Monday, 30 April 2012

April 30th 2012 - In like a lamb - out like a Lion

Last day of April and the weather does not improve. Still blowy and though the rain is currently holding off - it seems to be in the air. Still. manged to get the trailer started and a lot of the van stored.
Quarter to Eleven - so time for a coffee and a quick catch up on the world of facebook.

Saw a post yesterday on the Legion of Dreams pages from an Emily from North One TY doing a program for Channel 4 on Marriage and in this case Live Action Role Play. Looking for 6 couples whose lives have been affected by Live Action Role Play - so thought ... Shameless Marketing !!  - will send her an email:

Dear Emily
I saw your post via Legion of Dreams and the Role play group
I am linked with them though not directly a member, having played and provided  tavern facilities

My wife and I are Roleplayers and Re-enactors.
We also currently run the Crimson Moon Tavern – a watering hole for both groups of hobbies as well as other sectors.
You may check my profile on Facebook – it is an open profile

Briefly – we are coming up to 39 years marriage in August.
I am a retired Police Chief Inspector, my wife is retired Physics Teacher, in 1999 we started in roleplay – and in 2005 we started what has now become the niche market that is the Crimson Moon Tavern
bridging Live Action Role Play and re-enactment.
We are the couple in Dara O’briain’s Tough Gig  who he spoke about for all his chat shows and appear in his book : Tickling the English

pages 86-87, and I quote "when we got thirsty, there was a pub, in a large plush tent, run by a lovely couple who spent their weekends selling people mead and ale at LARP events, this couple even went as far as to contact the organisers of each event in advance to find out the plotline and invent characters for themselves that would fit into the story, though to be fair, their characters were invariably inn-keepers" heh heh

Next year we are retiring from Role Play, Re-enactment, and the Crimson Moon because – we will have been married 40 years, we will both be approaching 60, and we will have been running the Tavern for 10 years…

We are thinking of going into farming – getting as near to self sufficient as we can …   ho hum …

In case this may sound like a marriage worth examining…
Source information for interest
Facebook page   :

Video of what we do :

Details below

So this morning I get a phone call from Emily wanting to know a bit more and asking questions like "What do you put your success down to in marriage - if you are still together after 40 years??" 

I said "I think we are both to busy with everything and too lazy to go our separate ways" not sure it was the answer she wanted...

Still - she may come back - forgot to ask what they were paying. Wanted links to other couples so posted to a few possibilities.

Cashing up:  Sorted the float for the weekend and Cow Pie the week after.
Standard £225 as discussed previously.
Not sure how much additional float to take. Normally take too much but often am chasing change by mid event.
In this case - £240 in 1's, £140 in 50p, £100 in 20p, £30 in 10p.
Don't really need 20p and 10p but will substitute for 50p if necessary.
Will check on return whether this was enough for future reference. Up till now always just done it by feel.

Glasses : Going to count the glasses again her - seem to have a lot - so it may be worth taking the current stock - but don't want to run out of Pints - so will check carefully. Have to order today.

Mead : Can't remember whether I have ordered Moniack with Vitis Wines or not - phone call - yes 10 cases - enough for both events.

Fruit wines : - need to check exactly what we need and order.

Right - first - back to loading the van ...

Decided that we could do with another couple of Black Rat Cider - so quick journey up to Crosshands. May last through to Cow Pie - but I doubt it.
6pm: Finished all the loading for tonight - luxury of a shower  - just the kitchen crates, the clothing boxes and the business bag  for the morning.

oops  .. shower turned into shower and nap !!! Must have needed it

still to do :
Glassware - Party Plastics
ProductQtyPackageVat %Sub Total
Box of Disposable PLA Biodegradable Bowls - - 75mm W x 65mm H
Box x 1000
Box of Disposable Crystal Polystyrene Capacity Marked FACET Stacking Shot Glasses - 30 ml (1.1 floz)
Box x 1000
Box of Disposable Polypropylene CE Stamped to Line Half Pint Glasses - 330 ml (11.6 floz)
Box x 1000
Box of Disposable Polypropylene CE Stamped to Line Pint Glasses - 610 ml (21.5 floz)
Box x 700

Description Amount Ex Amount Vat Amount Inc
Product Total £322.90 £50.38 £373.28
Delivery Total £0.00 £0.00 £0.00
Cart Sub Total £322.90 £50.38 £373.28
Order Total To Pay£373.28

Country Wines Order.
V – Apricot                    6
V – BBR                       12
V – Birch                       6                     
V – Cherry                     6
V – Cranberry                6
V – Damson                  6
V – Dandelion                6
V – Elderflower              12
V – Ginger                     12
V – Nettle                      6
V – Parsnip                   6
V – Plum                       6
V – Quinze                    6
V – Raspberry               6
V – Sloe                        6
V – Strawberry               12

Sunday, 29 April 2012

April 29th 2012 - The Calm before the Storm....

