So yeah, there we have it. Despite being a bit achy, I did all right. In the middle of the day, though, I had a bout of what I thought was a "fibro thing". I felt suddenly very weak and exhausted. I actually loosened my dress laces out in the open. Unheard of! Unlady-like! Oh my! My friends from Texas came up for opening weekend and were quite wonderful through the whole thing. They walked me up to the medical area and made sure I wouldn't fall flat on my face. Because, you know, falling flat on one's face with one's laces loosened is so not cool.
At the first aid building, medical area, whatever- they have air conditioning and Gatorade and towels in a large basin of ice water. They fed me Gatorade in small cups (so I wouldn't guzzle it) and draped an iced towel over my shoulders. Over my hair. I couldn't even feel it. That's how thick my hair is. Anyway, I lifted my hair, enjoyed the iced towel and Gatorade. After about an hour, I started to feel better.
And just how I could tell I felt better- I started to talk more. And those of you who know me... well, you know something has to be wrong if I'm not talking.
If you're not on my Facebook, then you missed my update. My status was: "My weekend at the faire in a nutshell... that is, if by 'nutshell' we mean 'first comment'..."
And here's my comment:
I took around 200 photos on the first day. Angus and Beth were fantastic and made sure I didn't fall on my face when I got dehydrated on the first day. The ambulance service that Bristol employs is full of helpful and wonderful people. They see so many heat-exhausted people that when someone comes in with a scrape or cut, its a refreshing change for them.
At the first joust on the second day (around noon), my camera battery's "low" light started flashing. So I tried to conserve my battery for only those photos that I thought were most important.
I managed to take over 130 photos before my camera died completely at 530 PM.
So, it will take me a little while to get through all these photos.
I've lost my voice (from talking to people and screaming at the joust).
I had a group of people tell me my "accent" was really good. That is, my fake British mashup of an accent. I had a very excited man walk up to me after the Queen's Joust and ask if he could take a picture with me and his name turned out to be Oleg and he was visiting from Russia. On day two, more than five people thought I worked there. I've got bruises on my feet (from my slightly custom orthotics), every part of my body is screaming in pain (I know, I know, I did this to myself!), I've got a ren-faire sunburn ever so slightly on my shoulders and neck (I wore my hair up on day two and sunscreen does not work when you sweat as much as I did on both days). Also, on day one, I had to seek relief and assistance at the medical building where they have AC, iced towels and Gatorade.
Oh, and Ceej and I were involved in an interaction with two of the Fantastikals. (that's the troupe of awesome dancers/models who are the fairies at Bristol. They almost always only interact with children). I don't know what this troupe of people in black cloaks are called. Someone told me once, but I can't recall. They came marching through and all the Fantastikals that were there became "frightened" and hid behind trees and people. One of the Fantastikals hid behind me and Ceej as the troupe went through. I said, "That's right, hide behind the fat sweaty one, they'll never find you!" He smiled at me. And a few minutes after that, Puck and that guy got into a fairie standoff of some kind (Ceej has a photo on her Blackberry I have to get from her because my camera was long-dead by then) and when they stopped and Puck started to walk away I asked, "Did you win!?" He smiled and gave me a sly glance.
Of course, the jousts were all wonderful. The Queen's Joust where they set up for the Joust to the Death was awesome. And the Joust to the Death was even better than I remembered from last year. AND, Maxx and Mauldron's Show did not disappoint! Handsome and hilarious!
At the end of the day, I was tired and my feet were screaming, but I did the whole day without Vicodin. And I did the second day- with more walking- without Vicodin. I stayed hydrated though, I made sure of it (I also wore my hair up, which helped some and I hate wearing my hair up). I do have a reason for letting myself get dehydrated. Back in the day, I used to ride my bike twenty-six miles a day. And more recently, I used to walk four miles a day and end that with a half-hour of yoga. And even more recently, I haven't been very active at all. Now, back in the days of my physical activity, I stayed hydrated because I knew I needed it. I was physically exerting myself and I knew it. Well, after these past four, five years of medically-induced sedentary-ness, I'd forgotten how it feels.
From the moment I stepped out of my truck and tightened up my bodice, I started sweating. I sweated nonstop the entire day- till I got back into my truck and flipped on the AC. I should have known from simple common sense that I would need to drink more. But, in my now-sedentary brain, I thought: "I'm not exercising, I don't need to keep drinking."
Stupid fat person brain. What the hell, right?
Day two of the faire, I ended a little more sore than day one, but that's sort of what I expected. Waking up this morning was an experiment in sheer agonizing pain. Nothing like a few hot tears to be your wake up call. But at least I earned it!
I completed my "tasks" for this weekend. I wanted to see some friends. I wanted to meet some in person for the first time. And, I had to get photos of the joust. All-in-all, I took over 200 photos on day one and over 130 photos on day two. Why the drop? Around noon, my "low-battery" light came on. I managed to keep the battery power going through the sheer power of my mind (okay, by being more selective in my subjects, sort of) till 540 PM. Right at the start of the Joust to the Death.
I KNOW! I was so pissed off! It was fantastically violent, dramatically theatrical, and bloody. Not Tarantino bloody, but excitingly bloody. But enough about that... total, we have 312 photos in the Bristol Renaissance Faire Photo Set on Flickr. You will notice, in the joust photos that I had to get more photos of one particular knight. That would be Sir Mauldron. What I lacked in quality, I made up for in quantity!
Today, as it is almost 11 PM, my body aches and I'm stiff, just like I expected. This morning, I took two Vicodin upon venturing down the stairs. It helped a little. I have bruises on my feet from my boots (or, more to the point, the insides of my boots) and I had some blisters (they're gone for the most part). My foot pain isn't necessarily related to my fibro pain, but it isn't too far a leap to assume they are.
I leave you with this- two videos I did while driving to the faire.
On the way to Bristol, for some reason, I thought it would be fun to shoot a video, through my windshield, as we drove and I tried to get Ceej to use a "ren faire voice"... You don't have to watch- just listen (unless you like to see the Wisconsin highway bathed in morning sunlight). My AC is blasting on full, so there's that.
Also, I was talking to a knight and the hardest-working-squire-in-the-squire-business and used "ren faire voice"... that's when I realized nobody else calls it that. See, I have to use that term when describing it to the disabled guy. And I've been Stroke-Speak-Translating every day stuff for so long that I forgot that the entire world doesn't speak Stroke.
Well, there you go, gentlemen. I'm not all that much of a nut.
Warning- there's a little bit of swearing in this one. Because of my AC blasting in the background of the first video, we tried another. But they're both ridiculously funny so I decided to share them both. The town we're driving through in this video is Lake Geneva.
I hope you enjoy the videos. I'm taking my achy body to bed. For now, I'm saying it was worth it. We'll see how I feel in the morning.