sad. This is not what the SCA WAS about. It’s certainly not what I look for in the SCA. While I enjoy learning about the medieval world and even enjoy some aspects of recreating that world there’s a limit and I don’t much care beyond that limit. I’m not going to write lengthy academic papers on anything arts and sciency, and while it’s cool that people do wish to do this, not everyone does, wants to or is even able to. Personally I did that for years in University and I’ve had enough. I know how to research and look stuff up but that’s not something I want to do for this particular hobby all the time. I don’t strive to be an exact copy of a painting although I admire it when others do. It’s not my thing.

Someone asked me recently why the SCA doesn’t feel like fun any more and I’ve done a lot of thinking about this. I can’t say why other people don’t find it as much fun but for me it stems from the lack of fun, relaxed social gatherings at events. For me the SCA was always a social thing before anything else. My friends play and events are often the only times we get face time to chit chat. So my being told that my chit chat with friends about life the universe and everything is destroying the game for others is like being told no shirt, no shoes, no tie = no entrance go home we don’t want you here.

I don’t get that feeling with the 501st. At troops where we don’t know anyone I feel like an odd stick and it takes a bit before that newness wears off and we find people to talk to but it does happen and then once that barrier is down…the magic starts. At Bayern Park we made friends, we baked in the sun, it was an arduous troop but it was FUN. Although in the 501st vs the SCA in the arena of cooking over fire the SCA  wins hands down.

In the last 24hours I have translated an announcement, booked a hotel for a friend and created a list of useful links on a couple of forums and  everyone was really happy about this. I don’t think I would ever attempt to do this in the SCA anymore without someone saying I am doing it wrong, or complaining about a lack of disclaimers or moaning about the hotel not being period. Hell it seems that anything one does for the SCA is never good enough.

I kinda miss the church basement, broad cloth, T-tunic, cooking on a hot plate and telling stories to pass the time days.It seems now more people are far more concerned with being important, getting rewarded and awards than just having some fun.

In the 501st and the SCA there is a definite push to be as accurate as possible but I guess since the 501st has a totally different social function and is also a public thing rather than a closed private club in terms of events we behave differently.

I had a very long talk with Marcus about the SCA the other day in the car on the way home and we both came to the same conclusion, we’re tired of the crap. The bull shit garbage. People being totally mean to each other, people pulling really stupid power plays by withholding information and making a person beg for it, or trying to destroy a group by spreading a bunch of rumours or worse. And I know this happens in the 501st too, god knows we’ve heard our fair share of the horror stories but we’ve not stepped into anything so it’s fine. I don’t mind listening but I hate it when it effects everyone around me to the point that no one is happy.

Right now, given the SCA emails I and Marcus had had to deal with lately no one is happy at all. Not really what you want in a hobby.

Hobby: A hobby is a regular activity or interest that is undertaken for pleasure, typically done during one’s leisure time.

There are 2 huge events happening next year 20 years Drachenwald and  star wars celebrations Europe. The SCA event has generated little to no enthusiasm that I can find openly online and it takes place next June. Knowing the people  who are organizing the 20 years stuff I have already donated quite a lot of artwork and help and honestly it all leaves me flat. The last big anniversary bash at 10 years was chaos mostly and a lot of things were not done very well.

In 24 hours of the announcement the Star Was Celebrations announcement created a wild fire of excitement and I felt proud to be a part of this in a teeny weeny way. We’re already planning stuff, costumes, and parties and hotels and just stuff…. and it’s going to be just fun fun fun ( with the usual con ups and down one has)

I remember that feeling for the SCA as well. I remember being excited at events and in awe of the crown now I have to drag my ass to an event and any awe I had at the magic or royalty went out of the window a while back for a bunch of reasons I can’t get into here.

I, along with others, miss the “old days”. We miss the fun when fun meant being social and having a party, some drinks, some food, some songs, a court, some helping out and lots of friendship and joy. I’ve heard it said a few times that it sucks now because at events person X won’t talk to person Y and this group hates that group and it’s all  THE LINES ARE DRAWN HERE. And I know this story well because we, as a small group of people also drew a line and caused a ruckus. Ultimately I think I am just getting too old for this shit and I lack the patience to try and work with all the special snowflakes out there. Make the job too tedious and we walk away. After all it is a hobby. Right now the 501st doesn’t feel like work, the SCA mostly does.

We are missing charismatic people who just do stuff for the joy of it, who don’t go overboard on the period “naziism”, who accept that the SCA is huge, vastly full of variety and enjoy it for what it is. These folks bring ear plugs to camping events and don’t get cranky when kids shriek for joy. These folks help out when needed but are not martyrs to the cause. These are also the folks who get that not everything at an event will be tailored to fit their every whim and need and pack accordingly.  

For those who want the ├╝ber period, do it perfect and never discuss anything modern at all stuff well you know there are other groups for that like the Company of St. George. Maybe instead of trying to force everyone to convert it would be better to find a group that fits your needs better.

For me right now, the Star wars stuff is just so much more fun. I will never truly leave the SCA and as I hold  an office atm I’m here for the next 2 years at least but I don’t see us going to many events in the future especially as so many of the 501st troops and sci fi cons actually conflict. If I have to choose I’m going to go with fun and easy going every single time. Life is too short to waste it on not fun stuff.


this is what I got in my salad from TGIFs Vienna on Sunday. Not only that but the waiter didn’t really seem to care much, just said “oh” like it was no big deal, like he wasn’t surprised, when I showed him then whisked the offending plate away and around 15 or so minutes later brought me a new salad. Never asked me what I wanted or if I even wanted another one ( which I actually didn’t). He didn’t apologize, he didn’t ask me what I wanted and after the new one was there he asked me if this one was okay like I had planted the glass there to begin with. I told him if I found any more glass I’d let him know.

not overly impressed.