Sunday Morning. Traditionally a "lie in" day - but not normally for us. Weekends form a major part of the business week. Not this weekend though. Weather continues dark and stormy. Winds are high and the temperature is low. Central heating been on again but when the wind blows from one direction - it always seem to go through the house.

So a lie in it was - up at 9.45am and ready for a trip down to Ant & Jude for Sunday Lunch at the Toll Gate. Also an opportunity to chat about the forthcoming music festival / wedding on the Jubilee weekend.
[makes it a business trip for tax purposes of course !]

Quick spin through the birthdays on Facebook - fewer today ... 

Lovely Sunday Lunch with Ant and Jude - excellent wines and food.
Discussion of Music Fest in Jubilee weekend - mostly sorted. Will require all tentage and  full set up
Hoping to put Acoustic Sessions in the second tent on an "L" shape set up. Will have to speak with friends to see if we can get the kit together at low cost.

Invoice / Receipt sent to Firestorm Games for their case of Mead.

Altogether - been a very nice day off. Weather still foul. Hoping for something better tomorrow.

Note to self :
  • arrange glassware order to send off on Monday for arrival by Wednesday  

Saturday, 28 April 2012

28th April 2012 - Saturday before Event....

Just had a facebook message from Texas asking "what you up to?"
I thought a bit and answered
"well - today is load the van and trailer day for CP, re string the banjo, pay some bills, order glassware for next week - have breakfast, consider doing the year-end book keeping and a glass of gin for the evening ..."
which about sums it up....

Album for Katie's Birthday up ion Facebook
Completed the Facebook Album. Have to Cool Iris it for the main website soon - but I am a number of albums behind at the moment on the main website . Facebook Gallery.

Bought  new Banjo strings, new classical strings for backup and new steel strings for the traveling guitar - (the Holy Mandolin of Antioch).
Gaffer tape for the Tavern and some insulating tape for ties. Never have too much gaffer tape.
Gaffer Tape is like the Force - it has a dark side a light side and it binds the universe together.....

CADW finally paid the bill. We are solvent again !
Message form Blast from the Past  - and excellent medieval trio / duo to remind me that I have not paid them for their CD's that I sold at Christmas. Seems I am as bad as everyone else.
Paid Blast from the Past.
Also Paid 2 Vitis Wines invoices - so up to date on bills.

6.15pm and tired. Busy day loading the Trailer and reconnecting  the Marquees into a 4master and 2 master configuration. Have taken Photos again - so will be able to do another video.
15,285 Hits so far on YouTube.

Done some business emails - planning for a  wedding next year, also for a wedding possibly at September this year. Updated  a few links to the videos and the blog.

Just seen - haven't done the Birthday Wishes today yet - 9 recipients today. All the 4 current Crimson Moon Birthday Cards are held on the website at
and can be copied to the relevant Facebook Page. All links are listed according to where we met them - so I can work out whether they expect a drunken monk, Vollsanger, Br Weaver Barrel and to see what is most relevant for the card.

Spanish Omelet , Tatas and tzazeki, gin for starters and a fine home made berry wine, Terminator 4 and it is really time for bed ...

Friday, 27 April 2012

27th April 2012 - There will be a rain dance Friday night, weather permitting! ~ George Carlin

Vitis Wines sorted - delivery Thursday.
Beer sorted - delivery Wednesday
Kitchen List closed - 22 - not too heavy for breakfasts. Shopping and cooking today.
Still to do : Plastic Glasses and Bookers. Pay some bills.
Bookers order sorted : easy way to spend £3K... Not able to supply the Forester's Pear Cider - but will go with Bulmers instead.
Got to bank with 3 minutes to spare to put some cash in to pay bills.

Had a request for a wedding prior to the Caldicot Early Medieval Alliance Event in September. Have to look at the logistics of arranging and earlier arrival.

Had a request for vegetarian catering at Curious Pastimes Event. Had to refuse as not logistically practical to be cooking additional meals at cost.

