A Lemon for the Vicereines

After the amusement of The Great Yak Quest (2019–2022), nothing could have pleased me more than to be assigned a new quest just one year later — an opportunity for shtick which I look forward to milking for as long as possible.

As a result of a misunderstanding following some perfectly innocent asset-pricing research — asking representatives of a neighboring barony how much they would be willing to pay for one of the province’s fine cantons — I was called before their Excellencies of Østgarðr in their Pennsic Court and tasked with bringing them an exceptional citrus.

For presentation at Barleycorn, I figured I would offer them a succade, or candied lemon peel. This method of preserving the intense flavors of citrus fruit beyond its natural season appears to have developed in Asia, and was transmitted from the Middle East to the Mediterranean in the fifteenth century or so, reaching northern Europe by the sixteenth. As a result, this seemed to be an appropriate gift for the vicereines, who are Renaisance-era Florentines.

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Museum Visit: Springtime Gardens

Our April museum outing was a return to the Met Cloisters to view the gardens in spring bloom. Our party of eight was mostly locals from Appleholm, joined by one of our friends from the other side of the city.

Although there were the usual array of art and artifacts on display, as well as a special exhibit of household furnishings, the highlight of the trip for me was the outdoor spaces of the gardens and surrounding cloisters. The combination of inside and outside space, both enclosed and open, provides a wonderful sense of in-betweenness that we rarely encounter in the modern city.

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A New Website on Society Governance

Over the last year, I’ve written a growing number of blog posts about administration, policy, and governance in the SCA. It seems the topic has a lot of lasting interest for me, and I expect to write more about it in the future, but it felt odd to have these cluttering up our household website which is otherwise focused on historical research, person development, and camping gear, so I’ve created a separate website and migrated these posts over to it.

If you’re interested in these kinds of “business side” topics, you’ll find that content over at CreativeAdministration.org.

Downsides of Increasing Centralization of Power

I know that many people in our Society are drawn to the pomp and finery of the nobility in the High Medieval period, and I can see the appeal — such pretty outfits! — but on some level it’s hard for me to escape the gnawing knowledge that this gaudy display is only one face of a system of profound inequality.

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Museum Visit: Bronze Age Balkans

Today we visited the “Ritual and Memory” exhibit at the
Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.

Although I’ve been summarizing the exhibit as focusing on the “Bronze Age Balkans,” the artifacts on display covered a wider range of time, from the Copper Age through the Iron Age, and of space, from the Balkan mountains to the Carpathian mountains. Continue reading Museum Visit: Bronze Age Balkans

Museum Visit: Pattern Books

Alienor and I ventured out today to see the “Threads of Power” exhibit at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery, exploring the development and social significance of lace, including examples of needle and bobbin lace from the sixteenth and early seventeenth century, courtesy of Switzerland’s Textilmuseum St. Gallen.

Although the fabric examples were impressive, the thing that particularly caught my attention were a few fifteenth- and sixteenth-century examples of “pattern books” — printed collections of designs to be used as source material by people working with fiber and fabric. Continue reading Museum Visit: Pattern Books

Putting Up The Provincial Pavilion

The Crown Province of Østgarðr owns a 20′ x 30′ pavilion, generally known as “the green and white,” which is used for most of our outdoor events.

The tent was purchased sometime around 2013 and is still in good shape, with just one or two small holes in the fabric.

Putting it up takes some effort, but the shade and rain cover are well worth the effort. Continue reading Putting Up The Provincial Pavilion

The End of a Quest

At Pennsic 49, as the Viceregents of Østgarðr approached the end of their term in office, we brought to a close a long-running bit of court schtick: the Quest for the Viceroy’s Yaks.

Here are the words I wrote for my presentation in provincial court.

Three years ago, you asked for my help in finding a number of yaks that had gone astray. Thankfully, many members of the Province stepped up to assist me, and as time passed, a large number of yaks have found their way back to you — so many yaks

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