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To all those who have recently returned from Canterbury Faire, I hope you enjoyed the event as much as I did. To the stewards, the Barony of Southron Gaard, and the scores of people who contributed in so many ways - congratulations! I think the archetypical moment for me was when the beautiful part-singing at the Ildhafn encampment was briefly interrupted, by the presentation of a hedgehog for Her Majesty's admiration. That's what CF is all about.
Closing court of Canterbury Faire saw His Majesty announce the recognition of two new hamlets in the Crescent Isles. I am not going to use this column to explain this in detail, because I have done that here: http://lochac.sca.org/seneschal/hamlets.php. READ IT! A lot of people seem to feel this is a useful addition to the game. Several have offered suggestions on refinements. I have yet to hear from anyone who thinks it is a bad idea - but I encourage you to think critically, and SEND IN COMMENTS.
There is a thread I can draw from Canterbury Faire , to the topic of this column - which is that the Society exists for the sole purpose of having fun. It has lasted as long as it has, because there are so many different ways that people have found to enjoy themselves within the anachronistic environment. "Having fun" doesn't mean every passing second is laughter and sunshine: stealing Mistress Miriam's favourite quote, "The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it involves."
Going to fighter training and letting a Duke use you as a tent-peg is drudgery. But it is worth it if you can eventually return the compliment. Split-stitch embroidery is hard on the arthritis, but it is worth it when you finish the piece. And completing the hard close on Xero is only fun if the numbers eventually add up. Spoiler: they did! Reeves are my favourite people this month.
Right now, the stewards of Canterbury Faire are hopefully resting on their laurels (some more literally than others), and feeling the warm glow of drudgery rewarded. The stewards of Rowany Festival will be at the other end of the process, wondering why they ever volunteered. And for so many of us, it is two weeks to Festival, with one project unfinished, and another still waiting to be started. The college officers, and the reeves of the Kingdom are hopefully walking away from their keyboards and greeting the morning sun. All the other officers are thinking "dear lord, is it really three months since I last reported?" (Yup. Start typing, folks.)
Ask yourself where you are on your own personal drudgery/reward spectrum right now. If you are at the drudgery end of the scale, take a moment to think about your best reward. That time you took down a Don with a lucky throw of a cape, or the way that the crowd roared when the King called for three cheers for the cooks at the feast. If you are battling an impossible deadline to get something finished for Festival, stop now. Your friends would rather have you come along in last year's garb, and happy, than in a new chemise and a bad mood.
And if you are in a good space right now, fabulous! Go and find the nearest officer, be they seneschal or reeve, chronicler or constable. It's reporting time. Just say thank you, to remind them why they volunteered. Your continuing to have fun within the Kingdom is their reward for their drudgery. We can never pay our officers what they are worth in dollars - their salary is to see their efforts paid off in a happy, healthy kingdom. The more we pay them, in that currency, the more people I will get volunteering for positions - and that is the reward for my own drudgery.
Yours in service to the Crown and Kingdom,
Lord Nicodemus Novello
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