Ashby de la Zouche
Brigade Training Weekend, Easter 2000
Arrived to find a soggy campsite, and pitched the tent in a prime positione to watch the cars get stuck driving up the mud track. Eventually settled into my camp chair in Steve and Margaret's tent and got force-fed tea in true Mr Rabbitts' style.
Awoke to the smell of tea brewing and the sound of pouring rain. Couldn't face either, so went back to sleep. Eventually got up (still before 9!) and drank tea until Dave and Neil started a sword school. Word was sent around that the drill scheduled for the morning was going to be held in the afternoon, so we watched people fight with swords until their arms got tired, then retired to Dave and Jo's exceptionally large trailer tent and watched more cars trying to drive up the mud track. One car drove off the track and promptly sank into 2 feet of mud, and we merrily shouted abuse at him until someone realised it was Phil, Richard and Trish, then everyone bundled out to help push the car onto firmer ground. Back to the trailer tent for more tea, until gales of laughter brought us tumbling out to find they had pitched their tents too close together, and had to climb over each-other's tents to get out. Mmmmm, cosy.
Trish's addition - on the evening of this day Phil, Richard and I trekked across county boundaries to find a pub that did food. We originally went out for lunch, but it was dinner time by the time we found one. Needless to say, we took a taxi back to the campsite
Awoke in the morning to find that some great oaf had landed on Phil's tent in the night and almost totally wrecked it. Phil and Trish had forgotten their sleeping bags and had spent and uncomfortable night sharing a bin liner! Richard's sleeping bag was locked in Phil's car, and he had spent and uncomfortable night wrapped in a rugby shirt. Steve and Margaret discovered a large dent and mud smears over the wing of their car, which no-one in the adjoining regiment, who had been making merry until 4am, would own up to.
After yesterday's drill, the general consensus was "today we do our own thing" which consisted of sword school, firing, hand-to-hand and a quick hang fire, which was entertaining as I'd never seen one before. Dave and Neil taught everyone how to defeat a swordsman (or, due to a distinct lack of swords, a scabbardsman). Occasionally we would glance over at the rest of the Brigade and watched as they practised wheeling, counter-marching and beating off imaginary horses.
Spent lunchtime drinking tea (naturally) and wondering who Moira was, only to find out that it was a village, and the skirmish was being held there in the afternoon. Everyone followed Bob, working on the theory that he was in charge, he would know the way...
Eventually found a car park where there were lots of pikes strapped to roof racks. No-one had much enthusiasm, so Margaret and Jo put their camp chairs into a hessian sack, and everyone else told Bob we were going to be his bodyguard, then positioned ourselves as far away from him as possible until the battle started, when we all stood behind him. Finally getting fed up with his "shadow", he sent us into the thick of things with the instructions to die before we killed too many! Everyone ran off across the field, with me hobbling along the rear nursing my broken toe. By the time I caught up there were bodies everywhere, with no-one left alive to kill apart from Richard, who had steamed through the Royalist musket block, and accosted a small girl, begging her to kill him. Unfortunately she couldn't lift the pike, and ran off screaming.
Which says it all really.