About Our Household Name

We chose Tyddyn Ystradfflyr as the name for our family’s household in the context of our historical re-creation activities within the Society for Creative Anachronism.

The name is Welsh, and is intended to suggest a small family farm in an idyllic medieval valley filled with flowers.

The word Tyddyn is Welsh for “farmstead” or “family farm,” while Ystradfflyr is a compound word meaning “vale of flowers.”

With a bit of poetic license, one might render this into English as “Bloomingdale Farm,” a name that appealed to us as an echo of the Bloomingdale neighborhood of New York City where we have lived for the last fifteen years.

The historical documents we cited to support the registration of this name with the Society’s College of Arms are shown below.


Tyddyn is a Old Welsh word meaning a family farmstead, as documented in Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn’s “Period Welsh Models for SCA Households and the Nomenclature Thereof” which says:

… tyddyns or homesteads, each with its share in the surrounding fields…. each tyddyn is held, in theory, by an individual household … the Ordinance Survey Map of Anglesey turns up more examples, such as Tyddyn Mawr (Big Tyddyn) and Tyddyn y Felin (Tyddyn of the Mill).”

Ystradfflyr is the historical name of a mansion in central Wales, as documented in Aryanhwy merch Catmael’s “A Collection of Welsh Household Names from 1602” which says:

Ystradfflyr (Cardigan): Welsh. ystrad ‘vale’ + n. fflur ‘flower’ …

Viceregal Platform

To their Royal Majesties Emperor Ioannes and Empress Honig, and to their Highnesses Crown Prince Ryouko’jin and Crown Princess Indrakshi, and to their Excellencies Suuder Il-Khan and Lada Il-Khatun, and most importantly to the beloved populace of the Crown Province of Østgarðr, birthplace of the East, first among equals — greetings!
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We come before you, Hlæfdige Alienor Salton and Boaire Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin, to present ourselves as candidates for the viceregal succession. Continue reading Viceregal Platform

Resume for Alienor Salton

[People sometimes talk about their history in the SCA as their “Society Resume” so I thought it might be interesting to format Alienor’s accomplishments as if they were a traditional curriculum vitae — it does demonstrate that she’s been busy!

If you have questions about the work she’s done or her goals for the future, please drop by tomorrow’s “Meet the Viceregal Candidates Night” and ask! — Mathghamhain]

Continue reading Resume for Alienor Salton

The Viceregal Candidacy of Alienor & Mathghamhain

Read Our Viceregal Platform Statement

About Alienor

About Mathghamhain

Greetings from Alienor Salton and Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin to the populace of Østgarðr!

This autumn, at the invitation of their Excellencies Suuder and Lada, we announced our intention to stand as candidates for the viceregal succession, and since then we have laid out our qualifications (Alienor’s resume, Mathghamhain’s resume) and our objectives for the office.

We invite you to take a few minutes to peruse our platform statement and get to know us better, then feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions that weren’t answered here, or suggestions or concerns that you’d like to see addressed.

Thank you for taking the time to consider the choice before you.

In service to the dream,

— Alienor Salton
— Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin

Farm Notes

A month ago I assisted with a class on updating content in the East Kingdom Wiki, and as an exercise during that class I put together some basic background information on our eleventh century farm.

Unfortunately, my wiki page is already pretty crowded, so in hopes of keeping things readable I’ve now moved those notes to a page on this site instead, and I look forward to accumulating more of this type of information here in the future.

Viceregal Letter of Intent

To the good populace of Østgarðr, greetings from Alienor and Mathghamhain.

As we enter the final year in office of Suuder Il-Khan and Lada Il-Khatun, their Excellencies have called for members of the populace to step forward as candidates for the Provincial Succession. In hopes of being of continuing service to Østgarðr and its people, we have decided to accept this challenge.

We have both spent much of the last decade in service — to our Canton, to the Crown Province, to the East Kingdom, and to the Society at large — and while we understand that the role of Viceregent is a unique commitment, it feels as though our past efforts have helped prepare us for this moment. Continue reading Viceregal Letter of Intent

A Youth Combat Pell

Pells are poles used as a target for sword practice. They’ve been used for at least two thousand years, as documented in this article on the ARMA site.

Common pell forms used in SCA adult armored combat practice are generally based on a 4×4 post wrapped in rope, with the base sunk in a 5 gallon bucket of concrete encircled by an old tire, or set into a post bracket attached to a wooden base.

Unfortunately, these pells are hard to transport in a crowded car, and the rough edges of the wood tend to shred the padded weapons used in youth combat.

I constructed a cheap, portable break-down pell appropriate for youth combat using an H-frame base made of PVC pipe. There are a few H-frame pell designs online; this one at ARMA is pretty similar to the one I describe below.

Continue reading A Youth Combat Pell

Youth Marshal’s Staff

Marshals in the SCA use black-and-yellow staffs when supervising combat activities. The staff allows people to recognize the marshal, and may be used to   signal the beginning of the fight, to call attention to the edge of the field, or to keep fighters from crashing into spectators.

You can make your own youth-marshal staff with a length of PVC/PEX and some black and yellow duct tape.

My preferred technique is to pull off a piece of each color of tape that is almost two times the length of the staff, stick them together with an overlap of half their width, then set them at a 60° angle to the pipe and wrap in a spiral.

(Depending on the size of your core, you might need to fiddle with the angle by a couple of degrees one way or the other, but that should give you even-sized stripes of both colors.)

When you reach the other end, cut the excess tape and fold the edges over.

It’s not beautiful, but it’s simple and cheap and it uses the same materials you already have on hand for weapon construction.

Youth Throwing Hammer

Thrown weapons are not a core element of SCA youth combat, but they do have some novelty/amusement value.

Here in the East, there are basically two styles: javelins made from 3/4″ PEX with a thrusting-tip point and either fins or a pommel on the other end, or else hammers/axes made of all foam.

The rules say that weapons with a core (javelins) may not be gleaned and re-thrown, while those that are all foam may be scooped up and tossed back, which means that javelins are mostly of use in the initial few moments as the lines close, rather than being a factor throughout the engagement. Continue reading Youth Throwing Hammer