Busy day tomorrow - think I will call it a day now...  Night!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

26th April 2012 - "Must be Thursday - I never could get the hang of Thursdays"

Ho Hum - another day - no dollars...
Managed to sort all the paperwork into piles!!  That always makes it look a little better. No urgent bills to pay except Vitis for the last set of wines. Will be requiring another delivery next week so will need to put some money into a bank to sort that out.
Also will need to check the Credit Cards for payment of the Lyme Bay Meads. They should be due soon and are on a card that pays off every month from my personal account. Gives the equivalent of 28 days grace.
Still nothing from CADW.  Message left.
T Shirts in the post today - payment via BACS - whatever did we do before on-line banking?
Abbey National (sorry Santander) have decided to migrate me to their new business log on so that has been done.
The business account with Santander is excellent as it is a free banking service - though all transactions have to be done either on line or through the Hole in the Wall. I can query via telephone in case of doubt - but cannot call at the counter in the banks as that is not included in the service.Maximum of £3,000 in cash per month to be deposited via the cash machine - but there is no limit on putting the money into my provate account and then doing BACS transfer. Generally find that sufficient funds enter the account via the Credit Card machine to keep things ticking over.

Spoken with Bar Supplier and ordered the Lagers, Ciders and Beers for the next event. For the largere events I have an arrangement with McGee Wholesale - they attend and bring the bars, coolers, pipes and pumps, set everything up and service it for free. As a result they charge list price for all the beers etc - thus costing more than normal - but offset against not having to carry the extra weight, spend the hours cleaning and servicing the bars and also they will take unopened kegs back sale or return.

Next tasks - Bookers order : Wine and Mead Order : Moniack Order.
The latter two have to supply the Cow Pie show as well as the PACCAR game weekend.

Nice batch of bio-diesel - clearing nicely so enough for the next event.

Posting that the Wolves Kitchen is closing tonight - will need to shop tomorrow to get cooking sorted. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

April 25th 2012 - Corduroy Pillows are making Headlines

Rain today. Rain forecast until the weekend. Rain forecast for next week. Hosepipe bans across the country.
10am call gets me out of bed to make the tea. Aching bones today. Stiff everywhere.
Call from Lawrence at Curious Pastimes reminds me that I have to make arrangements for Bookers delivery and get the account moved for on line orders.  Curious Pastimes are moving to 3663 for their food deliveries and seem to be getting a good price. Will have to look at their site to see what they do. They will always do a next day delivery where Bookers I have to arrange at least a week ahead.

Still no money in from Caerphilly Castle and CADW.
Have to pay a bill or two today methinks.
But let's take the opportunity of the rainy day to make the second video of the 3 Master set up. Good old Windows Moviemaker - not very powerful but happy for this job. Have to use the Laptop with Vista to get higher resolution videos - but the XP version does alright for stop animation.

Sadly took more time than expected to put the 2nd video together. However - after a number of video edits - here it is :

 Building a 3 Master - (Part 2)
All posted and ready to go.

Bookers contact made and account transferred to High Wycombe for the next event.
Need to speak with Sam Mcgee (McGee Wholesale and Bars) tomorrow to get orders for next week.
Looks like Richard will be with us for the next event to see what is involved  - and Colin and a-n-other will be visiting during the week at PACCAR Scout Camp.

TEN applied for for charity event here in Llanelli in May. Race night in Llangennech.
T Shirt packed and ready for posting - also now got the address to post other two.
Now have a very large pile of assorted bills and receipts by the desk. though I would have managed to clear some today but only managed to put them into a large pile - unsorted!!!

Bio-diesel needs one more wash and dry for tomorrow. Failed to source local Methanol and Chemicals. Will have to try to get it when we are up in High Wycombe.

Posted the Video on YouTube. Now at 15,114 hits overall.  

and so to bed.....

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

April 24th 2012 - The Clear-down

Woke with the larks this morning - or at least those larks that stay in bed until 9.20am. They say that the early bird gets the worm - so it makes sense to stay abed if you are a worm!!

Sunny morning, though showers expected later. Had a good morning. Found cooking oil for the Bio-diesel - enough for one batch and sourced enough for a second batch if we can find more Methanol for the process. Place in Swansea wants to sell at 500 litres a time - highly inflammable - don't think I want that much in the garage.
T Shirts ready - the orange one looks good I think. May have to do some more in orange. 

Need to get more envelopes to send them off later today. Car stand for Daphne arrived and also a nice new body warmer. Will have to transfer some badges over later.

Perhaps I should explain the badges.. perhaps later ..

Managed to find some rechargeable LED work lamps that I have been looking for for almost a year. Bought two last year to replace the flourescent lamps that we originally bought - which were getting broke easily and needed charging too often. One broke - (well it turned out it didn't break - just that I was re-charging it with the wrong charger and probably cooked the batteries - seems to be recharging now though) - and I thought we would not see any again. Susie tracked them down to a supplier in China - but couldn't find small number buying. Popped into LIDL on the way home - as you do on a Tuesday - the day they change the stock - and lo and behold - the LED work lamps for £9.99. A bit more expensive - but had to be bought - at least they are tax deductible.
LED work lamps
 And at the same time  - a new step for the back of the van. Excellent morning.

So - off to unload the Van....

