Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Bed, Part 2

We were invited to a camping weekend, celebrating another group's 20th birthday, last weekend. Aside from the fact the it was cut short by me feeling a bit 'off', and a level of disappointment felt by the girls that people weren't that sociable and there wasn't that much to do (we were the only people with a campfire - everyone else clustered around the hard-shelter accommodation and kitchens etc and didn't really camp at all), it was a valuable experience in that I got to pack what I thought we'd need for the weekend, fit it all onto the ute (just!), and then we spent nearly two hours setting it up (far too long!). There was much going-through of lists after we got home and a lot of stuff got ... rationalised...

The bed, however, was a great success: very warm and comfortable and a real showpiece, if a little bulky to pack. I smugly received compliments from the few people who bothered to wander up to the tent and who saw it; one young woman had seen a rope bed in one of the castles in England and expounded at length how different it was to the one I had created... I asked her what century it was built in but she couldn't remember (just that the wood was original and the rope was a modern replacement LOL); I asked her to point out, specifically, the differences and it turned out that the English one was a double bed whereas mine is single, and theirs wasn't painted... at that stage I suggested that she should be very proud that the bed she'd built was such an exact replica of the English one; "Oh, I haven't made one!", the creature exclaimed. This didn't surprise me as about the only thing she had made was her costume, which was of a rough cotton fabric (which, I suppose, was meant to represent linen) decorated with a band of the same fabric in a contrasting colour around the neck and cuffs... Chez Spotlight, I'm guessing and probably cost her a fortune LOLz.

So, I breathe a great sigh of relief at the knowledge that re-enactors really haven't improved any over the time I was out of The Movement - there were about 30-odd people there and I think I saw maybe half a dozen wool garments - a lot of cotton and "linen"; very little decoration and that badly done most of the time, and the accoutrements were negligible or crap - one does not turn a modern item into a medieval replica by wrapping bits of it in leather or rags (sigh).

It's a little sad, too; I had hoped that the presentation of groups and re-enactors would grow and improve over the years, but it seems they have found a level of historical accuracy that they're content with and stuck with it. LOLz I shouldn't complain - it makes my mob look bloody good!

Anyway, whinge, whine, planxi et hoc totum; and back to the bed... If you squint in just the right way, you can see the frame of the bed and the ropes, the flock mattress, the feather mattress, linen sheets (dear gods I hate hand-hemming sheets!), a flokati rug dyed what is meant to be a red colour but it came out a bit washed-out, a coverlet made of mink (a 1950s A-line coat was sacrificed for this!) and raw silk (which is actually red but looks pink in the photo) and a selection of feather pillows. I really need to make a flock bolster (as suggested by Alexander Neckham, an English traveller who died in 1217 but not before he'd written at great length about his travels, up to and including how a bedroom should be furnished), and another couple of feather pillows as we tend to use them on the chairs during the day... oh well, still got a couple of months until the next show!!

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