We’ve had months of wet weather, and recently a few weeks of unseasonably freezing weather, and last weekend we actually had some lovely autumn weather.
Saturday was our local medieval group’s annual equestrian event (poster here). Never mind that we’ve hardly ridden at all since Christmas, between the continuously rotten weather and limited access to our riding instructor Jan. (Her husband Jim has had major cancer surgery — he’s out of hospital BTW, and doing pretty well — starts chemo again shortly.)
Allison, who used to be terrified of horses, has been regularly exercising them. But we hadn’t actually ridden them for months.
On the day, all was good. I rode Paulie, my standardbred, who was really well behaved and trotted really well, not usually his forté. He was happy to canter, but it was late on a cool day and I didn’t want to heat him up too much.
After the riding, we had a feast in our big tent. Our friend Jane (Lady Jocelyn de Holyer) was the feast steward, and did a fabulous job. (See menu at the site given above.)
I have to say that the beer soup was not to my taste, but the other dishes were great. The Beef y-Stewed was scrumptious, as was the Fysh a Dauce Egre (type of sweet and sour fish).
Her signature dish is the Grete Pye, a monster pie made with six different types of meat. It was cooked in a huge pudding-shaped bowl and turned over, so it was physically rather compelling. Delicious.
I made up some game boards for the event. The favourite was Gluckhaus, where you roll two dice. If you roll, say, a 5, you put a coin on the “5” square, or pick one up if there is one there already. If you roll a 7, all players must put a coin in as a wedding gift. If you roll a 2, this is the Happy Pig and you can take all the coins off the board, except the wedding gifts, as even a pig wouldn’t take those. If you roll a 12, this is the King, and you take all the coins, *including* the wedding gifts.
As far as I can tell, Gluckhaus is utterly random, so anyone can win. So it’s an amusing, if ultimately pointless, way to pass the time.
Many thanks to Helen (Lady Ravnhilde of Outer Okewaite) who stayed around on the Sunday and did most of the washing up. And to my son Owen, who is now 12 years old, who also helped with the packup, in between working together to program a computer game.
Allison headed off to Sydney, to farewell her lovely cousin Gail, who is travelling overseas for half a year. Gail is a favourite at Cockatrice Farm, and she’s helped us with several major events. In France, she’s going to catch up with the Marvellous Miss Maud, an ex-wwoofer. Gail and Maud had lots of fun together at last year’s Rowany Festival.