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Brygyt Strangewayes (Juliann)
18 September 2008 @ 06:48 pm
Sorry I haven't updated or done any SCA stuff at all in the three-plus months that I was away in the US but family matters were just too pressing. I shan't say more here as I don't think most people reading this want to know about my personal life but in case you do I have a really long update in my main journal here:juliann.livejournal.com/582291.html

'm off to Hastings now for a bit of medieval geekery and relaxing for my birthday so I'll be out of touch for a while but will be able to check my gmail (thesickchick) in case anyone wants to berate me for not having met up with them in my travels or anything ;)  Tips on what to do in Rye and Hastings (other than the obvious battle stuff and smugglers' caves) would be most welcome too as I haven't had time to even look up what else there is to do besides a gorgeous beach that it will probably be too cold to be worth visiting :/

Adieu for now...
Brygyt Strangewayes (Juliann)
08 May 2008 @ 01:04 pm

Just a reminder that the walk for Fibro research is this Saturday. Please come join us and have some fun and get a bit of exercise in the bargain :)

We're meeting up at St. Stephen's Tavern near Westminster Tube by 5.30 pm

Then we'll meander past some historic sites until we get to the Texas Embassy for cocktails and maybe a blooming onion.

Next we'll walk along the river -- great views and cool breezes -- with a stop at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese along the way, built in 1666.

Finally we'll do a spin around the Monument (to see my mate Charles II) and wander back to Ye Old Watling pub to finish out the evening. We hope to be there by 8.30.

Suggested donation is £5 but I won't be harassing people. Your presence is good enough!

If you have any problems, you can call me on 07935 934 159. (Mobile won't be on before the day so if you have questions beforehand please email.)

If you can't come, we'd still appreciate internet donations. Can you spare a fiver (US$10) for Fibromyalgia? Sponsor me or the team ! Many thanks to those who have already donated!!!!
Current Mood: pleasedpositive
Brygyt Strangewayes (Juliann)
28 April 2008 @ 01:31 pm
(Crossposted to juliann)

I know it is strange, but for me I seem to go in annual cycles that change around the end of April/beginning of May each year. This is partially because winter is so difficult for me that on the coming of Spring (which is still not fully here), I feel like there is much change. (I rarely if ever feel this when the calendar ticks over from Dec 31 to Jan 1).

This time last year I decided to join the SCA. I don't regret that decision but after a year I still am not all that fired up about any of the time periods featured. Plus I really, really need basic sewing lessons before I can get into the costuming side of things, my skills are really pathetic. So I'm not getting out of it what I had wanted and am getting overwhelmed by all the other things on offer that aren't really as fulfilling to me. I tried to do a little bit of everything and in that got swamped and way over my head. I simply don't have the energy to do it all and I need to stop trying to keep up with able-bodied people!

I got sidetracked in October with a buring desire to start loom knitting and that really took over my life. Now I'm hoping to branch out into more fiber arts projects as I continue with wet felting and spinning, and I think I am finally ready to tackle crochet again.

I think I really have to honour those feelings, as well as the fact that my health (especially mental) has taken another turn for the worse. So for the next "year" I'm not going to put so much effort into re-enacting stuff (I will continue to be involved in the arts side of things and arts meetings/events, but will stop worrying about trying to get to costumed events as I seem to be unable to get my act together for that anyway) but I am going to work on getting my craft skills better so that I can finally start costuming which is what I am drawn to do but is out of my league. Then once I can turn out clothing that suits my historical aims, I shall worry about going to events. I may go to some in this next year (probably KWHS and St. E's) but I am not going to make it top priority.

In reality, this is not a huge change for me, as I only made it to one event in a year. But it's a mental shift, to stop feeling so damned guilty and distressed for not having made garb, for not having gone to revels, for not going to out of town events. I simply don't have it in me to do all the various things, especially if I am to resume my university studies next autumn. I need to give myself permission to step back and go at my own speed rather than tryingto keep up with everyone else. I simply can't be involved in all aspects of re-enacting so I need to pare down to the things that interest me the most and stop trying to sample everything at once! Right now, that is just the arts side and the service, heraldry and actual events need to wait.

So, my new year's resolutions, as it were:

1) Health comes first, always. Do whatever is necessary to improve (or sometimes just to maintain if that's all I can do) my overall well being.

2) Craft more. Craft all the time. Craft until I turn blue in the face! Spend time with all of my crafty skills, nurture and improve them. (This actually is part of #1 as crafting helps with health a great deal.) Get more involved in the crafty blogosphere.

3) Learn to crochet and to sew properly. Find out about the sewing classes that are around the corner at St. A's.

4) Resume my history of London course, if my health permits.

5) Get back to my genealogy and maybe podcasting.

6) Be as social as I can manage, at SCA meetings, knitting groups, and take time for friends more often.

7) Stop worrying about everything else!!!! I really have to learn to stop feeling guilty about not doing more. I have a huge struggle with acceptance and accepting my limitations is really, really hard for me because I just guilt trip myself into the next county. I really need to learn to get over that and view what I can do as a gift and what I can't get to as perfectly OK. (Now it would be nice if the rest of the world saw it that way too!)

