Members' Diaries and Articles
Over the years of Sceaftesige's existence, a few members have written diaries to recount their experiences with Regia Anglorum.  They have been sucked out of the previous websites and word documents, and adapted for pleasurable reading at your convenience. 


First Feast: 7th January 2012
One of the things that so endeared me to Regia Anglorum was the Wychurst Longhall in Kent, the idea of feasting on good traditional food with comrades around a hearth with stories being told was almost irresistible.  This is a four-year Regia tradition, held on a weekend in early January to celebrate Twelfth Night.

I had intended to make all my own clothes, but many weeks of effort resulted in only one tunic, and with Christmas out of the way, the need to get a move on with my other items became pressing. I recruited the help of a useful relative, and in good time for the feast I had 2 tunics and a pair of warm trousers.  Authentic socks weren’t required, which was good, and Alan once again leant me shoes, a belt and a very nice cloak.

I arrived in good time and once I’d staked a claim to a small corner of the nearby scout hall, inflated an air bed and dumped two bags in a way which would hopefully deter anyone else from taking the spot next to me, I started to say hi to people.

I collected a few things out of my bag and showed them to Alan, the first one was a knife.  A knife is useful in feasts, but I didn’t have an authentic one so rummaged through the drawer looking for a suitable alternative.  Before long I had found my grandfather’s old knife — re-handled by him — and sharpened so much that it was barely half its original breadth.  I had high hopes for this find in the darker depths of my kitchen drawer, but upon seeing it, Alan said something along the lines of:
    “I want to say this in the nicest possible way, but you buy the most awful things”
I took that as a no.

But when it comes to buying things, I’ve had rather a lot of success.  After the Witan, I had bought a spoon, a combat seax, many rolls of cloth for clothing and two shield bosses.  All of them had been passed, including the seax which got Alan’s praises when I presented it to him now.  Not only that, but a member of Milites de Bec — the evil Norman group — came over to ask where I bought it – that must be ringing endorsement.

I hung Holly around the hall, transported things up and generally stood about chatting to people. Before long, more people arrived and I went to get into kit.  Alan produced a piece of leather from his car and fashioned a belt there and then.  Together with his shoes and his cloak, my costume was complete.

fire Sceaftesige sat on our own table, away from the high and low tables of the honoured guests and from the roaring heat of the fire.  If anything this was good, the weather was extremely mild for early January and the hall was very adequately warm.  Next to the Sceaftesige table was that of Hwitmearum, towards the door was Y Cantref Breiniol, and hidden in the corner away from the door, and as far from the food as we could get away with, was the large retinue of the evil de Bec.

A few people were going from table to table photographing the individual groups.  They had to be quick about it, as at six o’clock a horn was sounded — this was the start of the feast and no-one was now allowed to take photos, use phones or other modern beepy things.

Then the feast began.  The only light was from the candles on the tables and the roaring fire in the middle, sparks shooting up towards the timbers and oak roof tiles.  The food was brilliant, especially the Norfolk dumpling, which I hope to find again at some point.  The food wasn’t traditional, mainly because no-one knows much about what they ate — the ingredients are known, but the recipes remain a mystery.

harp playing Various individuals of note decided to address the hall, from toasting the Queen, to singing 19th-century songs, to hearing about the history of the Longhall, to harp playing, entertainment was varied, traditional, inclusive and inspiring.  One which I particularly liked was the story of taking the Bear (one of the longships) to the Lake District and the catalogue of disasters which followed.  But instead of telling the story as he might down his local pub, he translated all of the modern terms into historick ones which proved to be great entertainment for all.  It occurred when a great Bear was travelling south from a lake, or mere, where it was windy, some might call it Windermere.  Low-loaders became Land Lizards, punctures became injured paws and so it went on; much to everyone’s amusement.

I did feel we came as close as is feasible to a great Dark Age feast, but the modern world was never too far away.  I was particularly thankful during the night, as instead of an uncomfortable straw bed, I had a technologically advanced inflatable mattress.  I was slightly disappointed that my idea of placing a bag to get me more space had failed, and even more so during the night when he out-snorred everyone in the room.  But in the end I slept well enough to be fully refreshed, to enjoy breakfast, spill muesli over the floor, get to know the evil members of Milites de Bec and earn a few brownie points by cleaning the scout hall.