Firstly there were spiders, eeny weeny bitey spiders, hundreds of them hanging off the outside of the caravan, the car, the inside of the caravan, weaving their little webs, how did they get in? Even the spiders had spiders!
I've always thought of spiders as being lucky, and I quite like most of them, so I felt we were in for a good weekend.
Our new recruit turned up and dressed for the part, others who wanted to join in couldn't get their temporary memberships in time. Had we have known the gate guards were so lax, they could have just walked in!
Dressed and ready for action as a middling sort - the 17th Century equivalent of yuppies - we made our way down to the crowd line. We stood amongst the crowd at the ropes. There
are two ropes to keep the crowd away from the battle field. Amateur photographers and very small children don't think this applies to them. It does. That is what the Front of House Knotters are there to do. Keep the public safe and entertained.
Ezra the Ranter was having a good old rant about 20 feet away from us and a woman in the crowd came over and said "Are you - you know - camp followers?"
"We are Goodwyfes." I answered frowning at her "Did you think we were whores?"
"Well, yes - wasn't that true of all the women following the army?"
"No madam," at this point my blood was boiling so loudly I'm sure she could hear it. "We are here to watch our husbands fight for the King."
After she left our new recruit asked, "Do you get asked that a lot?"
"All the time." I smiled, "that's why I wrote my book, to try and show that women had a big part in this war. Some of them are buried under that hill there - who'd been fightiing with the men."
Then another member of the public came up. "Are you Puritan or Royalist ?." He asked.
"We are Royalist ladies come to watch the fight." I answered.
"Where are the Puritan ladies?" He asked.
"They are cowards sir, and will not show their faces here." I snapped.
"Oh I think I'll go now. I don't want to get in the middle of this." He said as he wandered off towards the bar.
Now last year, my husband sold me to the cannon crew for a few pence. Still haven't forgiven him, I was worth a shilling at least!
This year Ezra and I had a good old argument about the rights and wrongs of Edgehill fight.
He was convinced that I had been changed in my opinion by witch-craft to be a Royalist.
I told him I was a Good Christian Goodwyfe, he told me to mend my ways or he'd be back for me. Comely Goodwyfe or no. (I liked that bit!)
Later he did come back with a Parliament officer in tow and they arrested me, and my poor new recruit who was terrified. "I haven't done anything." She screamed.
"Guilty by association." The soldier said taking her arm.
I made a run for it and he came after me and caught me and took us both to the Roundhead camp.
Behind the tents, Ezra said to me "Do you mind working with me again sometime?"
"No, I really enjoyed it. Thanks it was fun!"
So we went off and had a cup of tea in the caravan - my new recruit having had a baptism of fire.
That evening we got dressed in our finery and and went to the Sports Hall for a Celeigh evening with the Irish band from Hell. I was tanked up on Jameisons Whiskey, hubby added beer for good measure. We danced fast and furiously until our legs gave out.
It was a brilliant event, and reminded me why I love the Sealed Knot so much.
Sunday a wreath was laid for the brave men and women who died at Edgehill to give us the democracy we have today.
We left with a pile of laundry and happy memories, me particularly, covered in spider bites on my arms - but hey - for a brief few moments all the cares of my world were gone- and life was a lot brighter.