I'm writing to say what an excellent scribing-rich day I enjoyed last weekend in Oxford, organised by Lady Arianrhod, principality signet.
She'd secured for us a fine site - first floor of a historic pub on the high street in the centre of Oxford. Apparently much of the city is owned by the colleges, including this pub - it's owned by Lincoln College, and this space is let to whoever wants to book it for very modest prices, for the whole day.
So we had a large well-lit space available all day, ample for spreading scribing slopes, materials and books, and room for people to sit together, read, try their hands, or simply putter on projects - or, if you're new to the Society (like young Gwendolyn Rose at 4 months old) get your needed afternoon nap.
Pub catering was available all day (save breakfast, but Oxford is well supplied with cafes).
Cleverly, Arianrhod had laid on fine weather and fine light, so the fighters had the pleasure of gathering in a park to fight a short tournament in the morning, and joined us in the afternoon for classes on gilding and calligraphy.
For those who wished, there was afternoon outing to the Ashmoleian library(?) to view a current exhibit of drawings.
I was pleased to meet lady Margaretha in person, who has served Insulae Draconis so diligently over the past few months, and learn of her progress in the arts.
I finally sat with Lady Aryanhwy and gained some insight into how to tackle penwork initials methodically.
I carefully avoided any of the dangerous book and art supplies shops, by begging a lift back to Thamesreach with Lady Lyonet.
While it is not a conventional event with a feast and court, this form of open-craft-and-activity day shows the best of what Insulae Draconis can do: skills shared in a friendly, historic and wonderfully atmospheric setting, with a measure of do-it-yourself entertainment, for a low price.
Oxford is well served by train and coach and local bus; its one failing, common to many historic cities, is that it is not perfectly handicap-accessible.
I thank Lady Arianrhod for organising it, and for Lord Duncan Forbes for supporting it with the martial activities. Hopefully West Dragonshire will set another date, perhaps in the autumn, for another such gathering. I'd be glad to support another such day!