madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,

It's been a few years since I've attended a St. Benet's Feast; even longer since I've been 'active' in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism for those who don't recognise the acronym). The last time to a St. Benet's in fact, is like three, maybe four years back. Most probably three, as it resulted later in the year in a wonderful studio session with alienorade and ichthyus and contrasting sari.

St. Benet's is not 12th Night, but the celebration is similar. So people get together and continue the holiday celebrations, eating good food, schmoozing, and such. Long ago in that proverbial galaxy far away, the feasting was pot-luck. Eventually for the Barony An Crosaire the crowd became large enough that pot-luck became unwieldy, and the feast became somewhat more 'formalised' and provided on site. From an SCA point of view, it's a small enough event (being rather strictly local, and somewhat invitation only) to provide a good testing/training ground for someone contemplating becomeing a 'Feast-crat'.

Last night proved the same, with some particularly interesting entries. There was a vegetarian stew, with either/or beef and chicken provided as a side for addition by those who would. This dish included a generous seasoning with both black and white pepper, enough so that some felt it too spicy. Also served, pasta with a red sauce and meatballs. The Feastcrat (read, cook for you non-SCA acquainted) used a gluten-free flour). This one very well balanced the peppery stew as being rather bland. Nothing in the feast dissapointed, though, as all the preparations proved quite tasty (if... subtle).

Got to see and visit a bit with chaosloki who came with our friends S&K (they being chaosloki's in-laws). Their presence also provided a lot of fun and company; they're about as active any more in SCA as I am. Historically, though, nice to be there as they were toasted for being Founding Baron/Baroness An Crosaire.

Some good entertainment provided by members, with some of the usual problems: a hall with poor acoustics, a few entertainers without sufficient voice training to overcome those acoustics, and in those instances a crowd which became loud enough to make it even more difficult to hear the person singing. Such, however, is life.

Perhaps the most fun, at least for me, is the Gift Exchange. There are various names for this type of event: White Elephant Christmas, Santa Shark, Round Robin. I'm willing to venture nearly everyone who reads my meanderings played this at some time. Everyone participating puts a gift into the pool, and then numbers are drawn from a hat. In sequence, then, each individual either selects a gift from the pool, or 'sharks' or 'steals' one which a previous participant opened. If the latter, then that participant can again either select from the pool, or 'shark' from someone else. And so on until all gifts are distributed. In some instances, there is a limit placed on the number of times a gift may be 'sharked' and this is the case in yesterday's festivities with a maximum of three 'sharks'.

In general most of the provided gifts are worthwhile though some may not seem so to assorted participants, and some seem very much so to all participants. That's part of the fun, who's going to decide that something is worthwhile enough to 'shark' it, and then, if so is it desirable enough to be 'sharked' again. One good lady was sharked five times; in the end, though, she wound up with a nice segment of plaid fabric.

Your humble narrator proved still capable of providing some in-character (in-persona) theatre, with appropriate Japanese movements when my number was called. There are several who wondered why a 'Japanese' would want the particular item, a very European white wool felt coif. You may of seen this type of head-wear, a close-fitting cap, hood-like in appearance which covers head and ears. There's even a style of helm which is of the same shape, and a very thick, padded and felted coif worn underneath that to pad the head.

At any rate, when called I stood and approached the Master of Mis-rule, and with a flourish handed over my number. Then I drew my folding fan from my obi, and walked directly to the person who held that coif. With a snap of wrist and a ripping (almost farting) sound, flipped open my fan and extended it horizontally to the lady holding the coif, with a bow. Her quiver-lipped pout was excellent, then she most reluctantly, gently placed the coif on the open fan, which I then elevated above my bowed head, and stepped backwards away, then returned to my seat.

Why the coif? For the Studio, of course. Studio 318, and at least one garment also owned in Studio but also for some other medieval-themed photo sessions planned out.

Following the gift exchange, we started clearing the hall and straightening up. We got back to the Ranch just before midnight.
Tags: friends, fun, sca, st benet, tsuji
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