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Yesterday Eien-chan and I went to the local Ren Faire, primarily so that we could watch our friend W. participate in the Highland Games they were holding there. While there were some issues with the Ren Faire (most notably the venue: A swath of land that was clear cut only a week ago, meaning lots of stumps to trip over and mud and huge tire tracks you might fall into. Also directions getting there were not easy to follow, and we missed the turn off the first time, leading to a grand tour of downtown Knightdale), I really enjoyed it. We spent the day doing things like hanging out with W.'s wife L and baby T. (who was wearing a matching kilt like his dad, which was adorable <3), watching silly jousting, sampling mead, and wandering about looking at interesting booths. I was disappointed in the number of booths, but I did manage to find a brass pin that I'm planning to use on shawls.

But of course the main reason we went was to watch the games. I was actually rather excited about this, as I had never seen Highland Games played before. It was a small games, which was pretty nice, as it allowed good views of the competition, and allowed us to get right up close and personal with the players. People were asking players questions about the events, and we were close enough to hear the players chatting and joking with each other. Beer was drunk and lots of heavy things were thrown about. In fact, probably the most succinct summary of a Highland Games I imagine would be "People in skirts throwing random crap around". But in general, a good time was had. What was really nice is that while it's a competitive sport, the people themselves aren't competitive. Everyone was supportive and it wasn't made into some sort of battle.

The quote of the day, from one of the players: "I'm from SUCCESSVILLE. It's AWESOME...I'm the MAYOR." Somehow, in some way, this needs to be used more. XD

Awesome moment of the day: During the caber toss, W. threw his caber, and it ended up standing on one end, considering whether or not it would fall back or go forward, which is what is wanted (In the caber toss, a perfect throw is when you throw the caber and it does a 180, landing in such a way that if the thrower were at the center of a clock face, the caber would be pointing at 12). W.'s answer to this was to bellow loudly at it while it balanced, until it finally fell forward in a perfect throw. We all decreed that he had intimidated it into falling right. XD

I also managed to get some shots of some of the events:

One of the hammer throws, just after launch. Some of the guys were wearing shoes with huge-ass daggers in the toes, I presume to help them keep their grip on the ground while they're trying to fling the hammer.

A player preparing to toss the caber. Apparently caber is Gaelic for "tree". I still wonder if it's not actually Gaelic for "telephone pole".

And a caber in mid-flight. The caber in the previous picture was the big caber. This is the smaller one. It's still a telephone pole.

A player preparing for his play in the sheaf toss. I think aside from the caber, this is the most unusual event we saw. Players use a pitchfork to launch a bag stuffed with straw into the air and try to get it past a bar raised above them. The bar is gradually raised, and players are knocked out if they can't make the height, until one person is left. Kinda like a reverse limbo.

And the bar itself. One of the players there is apparently a world champion, and has caused sheaf tosses to end because he could make the toss at the highest point the bar could raise. He made the toss look ridiculously easy, like he was sending up a sack filled with bubble wrap.

ON A DIFFERENT NOTE, I finished the citron shawl!

Isn't it purty? <3 <3 <3 I really like how it came out, and I had plenty of yarn for it and everything. The next challenge is to figure out when I can use it. I think it's too delicate for everyday wear, but darn it, I want to show it off! I need to find an excuse to wear it. Hmmm.
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July 2017


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