Monday, August 07, 2006

Fantastic times

Last weekend was the Fantasy Feast weekend. FF is a tradition of the Turku SF society and this was the seventh time the Feast was organised.

Basically, it's a weekend spent in Sauvo, where the City of Turku has a youth camp center by the sea. People come (dressed in medievalish / fantasy outfits) to relax, participate in different kinds of games and activities, sing, dance, eat and generally have a good time.

This was the second time I was involved in organising the Feast and it was a nice experience, once again - even though the fewer organisers meant a whole lot of working hours per person and ridiculously sore feet for most of us. (I still walk a bit stiffly...) But what's a little pain, if the people who paid to visit the Feast were happy? It seemed that especially the kids who were present had had a brilliant time. I bet they'll have some fun memories.

The most of my Saturday was spent on the beach, under a truly scorching sun. First there was the Tournament and then I supervised a couple of hours of archery practice. No shade anywhere and it must've been closer to 35 Celsius (maybe even more?) , which is a little bit too much for me, too. I generally don't mind heat, but in this weather I'd rather stay in the shade, not under direct sunlight.

Anyway, nobody got hurt while trying out the longbow and the crossbow and I was able to try out my own bow & arrows properly. Seems that I have managed to make arrows that fly pretty swiftly without any wobbling and the bow is beginning to feel, well, mine. Yay me! Too bad I only just realised I should've asked someone to take a few photos of me with my archery gear... Oh well, maybe next time.

For a fantasy fan and a silly romantic like me the FF weekend is a perfect escape from the routines of everyday life. I simply love to see what kind of outfits people have, for example. This time we had as visitors a Shaman, a very impressive Black Wizard with his lady, a group of renaissance style Highwaymen, a few Tudor style noblemen, a Fool, a Wood Nymph, A Barbarian, several beautiful elven and human ladies and so on. It's so nice to see that many people clearly put time and serious effort into their costumes.

On Saturday night, after we had closed the Jumping Dragon Inn at midnight, I wandered to the dark beach wrapped in my cloak, just to watch the stars. If there are moments that are magical, that was certainly one of them. The starry sky (with an occasional shooting star!), the sea, the splashes of fish in the shallow water, the solitary cries of birds... It wasn't all quiet this time, since the Black Wizard was further down the beach playing his tin whistle, which suited the atmosphere just fine. So there I was, wrapped in several metres of purple velvet, under the stars... Very meditative and relaxing - a definite highlight of my weekend. And honestly, if a hobby can offer me moments like these, I can happily remain a romantic and a wannabe elf. :)

Here are a few photos from the Feast. Not very many of them, since I really didn't have time to take that many pics, since I was busy with my duties as an organiser.

This is me wearing the medieval(ish) outfit I made myself. I'm standing in front of the Jumping Dragon Inn.

Wizard Pyroforius was kind enough to perform a spell to light the fire. And a powerful spell it was, too. The blast of flames was huge. This pic, however, is taken a few moments after the biggest burst.

Visitors hanging out at the main square.

A view from the beach, at dusk.

Yours truly, once again. (Did I mention I love that cloak?)

A lady and a courtier.

Like father, like daughter. I was told later that she thought the FF Saturday had been the best day of the summer. How sweet is that?

See how these little wizards are having the time of their lives!

And here are the organisers on Sunday. Tired, but happy.

I don't have any pics from any of the actual events, such as the Tournament, but if you'd like to see more of the Feast, you can visit Tero's Fantasy Feast pic gallery or Pasi's Fantasy Feast pic gallery.

I'm probably completely nutters for saying this, but I'm looking forward to the next time. My thanks go out to everyone who came to the Feast and had a good time and of course to my fellow organisers. I hope to see you all again in, umm, perhaps 2008? ;)

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