Well, the big Bash get together pre-season warm up for our regiment went well over last weekend. The weather during the day was sunny and almost warm, there was some training for the Pikemen and newbies, but most people just sat around and socialised.
I spoke to the stitch and bitch group, sewing away authentically. A pile of old kit was in a heap on a table for sale, and one of our members was proudly showing his impressive water colours of various knotting events.
I had been in a fair amount of arthritus pain which was really annoying. My fingers had swollen up like fat sausages after kneading authentic Kentish Huffs (thanks Paul Hollywood!) so I couldn't sew.
I took my cooked wares into the kitchen of the village hall, and there was an all pervading smell of boiled or fried blokes' socks, a lovely mixture of cheese and sweat. Apparently this was vegetable soup.
Now I've eaten real humble pie (deer's testicles), and it never smelt as bad as that soup.
When I cook, fragrances of roast chicken, fresh bread, garlic and herbs, sweet cakes and biscuits fill the air. Cornish pasties, shepherds pie, champagne jellies, stand on my worktops
everything is home made and smells fresh and delicious. I have even made cheese soup with croutons, and none of it smells like a Rugby player's sock, to use a Shoreditch phrase "it right turned me up" - I was going to vomit - soon!
Everyone got dressed to impress and I have got to say we have the best dressed ladies of any regiment. The band played authentic folk music and the beer barrel taps were turned on. The food was laid out ready on the buffet and it did look really impressive.
It was a good evening, chatting and socialising, hubby drinking beer and trying various different foods, I watched the dancing, dads and lads, mums and girls, grans and gramps
whirled and swirled and do si doed across the floor in squares and lines, make a rope of men, women and children, hand in hand, under over, in out, like knitting with people.
I felt proud to be part of this regiment. Four hundred years ago, before the English Civil War
ravaged it's way across the land, in barns across England lit by candles, people could have been doing the same dances,eating nearly the same food. Ladies would have made their own dresses as our ladies did, men would sit legs astride, drinking beer and laughing with each other talking over old times.
We know when we go and fight for a Sealed Knot event, on the day following the weekend we will be safely back at work showing off our bruises as a right of passage. Laughing about the adventures. I often think of the people whose lives we re-enact, who lived not knowing what tomorrow would bring.
As to the soup - people had it - and my cakes and huffs, and tasted all the other stuff cooked by everyone on offer. As I am still very allergic - I went back to my caravan and had a cup of tea and a slice of home-made bread and butter and came back to listen to the music.
It was raining and cold, and our caravan bed was hard as a rock. Painful to sleep on
with my arthritus. The next day the van had to be pulled and pushed out of the mud it was gently sinking in by members of the Kings Guard - thank you so much - everyone.
So the second Knot of the Season got underway, a social, cold, wet, fun. You know you're on a Knot camp when in the early morning you see a young girl dressed as a penguin going to the bathroom!
So we forgot the mattress topper for the rock hard bed, someone else forgot their kettle,
another forgot to bring their sweaters, and we also forgot not to park the caravan on boggy
ground. Live and learn - that's what these first Knots are all about - oh yes and having fun.