Updated website - Crimson Moon Index Page :
Van Unloaded - all done
Biodiesel under production
Request for Wedding in September - should be able to add to other events
Now surrounded by paper and invoices - must have an admin day tomorrow
Failed to send off the T shirts in time.
Another potential buyer for the business - have to send details off. This is getting silly now.
Updated Kitchen list for Curious Pastimes First Event on website.
Have to add the final touches to the Van Loading video ..
Glass of wine methinks...

and a completed first part of the Crimson Moon  3 Master set up .....

The Set Up  - A 3 Master 

Monday, 23 April 2012

April 23rd 2012 - Home Again Home Again Jiggedy Jig...

7.30am and Susie was out with the dog's giving the a walk after the night in the van. Managed to get a hotel room looking out at the van so we were able to check that they were not making any noise in the night.
8am and the alarm goes off and the aches and pains if the last few days have all descended upon my body. Limping like an old man I get out and manage to drink a cup of tea.

8.30am and we are on the road home. Decision not to get breakfast until Sainsbury's at Reading - almost half was home.  Onto the road and the skies open. we finally get the weather that had been threatened for the last weekend. All in all - it can rain !! The Marquee was packed away dry. Always a win!
Somehow managed to lose East Grinstead on the road home (Daphne was turned off of course!!). So managed to see the excellent decor and surroundings of Tunbridge wells - a place with which I was previously unaccustomed.

I am not one to suffer from Road Rage. However, when you are traveling at a steady 55mph, and being a considerate White Van Driver, I was today slightly incensed by the number of car drivers who feel that texting on their mobile phone while driving in rain and spray conditions is acceptable behavior. The fact that the first three that I saw I examined due to their complete lack of roadcraft - changing lanes, taking unsuitable matching speed on joining the motorway, half overtaking and then slowing down - makes it even worse in my view. I would just like one or two of them to know that I was sitting in a 3.5 ton mass of momentum - and was sitting a lot higher than their vehicle in the event of collision, and have a full conviction that they would have been the major casualty in any impact.

On the subject of impact - I was also slightly amused by the way that the signage on the M25 ( in particular - it may be others as well) means that emergency telephones now have to have additional signs. I noted that someone has had the bright idea that someone standing at the emergency phone may be at risk of being knocked over, and therefore the crash barriers have been changed - allowing a 10 yard overlap on the barrier - a safe haven for the stranded!!  No problem with that - seems a good idea. Particularly since the instructions from emergency services are NOT to stay in your vehicle if broken down. What I found a bit over the top is that next to the phone - there is a little sign saying that "Access to Telephone in 20 yards" . Umm - that means that if you are standing just in front of the telephone - someone thinks you need a sign to tell you that you have to walk a bit (10 yards  maybe) to find where the barrier is overlapped. to get back to where you are in the safety of the telephone call...    These signs are at every phone - meaning every mile - around the M25. Well someone has made some money !!

Late breakfast at Sainsbury's - £4.29 plus a cup of tea/coffee.  Nowhere to walk the dogs but they seem to be happy. Well Rusty is happy - Deft seems to be wanting to tuck her head in any hole towards the back of the van and hide. Put the curtain down so she can't see out the front - but she was still not very happy.

Stop off at at Games shop at Penarth to deliver a case of Banquet Mead. As they only open between 11am and 7 pm - t is the third time that we have tried to drop the case off - always arriving at the wrong time . Owner had forgotten the order but was happy to accept.  (Note to self - send receipt via email). Must be one of the most traveled cases of Mead - having gone to Ashton in Kent and Back - Glastonbury and Back and now Eastbourne and back.

Since we were in Penarth - seemed silly not to take the opportunity to pop into IKEA for candles. One of our main requirements is an unlimited supply of tea lights - for the tables and lanterns etc. Inflation is hitting the business. 100 Glimma Tea Lights were £1.67 in January. Now 2.99 . An increase of £1.32 per 100.  Also a restriction to 6 packets per customer. Well there were two of us there  so we managed to get 12 packets, some chandelier candles and  two new solar globes. £68.50p  Will be looking for alternatives for our staple light source straight away.

Wales proves brighter than England for weather - but still showers and spary for the final part of the journey. Arrive home at 4.30pm and unload the major items - leaving the rest on the van for tomorrow.
Dogs are happy to be home. Weren't fed last night while staying in the van - so happy to have an early dinner. Susie off to the good ship Tesco to get some provisions.

Time to fire up the computer and check Facebook ....... (hmm and put the heating on !!)

Sunday, 22 April 2012

22nd April 2012 - Strike down -

Weather forecast was not good. However, sunny start to the day and tents all stowed away safely and dry.
All packed away and sitting in the Travel Lodge. Dinner in the local pub and possibility of an early night.

