Mr B as the Green Man
The Elf Fantasy Fair – what can I say? You have to be there to believe it. Taking place on the last weekend in April, we were blessed with brilliantly hot and sunny weather all weekend up until we packed up to leave. Perfect. The venue – Kasteel Haar at Haarzuilens – is a fairytale castle surrounded by a moat, lakes, landscaped gardens and woods. It’s beautiful. There are pavilions set up throughout the grounds and it really would take the whole weekend I think to see everything. As we were “working”, we only saw a fraction of it all but that was mind-boggling enough.
There are stalls catering for every taste imaginable. I bought (and bartered for using my books as the swapsies) some beautiful things, including a lilac shot silk corset, black lace fishtale skirt, wooden hearts, a bag … and everything is so well presented and displayed. If you want to buy something unusual and hand-crafted, this is the place to go.
But it’s not the stalls, wonderful though they are, that are the main attraction. It’s the people – the costumes, the makeup, the sheer extravagence of the whole event that makes it so wildly exciting. There are very few people not dressed up and you actually are more conspicuous if you don’t! Nobody minds photos being taken, in fact they welcome it and take it as a compliment. We took hundreds (literally) and it was hard to choose the ones above. There are so many more beautiful ones and I will post some more at some point.
I was dressed in my lovely May Queen dress made for me by Sam of The Goddess Equation in Cornwall. I wore a head-dress I’d made myself, and a stunning buy phentermine adipex necklace made for me by Where the Wild Roses Grow (do check out her website – her creations are indescribable). Mr B was dressed as the Green Man and hundreds of people took his photo as he really did stand out. He looked incredibly English against some of the more exotic outfits, and it was lovely for him to be in the limelight. We were assisted all weekend by our dear friend Sorcha, whose whole idea it was in the first place to get us over to NL and this event. She had made a lovely Villager costume and really looked the part in the Stonewylde Pavilion. She worked incredibly hard all weekend and we’re so very grateful to her.
Just down the lane from us were Josephine Wall and Linda Ravenscroft. Jo looked like a beautiful green fairy and Linda was a goddess of steam punk! Both (and their partners) were so friendly and we spent a lot of time with them. It wasn’t till we got home we realised we hadn’t taken any photos of them! We also met Paul Hoffman and Professor Rotherham, fellow writers, and we were lucky enough to be chosen to take part in the Royal Parade each day. It was all such fun! Beer, cider and mead were flowing, it was very hot, very crowded, completely full on, yet there was no trouble whatsoever. Everyone had a magical time and I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed ourselves. It was lovely to meet up with many Dutch readers who’d bought Stonewylde books last September at the event at Arcen. Many of our Dutch members of the Stonewylde Community Site came to say hello too, and I gave three talks to audiences about the Green Man and Beltane.
You can imagine by the end of it we were completely exhausted. And then, just four days later, we were off to our next event in Dorset for Beltane – but more about that in my next post. And now I shall switch off this laptop, get my suitcase and nip down to Dorset for a whole week’s retreat. I’m going to re-read the first three books and then … the manuscript for Book 4! Yes, the time has come to get on with it. Book 5 is looming in the wings of my imagination, fidgeting about and wanting to make its appearance on stage, albeit behind a closed curtain. Not long now!