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I haven’t posted much lately because it’s been a busy couple of weeks. This past weekend our canton hosted our annual event, Pikeman’s Pleasure, and I was one of the two event stewards. The last-minute responsibilities of being an event steward took up most of my very limited free time — something that I’m sure is a common experience to event stewards, even “junior” event stewards like me (my co-steward has considerably more experience and took on the lions’ share of the burden.) I spent most of the day tending the bar with a friend, putting out the occasional (metaphorical) fire, and playing with a five-month-old golden retriever named Dante because the other bartender couldn’t find a dog-sitter (not that I’m objecting: if you absolutely have to do a ten-hour bar shift, having an adorable and well-behaved puppy keeping you company is definitely the way to do it.)

Two days after the event, in what I can only describe as a fit of poor timing on my part, our canton put together a medieval demo for about a hundred and fifty fourth-grade students in a town about a half hour drive from here. It was a smashing success, the kids loved it, and I was able to recruit enough enthusiastic volunteers to make the whole thing a lot less stressful on me than I expected, which meant that I was able to just relax and enjoy the demo.

Me lecturing elementary school students on armour.

The kids were great, the weather was great, our volunteers were great, but… I think next year I’ll avoid doing anything that close to a major SCA event if I can possibly help it. It was pretty rough on our local volunteers having to handle two big commitments back-to-back, although we were very lucky that some of our volunteers came from a considerable distance to help out — two of the fighters had more than an hour’s drive to get up and back, and another delayed her trip home from the event by a day in order to participate.

To say that I’m grateful for all the help this weekend doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, not just in the SCA as an officer, but also in my professional life (three months of trying to run the office shorthanded is beginning to take its toll.) Fortunately I’ve been able to lean heavily on the assistance a lot of talented and dedicated people, something which I’ve done absolutely shamelessly over the past few months.

The good news is that we’re heading into the busy camping season in the SCA. This is “good news” because it means that I, as seneschal, don’t actually have to do much. I have to show up to our weekly practices, I have to organize the camp for Trillium War (and The Wife™ is coordinating the meal plan, so that’s something I don’t have to worry about), I have to get ready for my Deed of Arms at that event — which at this point is mostly getting my kit prettied up and attending fight practices, which I was going to be doing anyway. Aside from a bit of organizational stuff and thinking about workshops and the like for the fall (including putting together my long-promised lecture titled “Two and a Half Crusades“) I’m largely off the hook for the next three months.

The best part is that I’ll have plenty of time to keep on top of things, because I’m about to go on two week’s vacation. Starting at 16:30 this Friday, I’ll be off until after the Canada Day long weekend. I plan on cleaning up my shop, de-rusting my armour, rebuilding my single-handed sword (I only have one anymore, since the other was stolen from my car in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago, along with the contents of my change tray and yet another copy of Graceland.)

I’m also considering doing some new armouring — it’d be useful to have a lighter-weight low-profile arm harness that I can wear under a fancy heraldic jupon, for example, and I pretty much have everything I need to make a set just lying around the shop. My current arm harness, as you can see from the picture above, is visually quite impressive and definitely provides excellent protection, but it’s quite, quite heavy.

So… things progress. Outside the SCA, I’m just trying to get work stuff squared away before my vacation and support The Wife™ as she finishes the process getting her Registered Massage Therapist license, which has been the big source of stress in her life over the last few months. But today, this morning, I’m starting to feel like I’ve gotten out from under a huge weight, and I have the prospect of getting out from under another huge weight at the end of the week, and with any luck The Boss™ will have hired a new employee by the time I get back from vacation, which will take a lot of the strain out of our workplace.

Touch wood, of course.