Good evening last night. Fine birthday party and a few songs into the early hours.

Early start tomorrow back up the M25 and the M4.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

 April 21st 2012 - Katie's Birthday (Bagpuss) Herstmonceux

8.30am and the call of nature causes me to open the van and look out warily. Surprisingly, it is another sunny morning. Seems a pity not to walk the dogs through the bluebell woods. Settings in the woods for paintball and outward bound - returned to the Crimson Moon to find that an outward bound extreme first aid commencing in the hut alongside.
Time for a cup of tea and a game of catch with dogs.
Weather starts to cloud over - but still dry so far.

Batteries on the laptop won't last forever... so may continue later....

5pm and everything is ready and just awaiting the guests. Monked up as it is warmer than normal clothes and Susie is dressed as the "widow" and ready to sit down at the fire and star knitting.

Weather has stayed pretty dry - with the occasional very light shower.
Heard our first Cuckoo in the woods. Quite insistent it is. May be one of our sponsored ones with Cuckoo watch. Casper was in Europe so may have made his way over already.

Popped into the good ship tesco for some cans of lager in case there are lager drinkers tonight. Sounds as though the re-enactors may be in minority, so felt that some pint cans could be useful. Also another bottle of gin and some more tonic. after all - we only have one bottle - and though that will keep us happy - we may have to serve a customer as well.

Dogs had second long walk - so are fast asleep in the van. The mud here is like slippery treacle. Had to get a couple of lads to help push us out backwards to get onto the track. Have reversed back in and onto a slightly higher bit of ground - had to re-balance the bed of course, but I think that we will be putting the van onto the track and lugging everything to the van. There is very little likelihood that we will get out empty - let alone with full load.

Have feeling we are not going to be exceptionally busy tonight. Ran through a couple of songs, Cows with Guns, Garrison Nights, Hobbits, Sing me no songs of angels, Pussy Cat, You bring the Mead. Green One., Others will have to come as inspiration takes me.

watching the batteries...  switching off.
April 20th 2012 - Arrival

There is a lovely little cafe at Horsebridge called Potters Cafe. Excellent breakfasts - full english for £3.50 including cup of tea. Recommend it to anyone.
Forecast is for rain by lunchtime so an early start to the site - and found it top be a lovely woodland setting with bluebells int he woods.

Site ground is a little wet - but the van is quickly unloaded with a view towards quick rescue in the case of rain - but the sun shines brightly and it is soon time to take the old shirt off as we start the lift. Once again taking photos of every stage of the operation.

Tent up by lunchtime and stop for a cup of tea. Carry on with the settings and early evening sees us with a Gin and Tonic and Sweet and Sour chicken and rice around the fire. Photos to follow.

New bedding in the van works well ..
And with no power - it is off to bed for an early night.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

April 19th 2012 - On the road again....

Earlier start than usual, up at 8am with a cup of tea.
Checked route and distance - 240 miles to Eastbourne - estimated journey time 5 hours 16 minutes.
M4 - M25 (possibly M23) and overland.
Final bits of loading of the van required - but weather fair for the time of year. Forecast for rain and heavy showers but a high cloud base and patches of blue sky around.

Laced new shoes (work gear - steel toecap - Shoe Zone £19.99 special offer) and new trainers, (Shoe Zone £9.99 reduced) ready to take to event - but wearing old ones for the moment. New walking socks too. Haven't bought for a while so treated myself. Well it may have been the embarrassment at Glastonbury  when I decided that as Drunken Monk -(the Abbott Costello) it was too cold to wear the holy sandals without socks - and the only pair I had that looked wool and fairly old were one green and one brown sock. I am sure I must have another pair like that around somewhere. Claimed that it was intentional and authentic of course. Who is going to disprove the Barkeep ?

11am and the van is mostly loaded.  The last bit is going to be interesting. Seems there is a little more than I was anticipating.. Oh well - Tetris Man to the rescue...

And bon voyage and off to the South Coast - Eastbourne.
Reasonable journey other than continuous rain and 4 hours in - stoppages on the M25 and later on the A22. 6 hours journey in all. Arrived well at the Travelodge - nice dinner at the White Hart at Hillingly - quick walk with the dogs and settled in for the night.

Forecast for tomorrow suggests that the morning may stay dry - but getting wet by lunchtime. Decisions to have an early start - quick breakfast - and get the tent up as early as possible.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

April 18th 2012 - Wednesday - yup House looks like the Adams Family ...

Woken unexpectedly by the man who wanted to read the Gas and Electricity Meter. Didn't answer the door. For goodness sake - when they said they were calling Wednesday am - I did not expect them before 10am!!
Don't they realise that it is rude to get up before 10am if you don't have to ??

