For the past two weeks, I’ve been camping medieval-style. That’s 14 days of sleeping in a ger (a close relative of a yurt), trying to ignore bugs (all except the really big ones), no air conditioning when sometimes the humidex beat 106 degrees Fahrenheit (when even sweat had nowhere to go), walking everywhere, port-a-potties, and seeking out an active fan near which to stand. It’s also two weeks of fencing, fun with friends, not caring about how I look every minute, getting a ton of exercise, teaching classes, geeking out with people who share my interests, and not worrying about drinking pop every day. Avoiding smelly port-a-johns and dish soaps, helping my camp mates learn how to cook without eggs and dairy, drinking enough water to stay hydrated, and not drinking the iron-heavy water were my only major concerns. With linen clothes instead of the polyester- and spandex-laden Under Armour, I had minimal rashes and stayed as cool as possible. I divided out my clothing, assigning one dress for parties, one for visiting friends in their camps, one for morning bathroom trips and showers, etc. One hospital visit was required for an infection, prompting my being on antibiotics the whole second week, but in the long run I could live with that.
I stood out in glorious rain whenever possible (except for one incident in which I was pitifully trapped in a port-a-potty during a REALLY heavy rainstorm). My tent flooded only once. I spent many days shopping, picking up small but very useful bits like oak galls, tannic acid, medieval safety pins, silk saris, and thread. I spent the day Thursday displaying a painting I had done, as requested by my Queen. I spent part of Friday afternoon commanding a small army of fencers in a 400-strong field battle.
The result of all this is that I am thoroughly exhausted. I slept half the day away on Sunday. I will return this Friday, but for now, get some rest and enjoy your summer.