I’m just back from a lovely weekend at The Frome Steampunk Extravaganza. It was amazing to see all the friendly people, from elegant old stagers to dapper urchins, dressing up in their often handmade, creatively accessorised best. I got to meet and talk to Andrew Beasley and Meg Kingston and buy their new books, I waltzed with my husband to Sunday Driver and I probably drank more tea than I have in the last five years.
The reason for this was the Tea Duelling. I gather there’s some kind of schism between American and British steampunks about what tea duelling entails (given what happened last time we had a disagreement about tea, I find this a bit ominous, but fortunately even the most bellicosely uniformed steampunks seem to be quite good-humoured) – with one faction insisting that the sport is mainly a test of nerve and manual dexterity in dunking a biscuit and conveying it to the mouth without undue crumbling or drips, whereas the Welsh Imperium rules value a clean cup, a neatly furled pinky finger and the ability to absorb multiple biscuits while making more or less sparkling conversation. We were playing by Welsh Imperium rules, which was handy, as manual dexterity is my dump stat.
Despite meeting many worthy opponents (including a charming and erudite urchin who I have cropped out of the top photo because posting pictures of other people’s children online is not really on) I somehow won through to the final against a redoubtable lady with some fine and very symbolic jewellery. I suspect she would have won the day if it hadn’t been that she earned an automatic disqualification by failing to eat her French Fancy.
These are my awesome winnings. I also scored some excellent loot in the raffle, including all the brown grosgrain ribbon I am ever going to need for the rest of my lifetime.
Incidentally, if you want to make friends at a gathering of interesting crafty people, I heartily recommend wearing necomimi with custom ear sleeves. I think the best result I got was ‘Hey, that lady’s half raccoon.’
The plethora of gorgeously designed business cards I came home with and the helpful advice Meg Kingston gave me about marketing made me think that I really should get my act together and sort some business cards out for myself. If you have any recommendations, shoot them my way in the comments.
So, anyway! Great weekend. Now to unpack and put more washing on and redecorate at least one Spire.