I spent several hours shopping for new discs (including a couple more from Australia, assuming they get back to me), and a bit of time goofing off, and fell asleep around 2:00am.
So at least it was an early night.
The plan had been to wake up around 8:00am. Of course, I didn't exactly set an alarm or anything, so tankgirl calling at 8:30am is what got me up. There was a bit of back-and-forth about whether the fair would be open, given the rain, but after I'd woken up enough to verify that they were, Angela started heading towards the Duplex. And I took a shower.
We were most of the way ready to go when she decided that she wasn't going to be able to make it. She'd hurt her knee Friday night, and it was impressively swollen - and more importantly, increasingly hard to stand on.
So I drove her back around the block to her apartment, finished dressing, and headed south on my own.
Definitely a different experience in the drizzle. Much less dust, for one thing. A much better temperature for fair garb, for another. I'm just glad, given the mud, that I wore my knee-high boots.
Speaking of which, I ran into the maker of said boots, Allen Grey of Sun Leather. I'd list a website if he had one. I'd never seen him with a booth at Northern before - in fact, most of my dealings with him had been at the Hanford fair. Oddly (at least to me), he remembered me right off the bat. It had been something like 10 years and a marriage ago for each of us.
So I spent a fair fraction of the day talking to him, and his new partner, Joanne. I won't make assumptions about the precise nature of the partnership.
But I also cycled around the fair about 12 times, replaced my failed Oberon Leather pouch with a nice, fresh one (they only sell pouches at Northern), and also cajoled a girl at the Oberon booth to put a couple more holes in my belt ("Could you put a couple more holes in my belt?" "Sure!").
Actually, I got a slightly larger pouch than the previous one, and moved the contents I actually use of my two larger pouches into it. I'm still working out the details, but this looks like it might just work. Kind of an organizational weight-loss program.
I stopped a bit at each of the stages, coveted many shiny things (One booth had several amethyst rings that were exactly my style, and fit perfectly. One of them was even as cheap as $193.), watched two jousts get canceled because of mud, and had a quite a few laughs when it actually started raining.
Most of the booths have roofs. Unfortunately, most of those are light fabric, meant to ward off the sun and breathe. The water went right through.
So I got to watch vendors scramble to protect as much merchandise as possible, while still staying open. Nobles trying to find shelter to protect their garments. And fair-goers trying to stay upright on increasingly mucky surfaces. The best was watching one vendor digging shallow ditches in an attempt to divert water from the front of their booth.
I have to say, though, that through it all, most people just kept cheerfully having a good time.
About the time the rain stopped, someone in the organization finally got the idea to send some guys out with fresh straw for the walkways. Not a lot, and not necessarily in the right places, but every little bit helped.
So, anyway, I had a great time. I headed back around 5:00pm, took a quick shower, changed, and headed over the hill to Santa Cruz - I actually had an evening clear, and thought I'd see one of the belly dance exhibitions I keep missing because I always have something going on Saturdays. In this case I missed it because it's next Saturday.
Oh well. It meant I had an excuse to go to the Crêpe Place. So I severely overate there (it's a requirement), then came back home.
And here I am.