dancing about the edge of the blade

Much delayed post ...
*** this was started after Sunday practice and then basically well put aside as I went off to AWP the next weekend (for mostly meetings as the Friday was hot and pick ups weren't happening that much) and then to Minneapolis for a NOT SCA related date with Tosten.***

Starting this blog in my notes on my phone as I am underground on my way to a dental appointment.

So since last fight report - two more practices under my belt. (oh reminder to self - do something about the belt for your legs - no longer really fits and as you have been using it one way or another for the last 6+ years it could use retirement - also causes a contact rash across my lower back.)

Went to Skeldergate last Thursday - best pain reminder - dont lead with your right leg. Quill tagged my inside right thigh hard enough that I took them as kills, twice ... Actually perfectly targeted on the bruise left by Brannos.

Trying to remember who I fought. Corwyn - with his axe and round shield; Alicia with sword and oval (she called me a dwarven tank);  Hugh (sword and board - not remembering the angles) and finally Quilliam (sword & oval).

Skeldergate is generally the place I try to put lessons into play. With Wat not there (we have a bad habit of not hitting the same practices) ... Yes, both Aaron and Quill were there in armour and Berus watched some of the fighting... But there isn't currently anyone I look to for specific guidance. I will ask anyone I am fighting for help with stuff or if they see what I am doing wrong but part of the current problems are I kind of know what I am doing wrong.  In general I was countershooting which because I was following sword angles in worked often but meant that I let someone else (as Brannos said Sunday) flick the "on" switch rather than me.

THAT was unfortunately as far as I got before I went away so Sunday practice from May 13th is a vague collection of things I need to work on -  I just dont have the vocabulary to describe the images in my brain - the switch idea, the concept not necessarily reacting - instead creating movement/change, working on changing hip movement to snap shots better with more power. ( Oh there was the moment of leaving HG R to the end as I had promised my mom for mother's day that I wouldn't get too hurt.  I told him this - he looked at me and smiled asking "I dont hurt you, do I?"  To which I responded, " No, I just have this bad habit of putting my body in the way of your sword."  Did acquire some lovely bruises on the inside of my left leg from him... and a great one through the elbow cop of my right arm.)

So since Minneapolis (came home on Tuesday) I haven't made it to practice yet but hoping to make it out on Monday night but down to Ben Dunfirth not Ard Chreag

Back to basics
So back in the beginning before reigns, before squiring, before everything  else that takes place outside out my helmet; I used to write in this blog about just me and fighting.

Think it is time I got back to that fighting thing.

So part of that focusing on fighting is writing about what I am learning and what I am doing right/wrong or not at all.

Fought at Midrealm Coronation last weekend - just pick ups in weather where sane people sat watched the Grand Rose Tourney.  It was hot - 10 degrees higher than it has been up here so far - and well, the Mid seems to keep its water in the air.  ( I do think they should import the Ealdormerian idea of lakes rather than  the sky as the place to keep water.)  I was sluggish, speed bumpish in my view and not crisp about anything.  I didn't know anyone that I was crossing swords with so I wasn't certain what level they were at but basically I fought their game and gave up that concept that I know anything or could have any sort of control. 

So what did I do right?  Well, gym time pays off even if the weather stinks.  I didn't need my asthma inhaler ( actually I dont think I have used it since September - unless I had an infection).  I had energy.  I was sweaty and tired but I didn't just crash.  ( Actually got chased by a pig ( 4 legged variety - we were at a 4H farm), found a cold shower and went on to serve feast to the head table.  Though by the evening there was no possibility of me partying - left that to Quilliam. )

So the weekend got better ( in terms of fighting) by heading to Dark Yard's fight practice in the park.  The weather was so much better for fighting.  Trying to remember lessons ( which would be easier if I would write this in the car on the way home) -  My guard has changed from sword out to sword in more which is limiting my range a bit.  In general it is working for me on the defensive side but you dont win fights by being defensive - you just stay alive along enough to try to fight a bit more. But I need to pay attention to that and vary it more.  Shown a new shot to use when the sword is low out of position - using the back blade to tag inside thigh, elbow and bicep.  Also once again reminded about the idea of adding variety in the intensity of my fights. I should supposedly trust my defense to be there and just look for opportunities and push them and my opponent out of position to maximize them.

Hitting practice hopefully tomorrow and I am uncertain about this weekend.  I am traveling - either to Boarder Spat or Dark Yard Practice on Sunday.

Mythical Merchant will be returning to merchanting in Ealdormere
Just in case anyone was interested -

We currently have Baldar Basket Hilts & Bosses in stock, a number of wonderful bone and horn creations of Corwyn and Domnhail.  As well  we will have a few of our custom weapon heads as well as a new idea we have of 'ready to use' weapons.

Possibility also of a few items for display if you are interested in commissioning work but those have yet to be determined.

Since there are a few transportation issues in my life at the moment the number the number of events I am looking to merchant at are not that large. 

So far the autocrats of Trillies and Queen's Picnic have said that they should have space for us.

If you need something we usually carry and you figure you will see us at a practice - let me know and I will bring what I can with me.