But of course you are then awake - which is just as well as five minutes later a pallet of mead was delivered. Had to get up for that !!.

Printed out the TEN for the Music festival / wedding in June. Found had no 1st class stamps. Good excuse to go and buy a dozen or so before the price goes up. Another area of panic buying it seems at the moment. But we still prefer to make sure that the TEN applications go by first class mail- there can be less chance of the application being lost in the post that way. More authorities are allowing application on line - but it is still worthwhile having a few stamps available.

Visited the in/out laws and then back to run between April Showers to put the 3 master tent together across in the car park. Took some more pictures and extended the Video...

Checking the cash available for the next event. Have to ensure that there is sufficient change available.
I use an old sewing box as the till and a pot affectionately known as the "Crock Pot" to hold the twenties and all credit card transactions. That way no twenties ever get put into the "till" - which can save embarrassment when giving wrong change.  I use a £225 float made up as follows: £100 in tens, £50 in fives, £40 in ones, £20 in 50p, £10 in 20p and £5 in 10p.  I also carry as many £5 notes as possible. Never bank a five pound note is my policy. Everyone gets £20 from the Cash Machine - and the occasional £10 - so £5  notes are always a premium.     I also carry amounts of £10 notes where possible. £20 are not necessary.

The "Till"  - an old sewing box.
The Closed Till and the "Crock Pot"
Car charger for Daphne arrived this morning - seems to fit okay - so will try it out tomorrow. Credit Card machine all charged up and ready to go. Need more Business cards!! Ran out in Glastonbury.
60 printed and cut out ....

Glass of wine (bottle) - Home made Mixed Berry - yum...    Goodnight... 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

April 17 2012 : "You have to respect someone who can spell TUESDAY - even if it is spelled wrong"
aa milne

Rain and showers through the night, but the morning shows bright and sunny periods - but still cold.
Ran through the Paypal Accounts for the year and listed for the Tax Files.
Bought a new holder and car charger for the Daphne - my favourite PDA and Sat Nav.
Can't often use it in the Car or Van as Susie is also a Sat Nav - and though she is not always accurate - has a tendency to be a little more emotional, and traveling with two women in the car is always a little fraught with danger. Daphne does have a tendency to be a bit literal like all Satellite Navigation systems - and does make the occasional mistake. Susie on the other hand may read this blog one day .

TEN ( Temporary Entertainment Notices) applied for for the next few events:
Katie Birthday, Curious Pastimes first event PACCAR, Cow Pie,
Refund from Eastbourne. Caerphilly Castle payment in hand. 
Stock lists : Recorded stock lists for LARP AID and Glastonbury and current stock.
Allows the ability to see what return is likely from stock held. Helps with financial management.

Windy and chilly all day - but loading the Van and emptying the Trailer proceeded well.
Took pictures of each stage to put into a short Video - "Loading the Crimson Moon - 3 Master"
First version here on an unlisted link
Will add to it as I finish the loading tomorrow  and then perhaps lift the marquee at site ..
Altogether - it may make a useful record as it lists everything that has to go in for a successful event.

Loading a 3 Master

So this is version one :  (now superseded by version 2 on April 18)

Sorted out the details for the Wedding in May - TEN arranged.
Also TEN arranged for the Jude Ant Musical Fest  / Wedding Celebration ...

Decide to take Hotel for night before Birthday Party - Travelodge £29.
Allows us to get there on Thursday night and be rested when we start putting up on Friday. All about being rested for events these days ( doesn't happen !) . Then looked at it and decided at that price we may as well have Sunday Night as well - so booked that as well.

Another day done .......

Monday, 16 April 2012

16th April 2012 - Monday Monday..

Early phone call from Eastbourne Council to apologize that when they took the money from my VISA Card it actually went into their account - surprise , surprise!. As they were the wrong area for the Temporary Entertainment Notice (TEN) they thought they had refused it.. Now they have the task of finding out how to refund. But one matter out of the way.

Quick work on YouTube - finalizing a version of "Shine on you Crazy Diamond" which I recorded back in Llanelli Folk Club in March as an experiment. Fairly happy with it as a live attempt.
Shine on you Crazy Diamond

Oops. Flushed the Cooking Oil through the Bio-diesel unit without closing the pipes to the Filter and am in the Dog's house for putting dirty oil through the filter. Have had to change the Filter - messy job.

Chasing Caerphilly Castle and CADW - who have been very slow in paying the bill for the Christmas Banquets. Well to be honest - I have been a little slow myself in chasing - having only just found that the invoice is still outstanding.

Orders for three T shirts - just have to check what colours. Red, and Orange (!!) and of course a ubiquitous "green one" - all ordered.