I hope that people aren't going to be offended by this, but I have to do what is best for me instead of trying to please others. I've spent too much time in the past year hoping to please, seeking approval, trying to "be good" and then berating myself when I fail. I can't do that anymore; I have to force myself out of that cycle as it only leads to distress. So now is the time to play to my strengths and focus my energy on the stuff that lifts me up instead of dliuting that energy by pushing it fifty different directions.
Current Location: my lair
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
Brygyt Strangewayes (Juliann)
18 April 2008 @ 06:41 pm

As many of you know, I suffer from a condition called Fibromyalgia among many others. Fibromyalgia -- called fibro or FM for short -- is believed to be a disease of the central nervous system. People with this condition suffer intense, widespread pain and crushing fatigue. It can completely disable a person and destroy their lives. Up to three percent of the population may get this disease at some point in their life, although many go for years without obtaining a proper diagnosis. There is only one drug so far (approved in the US only) and that only works for a percentage of the population and only dampens some of the symptoms. We usually have pain every moment of every day and can find it difficult, perhaps even impossible, to find the energy to get out of bed, dress or leave the house. It is not a lack of willpower, but a chronic, permanent illness. It is like having the worst case of the flu you have ever experienced and it never goes away.

On the 10th of May, the National Fibromyalgia Association (US) is hosting a walk to raise awareness and funds for research. They have called for others -- yes, even in other countries -- to help them as Virtual Participants, and I am organizing a team. Walking for me is still a painful process, but I am committed to giving my all in support of this cause. Please honour my pain and hardship (it will take me at least a week to recover) with your support.

London Crawling is a pub crawl through the West End on that Saturday evening (sometime after the MEDATS AGM). We're going to walk our 5K (hopefully, fingers crossed!) but take regular breaks to sit down, rest and perhaps have a half. (Alcohol not required, indeed not recommended for many on certain pain medications!) It's social but socially conscious all in one! We'll also be pointing out things which are hazards to the mobility impaired along our route for those who have never had cause to notice such things before.

Join our walk, either as an official Virtual participant (Cost: US$35, a non-tax deductible donation, you get an official t-shirt and your name on the virtual walkers roll) or just come along and make a cash donation. Perhaps you can match the pounds spend on beer with pounds given to Fibromyalgia research?

If you're not in London, I urge you to become a Virtual participant anyway. You (apparently) don't have to even walk. Maybe just walk virtually ;) Second Life anyone? You can still be on our team even if you can't crawl with us in person. Join in and help raise funds for this very worthy cause near and dear to my heart!

If participating doesn't appeal, then I beseech you to consider donating. My personal sponsorship page has some more details of my personal struggle. You can join our team at the London Crawling page. You can donate either to me or to the team. And if joining the team, you can walk in my honour or anyone else you know with fibromyalgia. Let me know if you want more details for that part of the form.

Please spread the word!

I know the fad now is to offer prizes draws to those who make donations but I am not in a position to offer anything special. But I will promise a hand-made thank you card to any donor who requests one. These take my time and energy and can be a bit painful in the making so I hope that this gift will be as meaningful to you as anything else on offer.

The NFA has already helped make my life better and continues to search for ways to improve the lives of allof us with fibromyalgia. Please contribute today to keep the ball rolling and fight against this dreadful disease! I believe that donations are tax-deductible within the United States.
Brygyt Strangewayes (Juliann)
04 April 2008 @ 09:03 am
I shall be spending most of June and July in WH (Raleigh, NC). I don't know if I will be able to get out much as my health is quite poor at the moment (which is actually why I am going to be there, I need my mommy to look after me!) but it would be nice to finally meet people if I can.

I'm on the mailing lists so I'll just have to play it by ear and see what I am up for! But if there is anyone with a spinning wheel I might want to make their acquaintance -- my spinning class is tomorrow and I might get hooked ;)
Current Music: CraftSanity #74 3.30.08 - Lexi Boeger
Brygyt Strangewayes (Juliann)
03 March 2008 @ 03:16 pm
For those who don't know, I have recently been disagnosed with Type II Diabetes and am in the process of changing my diet, meds and lifestyle to suit. This, including many appointments with healthcare providers, is taking the bulk of my time at the moment and combined with the increased fatigue has sapped my life for the next few weeks.

As a result I am probably not going to be able to attend any SCA or social events for the next few weeks, maybe even all of March. Just giving folks a heads up.

(I realize that for most folks this diagnosis is no big deal, but changes on the scale requested by my docs is harder for me to do when there are two dozen other diseases with competing and sometimes contradictory treatment practices. So it's taking a while to sort out and until then I have even more fatigue than usual.)
Brygyt Strangewayes (Juliann)
18 February 2008 @ 06:54 am
[crossposted to juliann]

I had a fantastic time at a felting course at Handweaver's Studio this weekend. Unfortunately, I also managed to completely piss off the proprietress (not the instructor) and having heard the way she badmouthed another customer, I now suspect I am all but banned.

