I hired two friends from my own department to come over and braid my hair for me on Saturday afternoon. Happily, they were willing to work for lunch. For those of you who know her, Brooke does amazing things with hair. And she's willing to work for food! I needed my hair braided on top of my head so I could put straight pins through them to keep a veil on. A decent medieval-inspired outfit doesn't really work without something on your head, you see and, lacking an appropriate hat, this necessitated a veil.
I don't often have a chance to wear some of my nicer medieval-inspired clothing. I hadn't worn the full Russian outfit in several years, lacking an occasion for it and the hair-do. It still looks lovely, and is a particular warm and practical outfit for the depths of bitter winter, inasmuch as it involves a shift and two overdresses, one of which is of wool. C. took photos of me decked out, aerinah with a candy-cane-colored hair wreath, and Brooke hard at work creating our respective hair confections. (Tangent: Any of you Western Mass. folks or Smithies still have any contact with Meg and Vincent? Meg made me the dress, and I wouldn't mind thanking her again for it.)
The meal was in five courses: one to "open our stomachs", one of soup and savories, another of meats and tarts, another of desserts, and a last one to "close our stomachs". The only blatantly new world product involved in the course was an oversight of dried cranberries in one of the stomach-openers. Spotting new world products isn't just pedantry on my part: learning the history of food commerce is an important part of my professional training, you see.
There was entertainment as well: one choir and two CMS language professors. David Klausner did an amusing rendition of "The Miller's Tale". David Townsend started with an elegant poem on the Phoenix, translated into modern English from what - Latin? I don't know - and then segued into a high-energy rap number (entitled Deor - thanks hilly02). It was absolutely delightful, and I couldn't understand more than one out of every 12 words.
Thank you for all of your hard work, pittenweem, Kelli, Paige, and everyone else who was involved in the event!