Well, first I must apologize. There have been many adventures that I just have not been able to get to. Full time work and a lot of pictures to go through and all the adventures makes it difficult to get in and write about them all.
However, this weekend, me lovely wife Salma Gundy and meself went to the Charles Dickens Festival in Riverside. Our good friends and fellow Alliance of the Double Cross (aww man, I forgot to tell you all about the Alliance. I will do that next. That is big news.), Greydog and his beautiful wife, Cantankerous Jan reminded us about it so we all made a day of it. To make things better, me dear old Ma and Pop decided to show up.
Friday evening was the dinner and show at Pickwick's Pub. A fun evening ensued with food being served by the Royal Falconer Pub from Riverside and entertainment provided by local artists and volunteers as well as the Belles of Bedlam. Bangers and mash and fish, oh my!! Tasty dinner. Everyone was in great spirits. Mr. Pickwick himself was superb and funny and our Mr. Dickens was an affable fellow with a great charm and sense of humor.
On Saturday we arrived to the street of vendors and one of Dickens's play being done on the main stage in the street. Everyone was in good cheer and very very friendly. We found Greydog and Cantankerous Jan and meandered around and ran into folks we had met in other places or folks who were very complimentary about our attire...our attire. How about I discuss that now.
See, we try to make sure we have an outfit for every occasion. Of course our pirate kits are the standard, but we have our Medieval, Renaissance, Star Trek, Viking, Highland, Colonial period and our nudist outfits as well. I few years ago for Halloween, I put together a nice western outfit for work. Each year I put together the most historically outfit I can with a lesson to go along with it. Two years ago, it was a Old West Gunslinger/Gambler. Since I had my outfit (which I got from Wild West Mercantile (made the holsters and gun belt myself), I was set to go. The Victorian Age was the same age as the back end of the Civil War and into the Wild West era, so I was set. Me lovely wife, had a great black Victorian/Western dress that I bought for her for Christmas a couple years back and she just sort of ignored it. She has been busy y'see. In fact, she will be taking the California Bar Exam comin' up here. Send an e-mail and wish her luck because when she passes I am going to retire to live the life I desire to be accustomed to. Helllooooo Bon Bons!!!
Anyhow, back to it. We had the dress and when me brother Rotgut and I make our little 2990 miles sojourn a few weeks back, I picked up a great hat for her at, you guessed it...Wild West Mercantile in Mesa, Arizona. So, it was all coming together. We gathered up the odds and ends and we bought her the correct shoes (she wanted to wear flip flops.) and all was good. Wait, she needed a reticule (handbag). Well, I certainly was not going to let this sexy creature go without a handbag. She would be the laughing stock of the event and I would get into many fisticuffs with conservatively dressed women in bustled skirts. Instead of besmirching me wife's honor, I did the next best thing...I made her reticule.
Here is the reticule I made. Very nice. I am pleased how it turned out. If ye like it and you want to order one, send me an e-mail and I can do you up, or rather make on for you. Even if you just want to send a message telling me how talented and handsome I am you may do that as well.
Back to our day, we wandered around and ran into a lovely lady named Grace, whom we had met the night before. Very lovely outfit and a beautiful woman to go along with it.
We watched the Gordon Highlanders run through their drills and fire off their rifles (loud) and climax in the firing of the Gatling gun (super loud...I peed myself and others around me). Queen Victoria is a bad ass woman. I had to cover my ears and she just stood there all stoic. She didn't even flinch. (I arm wrestled her later and she took me two out of three. Then we made mad passionate love...um, never mind.
Anyway, we came to this event a couple years ago and watched the Gordon Highlanders then. There was a little surprise last time that they seemed to have adjusted for. After the casing are spent from the Gatling gun, they need to be picked up. Well, this year they had two small, kilted young men to pick up the casings. I think this was a good idea for a couple reasons. First, if they accidentally shot them, they hadn't lived that much...no big loss. Also, they could make more pretty easily, just like Fritos. But for the other reasons let me take you back....We were standing there watching the gun and covering our ears like this year, the shells were spent and laying about in disarray. The man who fired the gun then bent over/squatted to gather the shells. Well, let us just say that about the same time, three of us on the side of the street noticed his whole haggis just swinging in the breeze while he gathered his shells. We were shocked and dismayed. We say the whole pit and the pendulum...oh, wait, that isn't Dickens, but Poe is close enough. Anyway, we were traumatized and we realized that this man was definitely and Officer...and a genitalman.
Around the time of the Highlanders, my parents (One Eyed Willy and Carol, the Walking Encyclopedia) and told us they were coming by. That surprised us as they usually shy away from events that are fun. Anyhow, by the time they made it near, we were all heading for lunch. My dear old half blind father called all butt hurt wanting to know how to get to where we were. So I told him where to go. He then ignored my directions and asked me how to get there. I told him how to get there, "Just stay on Market and once you get to Mission, there is a parking complex." Easy enough...or was it. "Okay son, we are turning on 5th from Market." "Um, didn't you hear what I said Pop?" "So, how do we get to you?" "I gave you directions on how to get to me." "We are turning on Main now. We just passed..." Now, I am pretty patient by-and-large, with my parents, but I did need to eat. "Why the hell are you calling me for directions if you are just going to ignore me?" Which was addressed with, "What? I can't hear you because of all the background noise." Anyway, we managed to get them to us and we had a nice barbecue lunch. That tri tip sandwich was superb and it saved my parents life.
Afterwards we hit the street again and met other friendly folk and took some pictures and posed for some pictures. We ran into a dear friend of our Fallon (aka Scarlett Harlott) and a friend and fellow belly dancer Tonja, who just had her baby. Apparently, she and her husband Brian own all the sound/production equipment. Salma Gundy ran into a few people she worked with.
We shopped a bit, buying Salma a lovely parasol and we also bought some great buffalo bone pins. Salma got the one that said, "Come Over to the Dark Side, We Have Cookies." I bought a cane from a friend/vendor the Diamond Pyramid. They sell belly dance stuff. We listened to the Belles of Bedlam again. Great performers and I am a little sweet on the Melissa in orange. Don't know what to say.
We wrapped up our day, Salma's knee was beginning to hurt her. She fell up some steps at work a few weeks ago, but she is getting better.
We drove home and took a nap and a bath and relaxed on a nice fulfilling day with friends and family.
The most surprising thing during the event was how many folks came up and complimented our attire. People were very flattering. Also, we were asked a lot as to what group/guild we belonged to. Alas, none, but we were asked to come and play with others. A beautiful lady named Mississippi Belle invited us to grab some dinner with the Friends of the Old West. We would have loved to, but we were wearin' down. If you are a Friend of the Old West and are reading this, shoot us an e-mail.
Next up...The Alliance of the Double Cross and the Pre PyrateCon Party.