After a fitful start to the day (nightmares about moving!), I made good inroads on my other conference paper and tried to eat a sandwich so disappointing, I gave up entirely on the rest of lunch; anyways, I was still weighed down from the plenitude of breakfast. I went to two good afternoon sessions. The historians of goldsmithing were very enthusiastic and all had very pretty pictures to accompany their presentations, good things all. The textile historians were thoughtful and clear in their presentations. In the afternoon, signs were posted, warning of road blockages - the news filtered around - large parts of Leeds were blocked off, the suicide bombers homes found. Road blockages have been following me around this week.
I'd signed up for a "lecture and demonstration" of Medieval food in the early evening, but, unconvinced in advance that this would be enough food for dinner - the words implied samples - I signed up for dinner as well. It proved overkill. The Medieval food event wasn't a lecture or a demo - but there was plenty of very good food, much of it intensely spiced. One of the textile historians proved to be a kindred spirit when it came to food: Philadelphia sounds like it has all sorts of wonderful restaurants. The quince paste at the event was tasty enough to be eaten as if candy - a jelly - all on its own. I was charmed enough by it that I splashed out all of a pound-and-a-half to buy my own little container of it.
After the food, right across the hall, was a Medieval dance demo and participation event. This one really did involve demonstrations - and very shiny outfits. The fun of being at a large enough dance event, with very few experts, is that it's much easier for absolutely everyone to participate equally in the dancing. We were such a crowd that experts would have gone unnoticed among us. I danced with museum curators and graduate students. We finished in a long line, skipping out into the night, circling around the table of wine-drinkers, friends, watching us through the open doorways. Afterwards, we who were dancing joined they who were drinking. Sparkling water refreshed while curators exchanged stories of improbable collections and exhibits which had strangely failed to receive complaint letters.
And then we walked out into the night, across the fields, tired and happy.