Well, it’s been an embarrassingly long time since my last blog post- yes, this was intended to be a regularly updated thing! But no, I’ve just been doing other things, which is generally good. I think it’s the opinion of most people who are reading this that the less time spent on one’s computer is better…
Wow, not since Christmas! Ok, what have I been up to?
Well, I went skiing, for what wasn’t the first time, but my first time ‘properly’ skiing.
And then I went with my school a second time, which was fun. I didn’t have any poles, but I kind of managed to make it down an entire slope very slowly and cautiously, like a very old dog walking down stairs. Like I said, fun, but I don’t think I’m one for adrenalin inducing sports.
Hardi, Lionel and I went to St Gallen, a city a couple of hours from where we live. We visited, among other things, a very beautiful library with some very old books [my favorite- a book of Irish Grammar from the Dark Ages, a book with a monk scribbling swear words in the margins about how boring and difficult writing that particular book had been, a tiny book the size of a finger]. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any pictures, but I took some of the cathedral adjacent to the library.
It snowed occasionally in January, but people kept telling me what an oddly warm winter it was- the third warmest in the Kanton in 150 years! I am mildly disappointed that I didn’t get a proper snowed in freezing Swiss winter, but secretly grateful- when it dropped below zero in December I instantly starting squawking about how ridiculously cold it was, and how I couldn’t bear it.
On the 22nd of February Runa, Gabriella, a friend of Runa’s and I went to the Fasnacht Carnivale celebrations in Luzern. Fasnacht is an old celebration, happening approximately on the days leading up to Lent, with the earliest records dating back to the 1300’s. After the reformation [Protestantism becoming the major religion] it was banned. But the Swiss people were so determined to keep it happening that it was officially reinstated, but as a Protestant holiday. Today, in different Kantons, it happens on different days, with varying traditions and rituals, but there is always a fantastic parade, and many amazing costumes.
In Luzern they have a tradition of these incredible masks, gigantic and grotesque, often paired with beautiful, elaborate costumes, everything from full skirted period dresses to goat costumes [with hooves!] to frighteningly realistic devil costumes, or giant birds with wings.
Runa, Sirka and I went dressed as The Three Musketeers, and Gabriella was a chicken!
We wandered around for a while, just admiring the amazing costumes and throwing confetti at each other [ a time honored tradition, I was assured] and having spontaneous sparring sessions. We watched a spot of, well, not street theater, persay. Balcony theater would be more accurate! And then we watched part of the parade.
If you are ever in Switzerland around this time, please please PLEASE go to a Fasnachts celebration. The Luzern one is amazing, and I hear the Basel one is pretty cool too. There are heaps of smaller local ones- we even had a parade in Ennenda, which I didn’t go to see, but I heard it! Actually, that might have been the Glarus one- I think that one got pretty wild! [You know, for the Switzerland equivalent of Feilding.]
And now it’s March, and spring is arriving! Gabriella says that it’s very early, unusually so. Spring is so beautiful here, there are flowers springing up all over the place, and the evenings are getting longer, and the days are getting warmer. I hope it’s not just a warm spot, I hope it lasts.
Runa and I have a grand new project on the go. If you’ve never heard of cosplaying, it’s where people recreate the costumes of their favorite characters, whether it be movie, book or television. And then get all dressed up in wigs and make up and just, hang around, I guess?
We are making the costumes of our two favorite lady elves, Arwen and Tauriel from LOTR and The Hobbit. Considering that our dressmaking/sewing skills are, well, not seasoned at best, it’s an interestingly challenging challenge. Also recreating a costume from just a few blurry screencaps is fun! So! fun! and! easy!
But actually, all sarcasm aside, so far it’s been really fun and dare I say educational? I find myself doing more math than I have in a long time, and my masking tape/pinning skills are through the roof. It’s really great to be so enthusiastic about a project, something that you’re doing purely out of love for something- in this case, an elf. But like, mostly just her aesthetic.
I’ll make another blog post just about this as some point, because there have been quite a few steps so far, and we’ve barely begun. But for now, here is what I’ve got so far, plus basic designs for the sleeves, undersleeves, skirt and underskirt.
And I think that’s all from me for now. I’m going to Paris in a couple of weeks, so…yeah. Feeling pretty happy with my life choices right now. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and if I break all of my promises to myself and don’t write another post for two months, I hope you have a nice spring!