My crime? Not wanting to use band-aids (plasters) made in 1988-9. She was mightily offended and in a strop about it and pretty much forced me to put one on, then was huffy with me the rest of the day, only I was too wrapped up in feltmaking to really pay it much attention. The other lady she badmouthed -- that woman had the nerve to ask if she could join a class already in progress (mising the first day and taking only day two). That woman was bitched about for at least ten minutes both on the day of the question and the day after when the proprietress was still angry about it and called the customer a diva and prima donna among other choice ephithets.

The problem is that I have another course coming up there, one even more important to me. Plus I might want to take further courses, but I have a strong feeling that if I tried she'd not let me. (The next course I had already paid in advance.) But she did take the decent sum I spent on wool and thread yesterday, but was somewhat snotty about it in the process, so maybe I'm not banned :P Just treated like the enemy :P

I just feel awful about this. I don't know if I should send her an apology to try to make peace. Part of my screams at that, since I don't think I was out of line just asking if there were any newer plasters, I shouldn't have to apologize. (And actually I didn't ask her, the instructor did.) That part of me wants to tells all my friends and acquaintances to avoid the shop at all costs :P But the other part of me knows that it's a very good resource for the wool and fibers that I will use for felting and spinning and that I might want to take course there in the future since the courses are so good and I hate being cut off from a resource that valuable just because I am too proud.

I'm sure I should just ignore it and let it go, but well, this woman's ire is pretty intense and I can just imagine what wretched things she will be saying about me today, I'm sure "prima donna" will be quite mild in comparison.

Leave it to my unstable mental health to be up in the middle of the night stressed almost to tears over this when otherwise it was such an amazing and fantastic experience.
Current Mood: distresseddistressed
Brygyt Strangewayes (Juliann)
10 February 2008 @ 04:30 am
So many of the time periods I am interested in have some hair peeking out from the usual headdress or have a lot of hair exposed with minimal coverage (usually with elaborate hairstyles). This is a problem in that I have at most about 1 cm of hair at any given time, usually much less.

I've been looking at wigs, but they are quite expensive unless you go for halloween-style plastic ones (which I may do for goth events but that's another story). Human hair is entirely out of the question, and even very good synthetics are out of my budget (over £150 each).

So my options are: Avoid those eras and go for ones with full-coverage head gear (that is, covering up any hair or lack thereof, ideally not requiring it to be pinned to hair or have a bun to hold it up), Wear the headdress without hair (obtrusively modern), invent a similar headdress that covers the entire scalp (not authentic), or get a medium-priced wig (still £75 :/) that well, would be somewhat obvious close-up that it's not real but could probably pass from across the room well enough and wear that with proper headgear.

Unfortunately, in that price range the hairstyles tend to be very modern, so it could only be for showing a bit of hair at the front or the physical bulk of a bun under a cap, etc. I've yet to see one that doesn't have fringe/bangs so that would make elaborate hairdos challenging.

Can those of you who are experienced re-enactors chime in on what you think would be the best out of those options? Right now I'm most interested in 1590s England and Ireland, 1480s-90s Italy and Imperial Roman/Romano-British, if that helps. (And 1660-1700 England and France but I'm not currently with a group for that. I want to be though!) Not the best time periods for hiding a lack of hair, I know :(
Current Location: bed
Current Mood: pensivepuzzled
Current Music: episode 52 - What's In Your Dumpster? - lime & violet
Brygyt Strangewayes (Juliann)
07 February 2008 @ 05:18 pm
[crossposted a lot]

I'd like to request prayers/candles/energy/anything that might help on behalf of t's dad (John). He's been in hospital for a month now battling a series of infections and is now resistant to all but one antibiotic. If he can just beat these infections and come home, he may get his new kidney within a few months. But they can't give him a transplant while he has an infection and anyway, being drug resistant is a very dangerous thing!! So please, do what you can....we're very worried at this point :(
Current Music: Ah Si Mon Moine - Mediaeval Baebes
Brygyt Strangewayes (Juliann)
26 November 2007 @ 11:21 am
I apologize in advance that I will probably not be able to reply individually to responses, as the 'rents are keeping me way too busy -- I can only skim email with no real time to reply :/

They have recently recovered a lot of their furniture with upholstery-grade leather and have leftover bits, up to about a meter in length and about 1.5m wide. Most of the scraps are green and red, there may be a little bit of black. They are split leather which means they do have a suede side as well as a normal side.

Is it worth me trying to squeeze this into my luggage to take home? Can it be used for SCA or other re-enactment purposes? (I haven't settled down to any periods yet.) I was thinking of making bags but I really don't know what else it would be good for (shoes are beyond my abilities at this time). It's heavier than garment-weight so I don't know how suitable it would be for any wearable items.

I've bought so much knitting yarn that I am having to be very careful what I bring home as space and weight is very limited. My instincts say free leather is worth getting, but that will probably mean mailing my yarn. But I don't want to lug leather across the Atlantic if it's not going to be very useful...

Advice appreciated!