Pirates May Plunder but Pets Prevail

Pirates May Plunder but Pets Prevail

Photo by: Karen Simpson

March 4, 1544

It was a rather interesting weekend in the Village of Fittleworth. Never before have I seen a celebration of Pirates, as they have never been painted in much of a positive light, but that is exactly what I witnessed. Every where you looked, you could see Villagers and Festivalgoers dressed as Pirates, playing games and letting out their best ARRRGH.

Not only did I find many Pirates around the Village, but there were also many Pets. Dare I say the Pets stole the Spotlight this weekend? There were people teaching lessons on how to train, people selling dog goodies and even people showing off their dogs different talents. I had a chance to sit down an watch a few competitions. The diving dogs were spectacular! One of the funniest things though was the Weiner Dog Races; poor things have such a hard time keeping their back-ends where they should be.

Ultimate Air Dogs

Speaking of animals, there was one in the Village that I finally had a chance to meet this weekend. I had read about them a great many times, even had seen drawings of the Majestic beasts, but I was still not quite convinced of their existence.

That's right, I'm talking about a Unicorn. She was so beautiful and sweet. The children in the Realm loved being able to pet her and have their opportunity to make a wish with some of the Unicorns Magic Glitter.

This was a very eventful weekend and I cannot wait to tell you more of my experiences in the Village of Fittleworth. I hear that next weekend there is to be a new invasion.... Barbarians.

More to Follow,

BR


Trade Not Raid!

Trade Not Raid!

March 11, 1544

 

 

What a weekend at the Festival in Fittleworth. This past weekend was a Barbarian celebration. Though there were many experiences to be had, I spent most of my time taking in a much knowledge on Viking Culture that I could. Within the Village I found the Wyrdwood Viking Encampment. The Vikings presented information and hands-on learning to all who visited. I got to sit down with with the Jarl, or as we may call him the Leader, Erik Harldsson, and ask him a few questions on why his group had traveled to the quaint Village.

 

 

Erik is a traveling diplomat working to solidify trade opportunities with Countries outside his own. He has initiated trade between Norway, Europe and even the ‘New World’. He told me that his group is much more than Barbarians, they are a Nordic Trade Group that have come to the Village awaiting the arrival of the King to present gifts of their County. Trade Not Raid!

 

And trade they shall. The Tribe brought much to share at their encampment. Their goods include cloths, clothing, trim and oils. They also have a Metal Smith that makes Jewelry and Fetishes.

 

The number one goal of the group, while staying in Fittleworth, is to share their knowledge with people for a better understanding of the true nature of Vikings. During the day, one can experience shield fighting demos, with viking age shields. Their battles are both intense and meticulous. A great site to witness, but there is also a great wealth of knowledge can be learned of the Viking age shields, as they share not only how to use them, but how they are made as well.

 

Their armoury includes Shields, Swords, Axes ans Spears.

 

 

At other times, one can join into Viking Games inside the Encampment. I was fortunate enough to play a few myself. The first game was Hnefatafl, a thinking man’s game. This was a strategic board game meant to test the mind. In the center of the board there is a king and his guards the goal is to successfully move the king to one of the four corners of the board while your opponent tries to trap you. I enjoyed this game very much.

 

 

Next we played a game of Kubb. Not my best I must admit. Another Strategic game, but you must have good aim, which with I am not as keen on as I am with using my mind. The goal is to knock down all the Kubbs and be the first to knock over the King’s Piece.

 

 

The final game was Jomswikinger. Again, I am not one for participation in sport, but this was easy enough, even with being blindfolded. It was also very fun. Jomswikinger is a game meant to test your senses. Two players are blindfolded and have to keep one hand on location. The players then take turns asking one another questions trying to discover the location of the other by the sound of their voice. Upon each turn a player gets to take a swing at the other, the first to land a accurate blow is deemed the winner.

 

I also had a chance to speak with the Alfgaerdh Verdandibjorn. Alfgaerdh is the Norn of the Tribe. She was exactly what one would expect of a norn, mystical and motherly. Found wandering the woods, she was adopted by the Spirit Guide of the Tribe and now can be found at Erik’s left hand. As she spends most of her time growing plants for dyes and food for the Tribe, she very much loves her time in Fittleworth, where she can teach others about how she uses natural plants to dye the yarn that adorns their garb.

 

I could go on an on with information that they shared with me. Make sure that as you come to visit the Village you make time to spend in the Wrydwood Viking Encampment. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Until next time,

 

BR

 


The Festivities Have Begun

The Festivities Have Begun

February 18, 1544

Wow, what a weekend to begin the Festivities in Fittleworth. A true celebration of Scottish Heritage with Heavy Games, Celtic Dancers, Pipe and Drum Bands and Hysterical Competitions.

I got a chance to watch some of the Heavy Games and you wouldn't believe the strength of the men competing. 7 different events made up the games including my all time favorite sight to see, the caber toss. If never have you experienced a caber toss, this is when competitors toss the caber (full-sized log) into the air so that it turns end over end before hitting the ground. Do you think that you could toss a tree into the air?

After the games, I got to enjoy a really great Pipe Band, Blue Skye Pipes and Drums. This ALL Female pipe and drum band filled the air with Celtic instruments, such as bagpipes, harp, fiddles, guitar and of course booming drums.

Another Band at the Festival that really caught my eye was Pictus. I could tell they were truly proud of their Highland and Scottish Culture and put it on full display during their performances including stories and tales, bagpipes, drums and Irish Dance. I am told that they will be sticking around the Village for another set of performances this upcoming weekend, February 23 and 24.

Oh, and let us not forget to talk about the Men in Kilts competition. What a laugh that was. Men got up in front of the crowds and strutted their stuff for none other than the Queen herself. There were moments when I tell you, I had to divert my eyes. The Queen got a real kick out of the competition though. It wasn't too difficult for her to crown the best in the realm.

Photo © JoseCheito Photography

There are so many great things coming up in the Village of Fittleworth. I have been speaking to some of the amazing villagers and entertainers and cannot wait to tell you more about them.

Stay tuned,

B.R.


Adventure to Fittleworth

Adventure to Fittleworth

February 11, 1544

The Royal Progress has begun yet again. For those of you living under a rock (figuratively and literally) the Royal Progress is an annual tour taken by the King, Queen and their entourage to visit the villages under their reign and unite with their nobleman and the locals. Though his Royal Highness has set off for the war in France, Queen Katherine has been appointed regent to rule in his absence and is planning an extended stay in the Village of Fittleworth.

Nestled deep in the Sussex Countryside, Fittleworth (a name of Saxon Origin meaning ‘the enclosure of Fitele’) is home to The Barron and Baroness Blackheath. Each year, the they plan an extravagant event to delight the Royals and it has become one of their favorite stops on the progress. The event brings together the best in entertainment, food and drink for seven weekends featuring full-contact armored jousting, comedy and theater shows, music, games, people-powered rides and so much more, or so I have been told.

So why am I telling you all of this? Because my journey has just begun. I am on my way, to the Village of Fittleworth. I, they King’s Royal scribe, have been tasked with giving you insight to a hidden treasure, to its people, its entertainers, its events and to all the magical moments that can be had.  I am working with the scribes in Fittleworth, to be able to share information with you about everything that is to come.

I’ll write again soon,

BR