Her Majesty’s Melee Music Bardic Circle …

Her Majesty’s Melee Music Bardic Circle …

When: Sometime Saturday Night at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. 

Music has and can be used in many ways before battle –by both those in helms and those along the sidelines - to settle nerves, scare opponents, and build the camaraderie of the troops who will take this town, bridge, hill or field  all in the name of , for the glory Ealdormere.

In celebration of both the songs of yore and the deeds which must be recorded, Her Majesty would call upon all those who have words to share and wish to present songs to be sung by those on the field to come into Her presence on Saturday evening and share them around the bardic circle.  (It is hoped that new presentations of words will be sung along side some of Our favourites.)


Please bring a print out of the words with you to the event for submission.

(It would be lovely to have a few copies or a copy of the words in a larger format for sharing. If inspiration strikes you at the event, hand written notes are more than welcome.)

Please come to the bardic circle, either prepared to present it yourself or with others. 

Note:  In particular, songs that can be sung by all on and off the battlefield - what ever the skill level are most sought after.  Though the kingdom is blessed by many skilled strong voices, Her Majesty is much more comfortable singing  joyfully with others.


Hopefully  we will all win with more singing both on and off the field.

With permission of the authors, all submissions will be collected for a small booklet to be given out at TRM final court.

As well as Her Majesty is preparing a few tokens in appreciation for the skill and courage of those who present.

Taking words to heart...
Jack Layton (leader of the opposition)died this morning at home.

He was an amazing man who lived life fully in service to so many people. He left a letter to be released at the time of his death.


Whether or not you read it all, whatever your personal politics are these words are worth taking to heart and action,

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

notes to life
I want to be a member of a group that needs kazoos.

Thinking with everything that is going on between work and the sca, I need to practice more acts of random kindness and strangeness.

Maybe a kazoo Christmas Caroling band to wander about Toronto?

Conquer Cancer - short summary
So it has been weeks since the ride and I am planning my next 100k just for fun one so I thought I should write and let you know how much I appreciated your support. 

As you know my brother Kris and I did the ride together with the support of friends and family, under the team name of Knfused Cancer Conquerors. Together with your support we raised $5671.00 for Cancer Research at one of the leading hospitals in BC.

When I first proposed the idea I think the entire family thought I was nuts for looking at doing this again.  BUT there is no better way to celebrate a birthday than to spend time and energy trying to make the world a slightly better place and making a world of strange memories with family (chosen or otherwise).

My birthday, June 18th the first ride day started off drizzling, which soon built in to pouring rain.  Truly we experienced all aspects of West Coast weather ranging from pouring to drizzle to fog and back again.  The first break was at the boarder where both Kris & I were so happy to be one of the 200 or so riders with a Nexus card.  Most of Saturday went relatively well.  It was a hard day as how ever long you train, you rarely train to bike for 8+ hours while wet. It was also a day of climbing but subtle 5 degree climbs that went on for 50 +km at a time.  Wonderful views of mist covered mountains, otters, herons and cyclists saying "on your left" abounded. 

I am not the fastest rider just rather determined.  Traveling by bicycle is a rather intimate way to see the countryside.  In some ways there is something to look at every meter it seems, in others it maybe just that you need something to look at so you forget that your legs & butt are hurting or hands freezing which was also the case.  June on the west coast is a bit different from June inland, I have to say.

We were happy to reach the end of the day, at Mount Vernon and see both Piper & Meegan as well as the sun that finally broke through the clouds.  Day one was 120k or so and every km was cycled by both of us.

Unfortunately I spent half the Saturday night being up with a hacking cough.  Some how my lungs, and the slight cold I had had setting out didn't appreciate being wet and cold all day.

So Sunday was a harder day for me, between not exactly being rested and the grey continual drizzle.  First 30k I thought was going to kill me but I kept going and Kris was kind enough to wait at the first rest stop for me.  Got stopped by a hacking fit another 15k on from that and decided when the assist vehicle came by to grab the lift the 15k to the next rest stop.  Not 100% certain where we were at that point in time but the rest stop was at the base of a mixed use - bike, horse, walk trail building up an escarpment.  It was a beautiful rain forest like scene or it would have been beautiful other than the fact it was still raining. Actually, I would like to go back and do the trail again, when I can feel my hands (I was missing my winter cycling gloves) for the glimpses between the trees of the mountains and hills around us made it worth it to keep going.

At about the 85k mark I was at the base of a mountain climb looking up and contemplating.  I had done deals with the universe to get me there - along the lines of "make it to the next corner and then you can stop"... which would work out to a consideration of "this corner wasn't that bad, how about the next?". By 85k mark, the lungs weren't buying it, so I did get off my bike for asthma drugs, water, gel pack and some serious thinking about what to do.  Suddenly right in front of me was an assist vehicle asking me if I had phoned for a ride.  I hadn't, but decided that when the universe answers questions of "what now", you should listen and take the ride.  I grabbed a ride to the next rest stop but as the asthma attack hadn't finished they took me another 10k to the last before the end one.  I wanted to ride the last 20k come heck or high water.  So I waited for Kris who had been riding all of way and we ended the ride the way we had started it, talking about our memories, family & life.  (Okay, you can tell the endorphins were kicking in by now as we talked about what is next as well...so far 2015 might be Montreal to Quebec City.)

