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Hippeis Happenings

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Merry Christmas!

Or whatever suits you best as long as it is festive. Happy Hanukkah! Happy Yule! Celebrate Solstice! Or, as someone told me last night (tongue in cheek) ‘Have a delightful day of rationalist materialism and gift giving!’

I’ve complete Tom Swan Four and Five and I’m about eighty pages from completing Secret Project Two which weighs in at about 900 pages… Then I’ll edit the Ill Made Knight about 14th century England, France, and Italy, write Tom Swan Six, and begin Long War Four about Artemesium.

This has been the hardest writing year of my career. On the other hand, it has been very productive, and as long as I don’t breathe hard or look down, I’m pretty sure I can keep it up.

And finally, last night my new gauntlets by Jiri Klepac of Czech Republic arrived. They’re like art; they have beautiful decoration, they’re light as air, and they have correct period gloves by Karl Robinson of the UK. They aren’t just the best gauntlets I own–they’re the best I’ve seen anywhere. I got to fight in them in full armour last night, and they made me feel five years younger, which is lovely at age 50, believe me. BTW, let me stress that I DO leather work–Karl’s has to be seen to be believed. The quality of his stitch work is like the real thing!

(Small rant here–hand sewing is not any guarantee of authenticity. Most people’s hand sewing doesn’t look anything like Medieval or 18th century sewing. But Karl’s does.)

While I’m advertising suppliers at Christmas time, let me also recommend Peter Fuller and his armoury, Medieval Reproductions. He made my new breast and back–his work is superb. He’s also making several items for my books, and I hope all of you order something from him.

Leo Todeschini of Tod’s Stuff makes beautiful reproductions of many, many things–knives and swords, common household items, sewing equipment–with an eye for detail that is superb. He also makes a RANGE of toys–his crossbows are especially wonderful. I probably spend more time than is good for me prowling his pages. When I look at photos of our Medieval reenactment group, I feel we’re an advertisement for his blades. An eating set from Tod makes an awesome Christmas gift!

And finally, since I got to wear my full harness last night for the first time in its final form, Craig Sitch of Manning Imperial made the helmet–I hand sewed the liner and added the straps and aventail. And Mark Vickers of Saint George Armoury made my legs as well as my friend Mark’s superb tournament sword. His work is wonderful, and spending a day fitting my legs with him in his shop was one of the high points of my year.

There it is–run out and buy armour! Swords! and other good reenactment equipment!

And a couple of my books, if you don’t mind. Thanks!