Winter with the Varangians

“These people here considered that nothing was as important as this Yule banquet and that nothing ought to interrupt it.”
~ Hákonar Saga

— For whether it be an oddity or an inconsistency, the feast must go on!gy2014-6gy2014-4Highlights

  • After running around multiple events like a beserker with my head cut-off, it was a relief to attend our annual Good Yule.
    • Prior to this, I crammed the end of my summer and a fair chunk of fall full of activities; through November, I think I had something every other weekend. At least two – Octoberfest and my venture to the Royal BC museum – were long-distance excursions.
    • Like last year, this feast was in one building with three “areas”: the hall, the kitchen, and a section outside.
    • I missed signing up for the Harvest Feast in Midhaven; it filled up fast with Their Royal Majesties attending.
  • gy2014-11In addition to the Varangian theme, we celebrated our Sergeantry. They were given the option to sit as designated tables and their banners were hung above the hall.
  • My mom joined me, attending in her first garbed event.
    • She also volunteered as a server. Which echoes what happened to me at my first feast…
  • gy2014-7I hosted an event competition for the first time.
    • As we were holding the event in a ‘mead hall’, my friend Roger and I determined something would be sorely amiss if we didn’t have mead present somewhere beyond the name. So I researched and put together a mead tasting contest.
  • goodyule2014-dressI re-encountered a lovely gentleman that danced with me at my first 12th Night.
    • He didn’t quite recognize me with my different garb.
  • My new, formal wool apron dress and under-dress were made on-time!
    • I still need to fix the top of the apron a bit to reduce the wrinkling at the sides; I’m not sure if darting or adding gores would help with it, as it’s a three-panel design.
    • My under-dress was too big due to some false perceptions  and fatigue. Fortunately, this wasn’t a huge issue and it was fixed before Ursulmas.
  • Amidst manning the competition table and taking photos, I did get in one dance.
    • I definitely would’ve liked to have participated in more, especially the teaching part.
  • gy2014-16Our Bardic Champion abducted people for song during dinner, including a group of children.
  • I received my Award of Arms!
    • The one time I don’t read the Court Report is the one time my name shows up– Their Excellencies accepted it for me at the Midhaven Harvest Feast.
  • One of our populace members made an amazing subtlety of three Norse-inspired ships made out of chocolate.
    • The last subtlety I recall of hers was a peacock made out of watermelon and other fruit. Now if I could just figure out how to properly chop something consistently…

gy2014-10gy2014-3Low Notes

  • We only had one competitor in the mead contest.
    • A good friend of mine brought it in, thereby competing at his first garbed event.
    • Roger brought a commercial mead in for comparison between items.
    • People that did partake in the tasting did enjoy it being there, and Baron Faunus was very interest in how I put it together due to state regulations.
    • In the future, such competitions need announcement much, much earlier.
  • Being part of the planning process led to at least my own confusion the day of.
    • gy2014-15Purportedly, there was going to be a Norse-styled dance taught. However, I don’t recall ever seeing that.
    • There was supposed to be a live auction, but this also didn’t happen.
    • A hand-washing ceremony was also to take place, but we didn’t learn about it’s cancellation until we were on site.
  • The event was billed as something not seen before; gy2014-13however the barony held a Byzantium & Norse styled feast within the last 5 years.
    • The style of court, however, was unique, and Their Excellencies appeared to enjoy the ability to walk around and call people forth for awards.

gy2014-18gy2014-5Lessons Learned

  • Events, like life, change. Be prepared for fluidity.
  • Always keep track of your awards or gifts in a safe place so you can easily pull them out and hand them to their intended recipient, even in the flurry of set-up or packing. If possible, alert someone of it’s placement so you have a back-up brain.
    • This is especially important if you have ADHD and believe you put something in a safe place, then completely space on where that safe place is.
    • gy2014-9I’m very, very fortunate my friend that participated in the mead competition lives within a reasonable distance and is incredibly patient.
  • Brewing competitions require:
    • A great berth of time from announcement to contest to ensure competitors with documentation.
    • Banquet permits vary by state and county.
    • To be presented/billed as an “artisan display”. This wording is very important in order to hold such a competition at any location while working with a banquet permit (and not a full-blown liquor license).
    • No member acting in the capacity of an SCA officer may oversee the artisan display. (For example, I could not take pictures while running the competition, as I am Grete Boke.)
    • Absolutely no brew may be sold at the competition space.gy2014-12
    • Competitors to bring at least an ingredient list. This prevents issues with allergies or accidental poisonings.
    • While not required for the running of, I highly encourage the requirement of documentation in such a competition. It supports the concept of it being a “artisan display”.
  • Review your previous posts before posting to make sure you don’t forget a section.



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