Donnerstag, 27. November 2014

Archery meeting@Bethaus der Bergleute

 It was long overdue.

The folks at Zee Aylienz mountainbike team had asked for an archery event, and I organized it, with some difficulties. When they had inquired, I had thought, they´d work for it also, but turns out I was being wrong. So, all systems reset, and I planned it the other way round. Vikings, smiths and archers seem tro know better that if you want to fetch a penny from the cobbles, you have to bend down to fetch a penny from the cobbles, and it eventually even worked out. From ten inquiries of the team there were actually four left who were coming, and two not even shooting. No harm done, there were enough folk having fun.

 Olaf, the gnarly viking soulbrother, was responsible of a good part of the organization, too, and brought a load of friendly people with him. He had made a bow out of a lath floor board and PVC. Unfortunately it broke when drawn out the first time. But I lend him mine, and he took care of the kids and beginners in his trademark friendly and laidback way.
 Nick deserves a load of respect, too, for he had gone to the extra length of making a funny 3 D target out of old bed linen. Willibald, as it was tauted soon, received a right whacking that day. Thanks, bro!
 Jens is one of the better individuals at Zee Aylienz bedlam and capable of social contacts even;-). He had a youth bow with him, but no less fun for the fact.
 There was a lot of socializing going on, too. It was more like a giant party from lunch till well after midnight!
 Frank from Zee Aylienz, an accomplished archer and one of the more clever trolls of the team;-), mounting his bow.
 He also did a fair amount of tutoring for the beginners, and contributed a lot to the great atmosphere.
 I loved his quiver with the beautiful etching.

 His forearm brace-sweet!
 This one´s made by Olaf, who is an absolute expert in leather tooling, doing this for some 30 years!
 There also was a great abundance of delicious food and strong Java-perfect!
 Then Dirk, Kirsten and their kids arrived and added a whole new spice to the event. They are all accomplished competition archers (Olympic recurve), but they also love the traditional side of archery, so much in fact that Kirsten actually will shoot the competition season with a traditional blank recurve bow. Now to Kirsten I must sincerely apologize. We "know" each other since we went to school, but I always thought her to be a bit stiff. But we always treated each other with respect, and since she also is the midwife of one of my best friends, Gesa, we always stayed in contact. On Gesa´s birthday party, Dirk and I had a chat and I simply invited him along. Should have done this years earlier, and I look forward to many more sessions like this!
 They brought along a load of gear. Those funnily fletched arrows to the right are bird arrows with a blunt tip. The spiral fletching makes them slower to not smash the bird to pieces, by the way.
 I want to introduce you to Krümel, Irmi´s lovely licce Corgie, the one dog I know who can actually talk.;-)
 Of course we took good care to have a clear range. All of those folks were acting very responsibly.
 Three targets were there.
 Nick nocking new arrows;-)...
 Aim..... shoot....
 ...and do the fetching with a grin.
 I was very fond of a very precious and rare knife Olaf had on his belt. It is a very close replica of a not-so-widely-known Horace Kephart knife. Presumeably of Sheffield or US origin, the blade is made of carbon steel and the handle´s beautifully aged stag antler.

 Then Volker had, in spite of getting paid by us not to do so, a children´s birthday party scheduled. Not wanting any kids to be hurt, we obstained from shooting in the afternoon and did some forging. This time Volker really got the wrong end of me, and, consulting a lawyer of the team, I made a waiver of liability together with a treaty of beneficial interest for him and had him warrant a conventional fee in case of any irregularities on his part. I hate things like that. I hated even more the fact that this treaty bounced loose an avalanche of completely mad discussion in the team. It went like this:

A: I want to make very sure the team cannot made responsible or liable.
B: The treaty is made to ensure exactly this.
C: But I must persist, the team is not to be made liable.
B: The treaty is a waiver of liability.
D: But indeed the team must not be made liable.
B: The treaty is a waiver of liability.
A: But the team must not be made liable.


But at the event, all was good. The forge was lit, I traded some sincere words with Volker, and all went smoothly. We had a lot of fun, and the atmosphere, in spite of the bad start, was very freindly and laidback.
 Jens did some forging, too, and had fun in the process. I really admire him for the broadness of his expertise; from cave-climbing, freeclimbing, mountainbiking, engineering, carving, painting, making music, archaeology, reenactment, ornithology, ecology, to philosophy he has a vast line of interest. Jens, if you happen to be around, don´t be shy and drop by!
 It was funny...the magic of fire just did its duty, and molded a community of hearts again. Many different characters, many with nicks and dents, simply blended into a good-natured day.

Well after dawn we gathered around the long table, barbecueing and having a feast, Jandark and Erdmuthe dropped by, everyone had a good time, and lovely Irm took out the guitar and we played some music and sang along.

Jan took back my bow (on the ride to the smithy it was quite .... interesting;-), with the bow tied to my top tube and seat stays), and well after midnight I rode home, again with a warm feeling in my heart.

It was not easy organizing the event, because of morons and sociopaths;-), but what really counts is the outcome. Friends, for you I fight with joy!

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