10 Activities for the Medievalist in Isolation
by Mads Colvin
We know that everyone loves a long quest or epic campaign, but we feel that quality time spent behind castle walls is just as important! It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of everyday life - personally, I find myself lamenting my lack of time to do simple things like reading books and finishing old projects. Here at ArmStreet, we encourage you to embrace this period of stillness as an opportunity for self-improvement, recovery, and growth!
We would much rather be at Gulf Wars right now, but we’re also learning to appreciate how we can spend time in our own homes preparing for a bright and shiny future full of other exciting opportunities. So, make a nice cup of tea (or grab a mug of ale!) and read our list of activities that will keep you busy and enrich both your medieval and modern lives.
1. Go through your fabric stash
You know what I’m talking about: that bin of fabric that you’ve “saved for later”. Well, good news: later is now! Sort through your fabric scraps and all of the goodies you have hoarded over the years, and try to brainstorm projects you can do at home.
2. Take care of your leather goods and footwear
Properly conditioning and taking care of your leather goods will drastically extend their life. Check for mud and scrub it off (especially in seams!), reglue any peeling soles, wash and condition the exterior leather. Your shoes will thank you for it!
3. Time for costume laundry!
If you are a person who washes their clothing directly after events, we applaud your organization and hygiene! Unfortunately, we know a few too many people who haven’t washed their gambesons… ever. This is a great time to look through your wardrobe and gear bags and catch up on any post-event washing that you really should have done earlier. To extend the life of your linen clothing, remember to wash it on a gentle, cool setting, and let it dry in the shade instead of the drier.
4. Mend your kit
We all have that tunic or pair of hosen with a few too many holes. This is the perfect time to assess your collection (after washing everything, of course), and give your worn items to much-needed love to make them good as new. If you’re looking for fabric to mend them with, we highly recommend pillaging your aforementioned fabric stash. If you’ve ordered clothing from us already, you might have an ArmStreet linen drawstring bag that your order may have come in, which is a great source for 100% flax linen or cotton patches!
5. Polish and repair your armor
Some of us have stainless steel armor, but others aren’t as lucky. Take this time to try your armor on, make sure it’s fitting correctly, make any adjustments you need, repair your straps and remove any excess rust.
6. Clean your craft room
Finally, a chance to transform your creative space! Go through all of your crafting supplies, get inspired for new projects, organize everything and feel good about the space you’re existing in.
7. Get fit and improve your skills
If you’ve been waiting for some downtime to level up your fitness or skills, act now! There are tons of easy bodyweight exercises you can do at home to build muscle and lots of different resources on YouTube on everything from pilates to sword fighting!
8. Read a book - or ten
Once your clothes and craft room are clean, you might find yourself looking to do something educational and relaxing, so you might as well catch up on all of those books you’ve been meaning to read. Personally, I’m currently reading Guy Windsor’s “Theory and Practice of Historical Martial Arts” and “Fear is the Mind Killer” by Kaja Sadowski.
9. Start a good self-care routine
With all of the extra time that you’re spending at home instead of in the car or on the train, you can take a bit longer getting ready in the morning or relaxing in a bath at night. A little bit of time and space will give you a chance to reflect on the rituals of daily life that make you feel motivated and happy, which you can then carry forward into the rest of your work.
10. Plan your costume for next season
It’s upsetting to have so many events canceled - a lot of us rely on them for social interaction and a burst of fantastical fun in our lives. However, this gives you time to make sure your costume is absolutely fantastic for the next game. Don’t let it get you down, just prepare to come back with something bigger and better!