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December, 2004 - Nr. 12


The Editor
Santa's Gift
Knecht Kaufrecht
Vorsicht Satire!
Toronto Connection
Drummer of Different Beat
From The Locker Room
Dear Mom
Music Transport
Remembrance in Kitchener
K-W & Beyond
KWS's New Board
Dick reports...
Narrenzunft Karneval
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Health Newsletter
Winter Magic
COC's La Boheme
First Night Toronto
German TV
LaserIce Fest
Pearls of Passion
Toronto Labour Council

One night, in the year 1004…


Rachel A.I. SeilernLast month I decided it was high time for my large, busy family (the musical group, "The Forget-me-nots and their families") to have some silly stress-free fun---just like the old days, when I was small. And since one of the guys in my family, Samuel, and a very good friend of ours (a fun-loving one), Christian Scarlato, needed a proper birthday party, there was only one thing to do: Throw a Medieval Banquet!! So that’s what I and a few other ladies did. We formed the "Banquet Planning Crew" and got right to work!

We set our banquet date for November 7th, giving us one month’s time to prepare. So much needed to be done! My mother and I poured over books to better educate ourselves on the era. We planned an authentic menu, we went on missions to find wooden bowls and silver goblets at second-hand stores; we brainstormed and delegated and created. To ensure that my busy relatives would have a great time, I decided to put together a costume for as many of them as I could manage. It’s actually not hard to throw together a great medieval outfit out of drapes and odd things one can find around the house (and in the aisles of Value Village)! During our final week, we made nametags, humorous menu cards with Arthurian art on them and "You are invited to a Medieval Banquet" flyers. I put them up all around the big house that we, my musical family of 24, all share. We emptied our living room, set up three tables in a "U" shape, and hung carpets, (oops, I mean tapestries), a golden coat-of-arms and the hide of a furry beast on the walls. A few of the guys dragged in the golden, bejewelled throne we happened to have stored in the barn. The Great Hall was complete! After tons of rewarding work and a string of very late nights, we were finally ready!

...and the birthday feast  [photo: Rachel Seilern]

Sunday, the 7th, arrived. It was late afternoon and a fire crackled in the stone fireplace, setting a warm glow on our banquet hall. Our majestic guests arrived from their distant chambers (and a few came from distant kingdoms) ----floating on clouds of theatrical pride. King Arthur, "Francelot du Lac", the Lady of Shallot (with a fantastic lampshade headpiece), Braveheart, Hagen Tronje and even Aragorn, all the way from Middle Earth, were among the celebrity guests. The medieval banquet  [photo: Rachel Seilern]Soon, all were seated and enjoying appetizers of "mutton butter on St. Peter’s Ancient Rye", (as was written on the menu). Ophelia, our life-sized doll, sat next to the fireplace with her foam fingers tangled in the strings of a harp. She serenaded us with wonderful medieval Ladies with big hats  [photo: Rachel Seilern]background music (assisted by a CD machine set up behind her.) Our primary cook, Lorie, (dressed in luscious peach), presented our feast, platter by platter. We experienced real opulence with "swan", "wild forest boar", "peacock", and "messenger pigeon legs"! (These were merely turkey, chicken and ham with fine new names.) What a delicious feast! We had savoury hunks of roasted vegetables, and dried fruit and wine and "foot-pressed juices of various kinds" in leaking goblets. Since we were all of noble blood, the extravagance even went as far as including a large wooden spoon for every two people! We served each other and laughed and made toasts and sincere, nonsensical speeches. "Francelot"  [photo: Rachel Seilern]"Sir Francelot", in a chain-mail-like, glittering silver dress and silver salad-bowl-helmet, performed his bold and pompous hit, "C’est moi" to entertain the company and I lip-synched to "Where are the Simple Joys of Maidenhood" from the musical "Camelot". We partook in Lady Marion’s scrumptious pumpkin pie and a colossal castle cake, complements of Lady Hermaine. The festivities culminated as Christian’s Kings and castle  [photo: Rachel Seilern]30 years of life were honoured with a 30 catapult salute. (That was Braveheart, in the kitchen, whacking a wooden spoon against the metal fan hood over the stove!) What chivalry! What glory! What a night!!!

This year’s first snow fall came that night. And alas…as if taken by the November breeze, the Ladies, the Lords, Sirs, Kings, the Viking and the glittering Knight, who had floated in out of a story book, drifted away again, back into the past.

It was like a dream…

Rachel A.I. Seilern


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