Less than a week to go

OK so I’ve sort of failed at the ‘blog the event preparation’ plan, largely because there has been a HUGE intervention of life over the past couple of weeks. However its not been that exciting as this is the grunt work that happens between the ‘vision’ stage of an event and the actual ‘doing the event’. I’ll give you a run down.

Make/buy/acquire stuff

I’ve made a bunch of things for the quest/treasure hunt – the event theme is Idunn’s golden apples so I have thirty golden ‘apples’ which will be hunted for and won over the course of the event. Whoever ends up with the most apples will win the prize.

We’ve made six ‘shields’ to use at the Holmgang and made or adapted appropriate stuff for the lists. Two bits of wooden that I thought were just tree stakes have had nails driven into them to be the sheild trees. We happened to have two heavy sacking cloth ground clothes that had big eyelets in the corners which will be ideal for the holmgang cloth and just needed some baling twine loops for pegging them. For the other ring we’ve bought a pack of ever useful garden stakes and some medium weight rope. We’re covering these costs ourselves as both stakes and ropes will be useful. I do this as much as possible for events – it also means that we’re not throwing away stuff afterwards, or just as bad, forcing the group to store it just in case its useful again.

We bought a huge bale of peastraw to shoot arrows into. It must be about two metres tall and weighs a ton! But again, we’ve paid for that and after the event it will go on the garden. Getting it standing upright is one of the tasks for the morning of the event. In addition Nick has cut many ‘wands’ for the archery out of some spare timber we had lying about and I painted them white. He’s also made 2 staples for hold them and an apple holder, which is the other archery target – combined apple/wand shoot.

Last weekend we went out to pick up stuff from the quartermaster but the main target of that trip, the signs, were no where to be found. One has since turned up but I think that the group might have to replace a few. Some of them were more than 20 years old so were probably ready for replacement. I’ll put one of our silk banners by the letterbox – should be fairly obvious to people. We did get the first aid kits an a bit of cleaning/kitchen stuff.

And then prizes. Most of these are being donated from our stash of goodies, a couple of things I’ve made and then some appropriate food-stuffs. I had wanted to include some of the fabulous single variety apple juice that was being produced in Dunsandel but apparently its no longer being made.

Writing stuff

So the other thing I’ve been doing is gathering bits and pieces that people can do without preparation for the bardic. I’m hoping that some people who haven’t prepared anything might be tempted to give it a go if its easy and short like a Norse riddle. Plus I’ve been trying to learn a song to present myself.

As well as that I’ve been ‘scripting’ a few things that I want to do throughout the event. A Thing was a time for the laws of the group to be spoken by a lawspeaker so that everyone can learn the laws, in a mostly illiterate society. So I’ve selected a few of our ‘laws’ from Corpora and Kingdom and some proverbs from the Havamal. In addition I’ve got the rules for the various events, and the ‘vision’ to start off the quest. So there’s a bit of speechifying to be done. All of which needs to be written down so I don’t forget it at the time.


I had made a communications plan but it kind of got a bit squashed. I had planned a series of shirt articles for the local newsletter followed by fortnightly or so blurbs aimed at different sections of the group: fighters, makers, archers, entertainers etc. Some of this happened OK, I did three short articles for two newsletters and a couple of the targeted posts but then the LIFE attack happened and my last couple of emails didn’t. I have one going out today which has a short: don’t forget to bring list in it and directions to the site and then I’m done.

Transport issues

There’s been grumbling, or just plain failure to launch, in the past when we’ve had events outside of the city limits (and bus routes) before so for the second time I have offered to sort out shuttle transport for the less independently mobile, but had not a peep. So I don’t think that I’ll bother again. Its something that has to be done well in advance or folk just have to sort it out for themselves. I did actually contact a couple of places and the quotes seemed very high to me given that we’re only 30 minutes from the centre of Christchurch!

Yeah so that’s where we are. Its not a fantastically complicated event, simplified by having it at our own place, and I’m mostly down to a handful of small things to sort out, mostly the kinds of things that have to be done the day before anyway. Still have to do the printing, buy apples and catch up with my volunteers.