No Luck with Cooking Oil today. will have to try again at the end of the week. With fuel strikes still pending it will be useful to have as much bio-diesel stoked as I can to get through the next month or so. Going past the Dimpath pub I saw the sign "BEER SHORTAGES IMMINENT!! PLEASE PANIC BUY ". I liked that. First time I did not have the camera with me ..  Oh well - will probably post it on Facebook instead.

Got to Glamorgan Beer Company and bought a nice Y Ddraeg Aur - Golden Dragon Ale for the weekend. Also some Black Rat Cider. should keep them going on Saturday for the Birthday.

Query from Simon and Emma (Wedding June) as to how many tables we have and are able to take. Good Question. Will have to count. Normally take as many as we need - there are always a few more stored away. But I was meant to be making a full inventory of everything that goes with the Crimson Moon - so that is one more thing to do.

As the Birthday should be a 3 master - it may be practical to only go in the van. Trip to Sussex - so good saving on fuel and convenience if I can fit everything into the van. Decided we would set the camp bed up in the back of the van on this occasion. Means a smaller tent is practical and no need to take the bedroom fittings and carpets.

Normal Mead / Wine supplier is out of stock - so a bit of a blow ! Having to order from Lyme Bay - 10 cases of Traditional, West Country and Moniack. Sadly - haven't done the paperwork yet to get an account with them directly - so having to pay by credit card again. Still - The card pays off every month so gives me the equivalent of 28 days invoice time. Nice Lady at Lyme Bay (Hannah) arranging for next day delivery as well so should have delivery by Wednesday - giving us plenty of time to get up to Sussex.

Afternoon : managed to build a new set of planking to place in the back of the van in place of the bed - I am slightly too tall to sleep sideways in the van - but only just. I reckon I can always sleep a little diagonally if required. Still much easier than setting up the bed in the normal way. Should be about the same weight I am thinking.

Evening: started the accounts .. paid a few bills. Sat down to watch the latest "Almighty Johnsons" only to find that there were only 10 episodes in series one - and the last one was last week. Had to make do with Ice Age 3 instead.

Tickets for Mythodea - the German LARP event in August confirmed paid and ready to be sent.

Chinese Meal and a bottle of Blush  - can't fault the end of the day ....

Sunday, 15 April 2012

15th April 2012 - Sunday Morning Coming Down...
Strange to have a weekend free at this time of year. But the weather has been cold and the winds high, so part of me is quite happy that the Jhereg Event at Candleston LARP site cancelled due to lack of numbers.
Had in mind to pop on down there anyway with a few crates of Mead and a keg - just for "old time's sake" for Lord Jhereg and the Boys and girls - but the Glastonbury Medieval Fayre of the Easter wiped us out of all our mead...   so it has been a weekend of admin and repairs.

Looking at the list from Friday - achieved most of items.
  1. De-Wax the Tablecloths  - done
  2. Wash Tablecloths - done
  3. Sort all wall hangings and dry where required - done
  4. Pack Bedding and store - done
  5. Sort living room so that the canvass can be stretched and repaired - done
  6. Finish emptying Van - done
  7. Re-stack Trailer - oops
  8. Sort receipts and invoices / bills from Easter weekend - sorted into piles !!
  9. Update Website  - done 
 Living room looks a little better
Cleared room 
Cleared enough tot get the canvass stretched out.  Sadly - first section has really bad rips and rotten in the banding. Needing  a lot of replacement. Three needles broken trying to get through the layers. Susie spent a lot of time reconstructing the sections. The air was a little blue - so seemed better to get out and chase up some more cooking oil for the Bio Diesel Generator.

Managed to find enough used cooking oil from local restaurants and friends  to fill the unit - 60 litres and put it onto heat for an hour. Will let it cool over night ready for processing.

Computers are getting slower and slower. Really need to re-format and rebuild the machines - I said that last year at about January - and thought about it again this year in the "down-time". The lap-top has been running at 100% CPU capacity for no known reason - and just hangs - really annoying when we really need it on events to chase up breweries or supplies. Tried installing Kaspersky 2012 from the disk rather than just renewing via the validation code - it found newer versions on the "cloud" and installed that.
Seems to be a little quicker now. Full session of Spybot Search and Destroy, full system scan  and fingers crossed for the next reboot.  I hate Vista !! 
Main Office machine still works on sensible old XP. Enquired in Curry's to see what it would cost to put latest Windows operating system on it - will cost me just under £200. Can get an equivalent powered machine for about a £100 more  - so will stick with this one for the moment. really needs a reformat!!
Annoying Firefox gets "Script Errors" and  hangs. Tried loading Chrome as I like it on the Laptop. Crashes XP every time ...

