Sunday 10 July 2011

Varberg 2011

Last weekend Tobias and I joined Albrecht’s Gunners at Varberg castle for an event. As I forgot to take any pictures, I’ve borrowed a few from others. Excuse the jumbled telling of the event, but I’ve been ill and tired most of the week, and unable to make it any better.

It was the same event I went to last year, and though I say it myself, our group was the most period correct thing there. Still, it was very, very nice, with pleasant people, and fun activities on our program. We had been asked to have lectures on medieval costumes, and as we do late 14th century, our main focus was on that. I held the lecture on Saturday, and asked six members of our group to be models. For my first time trying anything like this I think it went pretty well, though I can improve quite a bit with practice.

Albrecht’s also had a class in medieval dancing, and since most of us knew little or nothing of the matter, the girls who would host this class taught us first, which was great fun. I’ve always liked dancing, and dancing with your husband is especially pleasant. Now, dancing in the Middle Ages was a group business, with everyone holding hands in a line or circle. Not one boy dared try it when we held the class and not many girls either. I guess that kind of dancing is strange to them in this day and age when dancing mostly means you stand opposite someone else and jump around looking like a fool….

I had been in such a hurry to finish Tobias’s clothes, and when we finally went, the cotehardie still wasn’t done. It lacked some eyelets, and had no buttons or buttonholes at all, and the hem was not even half finished. I worked hard on it before everyone had arrived so we could put our camp up, and again the next morning. I got all the hemming done, but decided to leave out the buttoned sleeves for now, and sew them shut, as was done previously in the 14th century. I didn’t get all the eyelets I wanted done either, but enough to make the garment wearable. Tobias helped, in hemming his shirt, so I wouldn’t have to stress over that. I’m a bit biased, but I thought he looked so handsome. Sadly, as I didn’t take any pictures myself, I never got a good picture of him. We hadn’t had time to get him any shoes, but another member of the group brought a reserve pair that he could use, which was very kind.

The kitchen, always the heart of the home/camp. The tent of the jousters, our closest neighbours, in the background. Picture by Mikael.

I didn’t finish my over dress either, and had to make do with the sad excuse for shoes I wore last year. I did however wear a wimple for the first time in public, and I really liked it. My dress from last year still laced shut, but was tighter than when I made it. With the lacing open, I think it might work all season.

We were 13 people in our camp, and had five tents with us. The smallest was used to put all the food in, the two couples that were there each got one of the smaller tents, and the remaining men slept in one of the big tents, and the women in the other. I realized that I want to make a straw mattress for our next event – it looks more comfortable than just putting a blanket over the straw and hoping it will stay put, you won’t get straw on all your things, and it’s much tidier when you leave camp.

Food, of vital importance for a happy camp. Picture by Mikael.

I couldn’t help much in raising the tents, as it involves some heavy work, and in my present condition, it hurts when I over exert myself. So I was standing on the sidelines, feeling like I was avoiding work – at least I had a friend in feeling like a looser as one of the others is expecting as well. It was a tiny bit depressing though, I who love to work in camp. Ah well. Everyone was making jokes about ours being the fattest camp they’d ever seen (just wait until September – that will be a big camp, with us being two and three months from delivery), and making fun of us eating, sleeping and running to the bathroom all the time – in a kind way. I believe quite a few think it might be fun with a couple of babies in camp next summer.

The weather turned out better than we’d hoped. The night between Friday and Saturday it rained (but luckily not until we’d set up the tents), and the rain persisted a few hours into the morning. After that it was sunny and warm, except for a quick and heavy rain on Saturday evening, but due to the heat, it dried up quick enough. On Sunday it was very warm, and several of us women soaked our wimples and veils, to get some coo

lness. Most of the men rolled down their hose to knee level, and almost most of us rolled up our sleeves at some point. To tell the truth, we all looked pretty sloppy. A few had straw hats, and I borrowed one from one of the girls. I liked the shade it provided, but I’m not sure about the look…. It doesn’t give the feeling of a 14th century Swedish woman to me, though I might be wrong. There is mention of straw hats on women in Norwegian sources; I’ve just not seen any pictures of them from Scandinavia.

Warm and dressed down people of the camp, and a guest in red. Picture nicked from the homepage of the event organizer.

There being so many of us, we had enough people to play a few medieval games after dinner one night. Most of them included some risk of injury, but luckily, no one got seriously hurt. A few might have walked away with a couple of bruises though. I’m not very fond of playing games myself, but I like to watch others play. On this occasion, it was so funny that I literally cried with laughter, and got such a cramp in my stomach.

Our next event will be in September, as we’ll miss the Battle of Wisby in August due to not getting time of from work. I’ll try to finish our outfits until then, but I have so many other things I’d like to sew and knit, like maternity dresses, baby clothes and blankets, and clothes from other periods. I think I should wait with the period clothes for a while though, if I want them to fit my post baby figure.


  1. You all look marvelous! It sounds like it was a very fun event and that you were able to have a good time and educate others as to various aspects of life in the 14th century, which is a wonderful thing! I can't wait to see photos of you from the event in September. It seems so many women who are otherwise very accurate in their attire tend to take modern short cuts when they are pregnant. It's such a pleasure seeing you in full dress even in your current state and will be awesome seeing how your dress can be so adaptable to expand and change with your size as your baby grows. Clothing back then MADE SENSE!!! Tobias looks extremely handsome from what I see. You two look so well together!

  2. What a fun event. See waht we did in America! do follow me. Love your land wish I coudl visit.

  3. Hello, I'm reenactor in the late medieval from Germany and searching for event of this timeframe in scandinavia. May you can help me if you have links to groups or museums which we as groups could visit. I would be grateful if you could contact me under

    Thanks for help



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