So, the weather outside, on Saturday, was a bit frightful but the trip down to the March of Loch Morrow (Macomb, IL) in the Midrealm was definitely delightful. The numbers weren't great but some of the best talent from four Kingdoms were in attendance to share a day of bardic challenges and classes. I traveled south with Kudrun on a beautiful, sunny day with the ice glistening in the trees making the world quite magical and we got as far as the former Shire of Iron Steed (Galesburg, IL up until about 17 years ago) and found an inn for the night.
We found sustenance and I found a indoor pond to swim in while Kudrun worked on writing a sonnet about Titivillus (who is is often referred to with the somewhat fanciful title of "The Patron Demon of Scribes" but in reality is her four-month old kitten). As I swam, I was able to see Cerian and actually talk to him and to meet Ursula and Zsof who had traveled much further than we had (they hailed from the Oaken region of the Middle Kingdom). It was nice to find a pond so close to the room at the inn we were staying at but after an hour or so I wandered up to the room to find Kudrun still playing with words for the sonnet. 'Twas not long before Morganna & Huginn stopped by our room and we burned many candles speaking long into the night. It is always good to share time with old friends. Finally, in an effort to save our candles and voices our guests wandered away and we settled into for the night.
The next morning, we awoke to the sense that the snows were coming again and, after breaking our fast, we hit the road so that we could finish our travels and find the hall where the bards were to congregate. The world would be blanketed in white before the day was out and we would return to the inn but we were warm and cozy in the hall with friends that we had known for a while and friends we would be meeting for the first time that day. Not many braved the elements but the Nortshielders proved their tenacity by comprising around a quarter of the number in attendance. Challenges including stories, songs, poetry, and music in many languages and the day was spent enjoying the pieces and taking classes. (You can find the list of challenges and classes at http://tilted-windmill.com/bms9/ if you're curious.) We continued through the day until our hosts fed us on small birds, warm soup, cheeses, and other things until we would burst. The road back to the inn was definitely more treacherous and slow-going than the trip down but we took it slow and carefully and arrived quite safely. Most everyone found their way back to the great hall of the inn so that we could continue to sing and tell tales to each other until the wee hours of the next morning.
After breaking our fast this morning, we found a clear path north and wended our way back home. We were tired but satiated as we remembered our favourite moments of the day before.
There are two albums of pictures that represent how both Kudrun and I viewed the event that can be viewed by clicking "original article" below.
In addition, there are some more pictures from last weekend's Boar's Head that came from Kudrun's eye that can be found at: http://nsgallery.melm.org/main.php/v/2007BoarsHead/KudrunBHXXX/
As always, for my pictures, feel free to leave comments and help me label the pictures , use any picture for SCA purposes, ask me to delete something if you don't like it via private message, or share with your friends and family. If you want larger files than are posted for your own use, let me know and I'll send them to you. Also, please pass on the link to other lists if you wish. For the pictures that others have taken, please contact them directly for permissions and such.
I hope that someone will help pass these links onto our friends in the Midrealm, Ealdormere and Calontir so that they may have the opportunity to see them as well.