It was a great feeling to cross that line - to know that even if I had only biked 200+ out of the 240K I had done my best and hadn't anything in reserve.

Thank-you for your support.  I couldn't have done this without you. 

Not really a biking report
This is more of a I am home safely report. 

Someday I will go back to Washington State and it will not be pouring.

That is the theory. 

I will write more as I get it together. 

Things we learned. 

- I actually do like longdistance biking but thinking 1 trip a month of 100k or more in a day would be enough for now.  After the last Ride to Niagara I stopped riding for a bit and this time I dont want that to happen.  ( If someone wants to go for a slow ride let me know - because I am really not that fast 15-20K/hr on the max side, right now.) 

- These rides are much more enjoyable when you have someone to ride 'with'.  Kris and I did the first leg together and then I suggested he go ahead.  We ended the ride together purposely biking the last 15-20k together, talking actually about life and family. But we checked in with each other at every rest stop which was good for me. 

- Trying to figure out what is the goal for my 44th birthday.  46th might be the Montreal to Quebec City (Kris is interested in that one). Not 100% certain where I will physically be by the time my 44th comes around so not not exactly worrying about it right now.

- A properly set up bike is a lovely thing, learning more about my bike ( need to put it back together today) is also a good thing.  It deserves a bit of an overhaul and dont know if it makes sense to take it back to Dukes for that or not.  OH, and whether or not I really figure out clipping in - never fell - but the clips put my knee at a different angle and create a bit of an ache in a stabilizing muscle - BIKE shoes are a good thing.  Last time I didn't want to walk afterwards.  This time I wanted out of the bike shoes but my feet were 'happy'.  If I am going to consider 100k+ in the rain rain shoe gortex cozies (sp) make sense as well.

More of the actual ride & pictures later.


name and device ...
 Slight change from v to f on the approved front though some how I will continue to use misspell it with a v.

Dagmar Halfdan. Name reconsideration from Dagmær Hálfdanardóttir and device. Argent, a raven volant to sinister chief maintaining an axe sable, a base wavy barry wavy gules and argent.


I have been working on this for a few years now.  most people do connect my curvy viking wyrm with me but I will need to get my arms rather than household arms painted on a shield or two in a year or so.

(Someone once suggested the arms of a raven carrying an axe over an ocean of what he saw as bloody waves was perhaps too violent for a girl. Huh...)

Thank-you for everyone who helped since my documentation had issues through the years and I had issues with the fact that the powers that be had originally decided I needed to be someone's daughter when the 1/2 dane status is something I am, not my mother or father (both in the sca and life actually).

Update on the state of Dagmar/Kirsten
1) Crown Tourney is in a week.  Quilliam is fighting for me and I am fighting for Quilliam.  Based on our final fights at practice last week where we fought our 'crown' level fights - I am really hoping we dont draw each other first. (I did manage to lay stick on the boy but went 0 for 5 - left me feeling arghish for the night.)   It is strange that people worry that one of us would just 'give in to the other'.  We do have a very loving friendship and that is still there when we put helms on BUT we are also both 'rather competitive'. Being a Jarla/Countess and entering crown also meant the last month or more has been spent improving my kit.   My armour is generally okay but I put more energy & sewing in to this fight tunic than I ever have before.

2) The Ride is in less than a month. Just found out it is 260k not the 230k I thought it was.  You know 30k at that point shouldn't make a difference but umhh.... I am a little terrified.  Did 72k yesterday and my butt hurt by the end of it, to say nothing about my feet.  There is a reason why I did the Toronto - Niagara one in my steel shanked boots last time ( something hard to press down on is good). Fundraising wise I have reached my minimum needed which is fabulous.  Though reaching my goal would be great if possible. Nailing down longer distances helps my brain click in to the "you know you can do this" phase which is where I would like it to be before I fly out on the 11th.

3) Spending 10 days in BC.  Flying in to Vancouver, hopefully spending a day or two with Kristin and family and then biking to Victoria area to see my bro and do a ride or two with him.  I will bike back to Van earlier- maybe the Thursday and then spend a bit of time resting with the kids before the ride on Saturday. 

4) Still no job but you know to get a job you should... umhh look more for one.  I would like to try to pick up something short term for July, since getting interview and telling them you have an educational medieval volunteer trip planned from July 28th until August... ?? for two weeks might not go over well. Figured it would go over better than saying I need 10days off in June and 14 days in August though. 

5) Friends in two different kingdoms have won crown.  Being hopeless at figuring out gifts they could use.  I haven't even finished the horns I need to make for my Majesties for the Ealdormerian Youth Tourney at Pennsic. One set is late period Slavic  and the other... guessing they will stay with RusViking but uncertain since she has also done later period German.  Got to admit I like reign websites that give you that kind of information.

6.  There is no six.

7.  There really is no seven either I am just delaying heading out on my bike now.


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