Tomorrow we are off to Nantwich in Cheshire with our mates the Kings Guard, the town will be alive with 17c folk and tourists.The Millfield where the battle takes place will be a muddy freezing cold swamp. As I am known for getting injured at the drop of a hat I'll give it a miss. My hubby will go on and I'll go a watch for a bit, we normally all get together at the school at the top of the town, a chance to meet old comrades and chat about the winter, make arrangements to get together for a drink, choose which pub we are going to monopolise - The Black Lion is a favourite crammed to the gills with merrymakers in 17c costume in a 17c pub, the fire is roaring and the drinks expensive. The Black Lion is a code name for venereal disease - usually syphilis - most of the soldiers would have had this at one time or another if they used the facilities at
I love the march through the town, I usually dress as a woman and drop out just as they go on the field., then I meet up with a friend and walk round the town, we went to the Church last year and saw the mouseman pews and the poor knight laid to rest with no feet as the stone of his feet had healing properties for sheep so the local farmers chipped bits off to help their flock !
I watch the musket firing and the Rosebowl competition - a drill competition that locals think it's ok to walk their dogs and shopping through while it's going on. It's only one day a year - and we bring loads of our cash into the town, so you'd think they'd walk round us. But no.
My authentic shoes really hurt by the end of the day, not being cut for left and right feet they take a while to wear in. So cold and painful feet and being stopped to have your photo taken every five minutes is usually the order of the day. At six o clock we repair to our hotels and have a shower and a lie down and a big cup of tea and get poshed up for the evening do, banqueting dresses and suits are applied to our now mud-less bodies and we're back to the town for a Curry and an evening of carousing.
The less brave of us leave at 1am before the rowdy nightclubbers come, go back snuggle down and talk about the days events. Morning a big hot english brekkie and back home.
Every Nantwich is different, this year one of the mainstays of the event will not be there, he died last year but last Nanters he was in the town square at the age of 90 dressed in his finery, and this year we will remember him as a fine old Cavalier. There was the food posioning year, the ripped off year, the lock in year, the year I slept in the school hall, the year a sister turned against me, the year my hubby sang Swords of a Thousand Men" with a group in the pub. But all of them, and we say it every time when we turn the lock in our door when we get to our home "That was the Best Nantwich Ever!"