After lunch (with morganlf and the newly-met Ancrene Wiseass), I moved on to two Avista sessions. Maps, maps, and more maps! There were papers on the Gough Map, the Hereford mappamundi, the Reichenau map (previously known at the Pittinger map, I believe), and church plan maps. I knew that medieval Christian churches were built along microcosm/macrocosm lines. It never occurred to me that that's especially why east is always at the top in contemporary plans of those churches. Of course the head is going to be up. It's more complicated for world maps - which are oriented, with east quite literally at the top - but a number of them show the world as part of Christ's body, with his head on top of it, hands sticking out at the side, and feet on the bottom.
For the first time in my memory, there was a reasonably full slate of evening sessions scheduled for 7:30, but I was still out at the blogger meetup scheduled for tonight from 5-8. Attendees included Ancrene Wiseass, Dr. Virago, morganlf, New Kid on the Hallway, History Geek, the Digital Medievalist, Another Boring Medievalist has a Blog, Karl the Grouchy Medievalist (commenter), someone who arrived late after a five hour drive from Chicago (Normally a 2 hour drive!) and whose title I can't recall, and one anonymous blogger. Good conversation in a reserved room of our own - very civilized.
The highlight of the Toronto reception was seeing C.M. again for the first time in years. He's the same one who's the huge Brian Froud fan.
Sales pitch: I highly recommend the Avista reception, Friday at 5:30 in Fetzer somewhere, not least because I'm on the organization's BoD. Not only will there be demonstrations of navigational instruments, there'll be make-your-own astrolabes!