Managed to sort all the paperwork into piles. That was a step forward. Should have cleared the year end accounts really this weekend - but the machines were all doing virus checks - so missed out on the opportunity.

Plans for the week.
Still need to sort out the trailer for the next event.  Birthday Party in Sussex.
Should get that done tomorrow.
Considering a 3 Master for this event. We will be setting the van up for sleeping over - as it is a one night event really - so will have sufficient room with 40ft  by 20ft.
Bar area will be in the last 10ft section rather than living quarters - so we can put 6 tables with benches and 3 outside - with the fire pit. Fully enough for up to 50 people.
Need to order T Shirts tomorrow - picked up 3 orders over the Glastonbury Weekend and email after the event.  Also need to put the new Crimson Moon Baseball Caps onto the "Shameless Marketing"  web pages.
Need to order Meads for the Weekend - have enough country wines.
Need to order Beer and Cider. Will not justify a full keg - but will need to provide fresh beer -so will be looking for a good deal with the local brewery.
Have most of the soft drinks required - having watched for good deals on  coke and diet coke at the local supermarkets over the last three months.
Small event - up to 50 - so will have to take more stock than we will ever use. But it is a Birthday Party - so we will have to ensure that everyone has a good time.

Updated the main Crimson Moon Pages to reflect the current events.
Updated  the Vollsanger Song Book - added Tales of Thorvald and video links
Updated youtube links - added videos for "Music in the Crimson Moon" from the Glastonbury Weekend


Friday, 13 April 2012

14th April 2012 - Tasking...
Okay - List for today :
  1. De-Wax the Tablecloths
  2. Wash Tablecloths
  3. Sort all wall hangings and dry where required
  4. Pack Bedding and store 
  5. Sort living room so that the canvass can be stretched and repaired
  6. Finish emptying Van 
  7. Re-stack Trailer 
  8. Sort receipts and invoices / bills from Easter weekend
  9. Update Website 
The Living Room
 The Living Room currently looks like a warehouse.
All items requiring attention have been unloaded and dumped in the main room ready for attention.
The other view

 The large ceiling of the marquee has been separated into sections. The corners on the end piece have rotted through and need repair. Also one center panel shows signs of wear and needs attention. We have an industrial sewing machine and canvass for this purpose.

April 13th 2012 - Blog Commences..
I have never been one for blogging, rarely read any one else's Blog - and do not really expect anyone to be following this one - but as the Crimson Moon is currently under offer and my wife Susie and I re looking to change lifestyle once again at the end of the year  - it seemed that this was an appropriate place to list some of the tasks that we carry out on a daily basis. These tasks ensure that the Crimson Moon Tavern arrives on site and provides the service that we try to achieve.

Short Background: 
In 2004, after five years playing in Live Action Role Play (LARP), we were approached by Curious Pastimes, then the second largest LARP Gaming Company in the UK, to see whether we were interested in running the Game Beer Tent at their four events, thus freeing the company from the more arduous tasks - allowing them to concentrate upon the Game System, with a view to charging us the equivalent of half of the profit previously achieved. (This profit having previously been split with one of the Game Factions who provided staffing etc.)

Having looked at the set up and the books - this seemed a "win-win" situation. The Company would no longer be ted into the running of the bar and Susie and I would turn the Bar into a going concern with a little investment and effort.

That year - we borrowed tents for the first two events and then started investing in our own equipment so that by the August Bank Holiday ( the largest event of the year) we were independent - with our own tentage, an old burger van trailer for carriage and a Ford Transit to get us to event.

At this time, our main supplier of wines and meads found that they were unable to attend at a Re-enactment meeting in Caldicot Castle - South Wales, for the Early Medieval Alliance. As we had the tents and the set up, we agreed to provide a Beer Facilities for that event as well in the September.

Naturally - we took our full tent with all the Live Action Roleplay fittings - which was unexpected for many of the re-enactors who were more used to a plastic Beer Tent rather than a Tavern !!

So it was that the Crimson Moon bridges both Live Action Role Play and Re-enactment in its first year - and found so many similarities despite being warned that LARP'ers hated Re-enactors, and Re-enactors despised LARP'ers.

As Dara O'briain was to later say in the Crimson Moon - "They may be Geeks but they are my kind of Geeks".

In 2006, after retiring from 30 years in the Police Service, the Crimson Moon went from a few events a year - squeezed into annual leave - to a full time concern - with bookings from April through December, Live Action Role Play, Re-enactments, Weddings, Parties and Market Trade......

This Blog concerns some of the tasks that are done on a daily basis to ensure that the Crimson Moon continues to provide the atmosphere and entertainment that it does, and why we are able to say..
"We are not a Beer Tent..... We are a Tavern!!"