This summer, if you all remember, has been spent dressing up in an Irish overdress and a skirt (which varies- the color of my skirt, the overdress is always the same though). And I spend about ten hours each weekend day on my feet, walking around, running up and down the same hill several times a day and talking with an atrocious accent that's supposed to be English.
And as I started out, it would seem that Mondays were okay and Tuesdays the effects of the weekend would hit me like the proverbial Chuck Norris roundhouse kick to the back of my face. Tuesdays hurt. A lot. And would linger through Friday. Exhaustion and pain, but I found that the weekends at the Bristol Ren Faire were worth it.
Well, here we are. Tuesday. And I feel fine. And by "fine", I mean, I feel good. Don't worry, I'm not going to break into song. Nobody needs that torture. I'll leave the breaking-into-song stuff up to Maxx and Mauldron because they're so much better at it than I am.
But I do- feel good, that is. I didn't wear shoes yesterday- because following the two days at faire, the arches of my feet are usually sore. The whole not-wearing-shoes day usually leads to feeling gawd-awful the next day, but not today.
My "usual" days- I could function at a 5 to 7 on that ridiculous pain scale. I could just barely function. I'd drag myself to the store or I'd cook dinner, but it hurt. A lot. On the really bad days, I'd fight the stinging tears in an effort not to let it get the best of me. More often than not, I'd end up in the bathroom (the one place I can have a moment of solitude) and just cry for a few minutes. I'd spend most every night letting the pain meds pull me into sleep while tears would fall. I never told anyone that before. I don't think I've even mentioned it here. But yeah, the pain was so bad that I would cry. Going to the grocery store would take me three times longer than it should and when I would get back to my truck, I'd sit there for several long minutes and battle those tears till I could get home.
But today... today I'd label my pain a 1... maybe a 2. Sure, my feet were sore, but they're always sore (its called tendinitis- which is weird, because "tendon" is "tendOn" not "tendIn", but hey, I didn't invent the word). Where was I? Oh, that's right. I didn't hurt today. Well, I did, but for people like me, a one or a two on that stupid pain scale, that's fucking paradise.
And here's the funny part... I didn't notice how good I felt till later in the afternoon. I didn't notice it. Are you joining me in this journey? I didn't notice how good I felt because I've felt good for several days in a row.
I'm weepy right now, but for different reasons. I'd forgotten this is how I'm supposed to feel. I'm supposed to be happy and feel good and be able to stand up without cringing and I'm supposed to be able to cook dinner and pick up a laundry basket and stand up for long stretches and take photos and walk around for hours and talk to people and laugh and hug friends and carry things and walk uphill and even half-jog uphill when I have to make it to a stage for a show and I'm supposed to write long, half-delirious run-on sentences that jump around in topic!
I'm supposed to feel this way because this... this is how a normal person feels. I'm supposed to notice that my clothes are looser. I'm supposed to forget to take my pain medicine because I'm not in pain.
My status updates even just a short six months ago were things like: "Two hours till Vicodin time". For the next three weekends, its "x-many days till Bristol". Because Bristol makes me feel better. It hasn't just been good to me physically- because I know that's what it is, the walking around and getting that exercise- Bristol has been good to me mentally. I spend two days talking to people, some are friends and some are strangers. I'm doing what I do best and I am enjoying every minute of it.
This weekend was great because not only was I at Bristol, I got to meet some fantastic people (most notably, Sam and Aiyanna) and I was recognized for my efforts by people on Facebook (it has to do with fan pages and groups and my photos) except they were there in person, recognizing me by name. That was a good feeling. (as you know, I don't get feedback around the house).
Sunday's weather was absolutely beautiful and I didn't die of heat exhaustion at the faire. It was breezy and cool. And crowded! Odorferious Thunderbottom says that at last count there were "eight million six hundred thirty-seven thousand nine hundred fifty-six and one third people" at Bristol on Sunday. It sure seemed like it. The jousts were standing room only (or, sitting on the grass only, actually) and I had to get there early to get a seat. We took Ceej's friend with us because he'd never been to a faire before and I was on my own for most of the day.
I did my usual routine- jousts, Maxx and Maul, Friends Garden, Dark Cloud... walking around. And I learned something. When you lose weight, your skirts get longer. I usually have to hold up my skirts as I'm walking uphill and on Sunday, with everyone and their scout troop at the faire (it was scouts weekend), I had to pretty much hold my skirts up most of the time. People were stepping on it as well as me. That is, I was stepping on my own skirt, not being stepped on. And on two occasions, I jogged up the hill from the tilt yard. I used both hands to lift my skirts, and just darted uphill. Like it was nothing.
I haven't used my emergency inhaler since the third weekend of faire (so, three weeks ago) and I haven't taken any daytime Vicodin since the start of faire (so, six weeks ago).
So, with this fantastic update, I leave you with these photos.
William, Ceej and me- outside the gates of Bristol before they opened. Photo by "Duchess with Camera" (her screen name).
Me with Amadeo after he hugged me to get his blood on me. Its a game now. "Let's get blood on Patty"... but hey, if it means I get to hug this guy, then I'm all for it.
Me with Greg (who uses "Sir Gregory" as his jouster name). I wanted my 365days photo with him on Saturday, but he disappeared before I got it, so I asked Amadeo to be in my photo... then Greg came back. So I did a diptych of both photos.
And, Sunday. It isn't a great weekend at faire if it doesn't end with getting photobombed by "Sir Maxmillian".
I have over six hundred photos in my Bristol Ren Faire 2011 album on Flickr. But, I have at least twice that many that I haven't uploaded. I average 400 photos a weekend. One weekend I had 650. Another I had 300 total. This weekend is Pride Weekend at faire and the next one is the Steampunk Invasion. For that one, some deliciously wonderful friends are making sure I'm decked out for it. (I'm lookin' at you- Bo, Amy, and Ellen!). Steampunk Invasion combined with Sir Mauldron jousting again will result in a high volume of photos.