What a group

On Friday Night we went to the Goulburn Club.  The music was by one of the members, Michael Baker.  Comfortable ballads, great for chatting.

Our friend Gretchen did a couple of guest appearances, with her smooth blues voice.  Robin the wwoofer was amazed that Gretchen, a frequent visitor to our house, would have such a skill.

Actually we’re getting rather used to the idea that our Goulburn friends are mostly remarkable.

The one that amuses me is that most of our trainee SCA fighters do circus arts, so they can all juggle and do handstands.  It turns out that Goulburn’s Lieder Theatre always offers school holiday programs in circus acrobatics, and it’s the best option going in town.

Cherrie is a whizz with dragon boats and hockey sticks.  Jan can make or sew just about anything.  Some of the newbies come with really useful trade skills.

It does make for a local SCA group with loads of potential.

The new tent

The Marvellous Miss Maud, with some assistance from Will and Tig, is sewing a new tent for us.

Rowany Festival is looming soon — this is the huge annual Easter camping event north of Sydney.  Our Goulburn medieval group, the Hundred of Okewaite, will be attending in some force, so we need a new tent to help us all fit.

I made a couple of tents many years ago, one of which will be refurbished for Maud herself to stay in.  Like many of the available designs, it’s a bit small unless you’re willing to have a pole through the middle of your bed.  Or use a single bed.

So I have come up with a new design, which makes the best possible use of a roll of canvas, standardised commercial tentpoles, and the like.  The plan is to have room for a queen-sized bed on one side of the central pole, keeping fully half of the tent as a general living space.  That will make our Rowany Festival rather more comfortable.

We have already made a calico mock-up of the conical roof design.  It’s looking good.  So now we’re starting on our tent, as a prototype for this new design.

Some bits get quite complex, like the connection detail between the roof and the valance, and how we will hang the walls from the valance.  We’re still making it up as we go.

This design uses a central pole, and then 10 side poles.  Side poles are an expense and a mixed blessing, but they do reduce the ground space for the tent — which is good when space is tight, like at Festival.  (The alternative is to have ropes attached to the roof with “crows feet” tabs, pegged out much further.)

Assuming it all works, I’ll post a picture of the completed tent, and a downloadable plan.

The materials cost for the tent is going to be about $1500, for a tent 4m tall and 5m in diameter.