I rolled out of bed at seven o’clock - average for me, yet late for the organisers of the event I attended. Indeed, I know that some people involved in the event had camped out since Friday night (18th July).
The main spectacle was ‘Roman Chariot Racing’ supported by other displays. There were demonstrations of Gladitorial Combat, Roman vs Medieval Battle tactics, Archery, Fire Performances, Costume Parades, Birds of Prey and much much more at my local National Trust for Scotland castle – Castle Fraser.
Castle Fraser is only 4 miles from my home. It’s a fabulous little castle built in the Scottish baronial style and I visit it often to just walk in the grounds. I wanted to see all of the exciting activities planned for the event so my family decided to make it a day out. 3 generations – granddad, my daughter and her husband and my 2 grandkids. As it happened I didn't join them for the whole time. Why not?
I set up a stall to sell my novels which are about Celtic warriors who are upended when the Ancient Roman Empire sends its forces to conquer all of Britannia- including my own part of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. I’d been beavering away from Thursday making sure my Gazebo would look beautiful- my promotional materials self-printed and ready. The problem wasn't being unprepared – it was that Scottish weather thingy! Rain was predicted. On. Off. Light. Heavy.
As I left my house, it was cloudy, reasonably warm and dry. Stay positive, I thought -maybe it wouldn't be too bad.
Oh, oh. We arrived at the field where the stalls were being set up. I tried not to believe it but that insidious kind of moist low cloud – we call it haar in Aberdeenshire- had just started and was gravitating into fine misting rain. 15 minutes was all we needed to get the ‘Summer Gazebo’ up, and another 20 minutes for me to pin on my signs and set up my table. We all mucked in and a very nice brawny steward, Logan, helped my husband and son-in-law to set up the gazebo. I was so glad the rain seemed to have stopped during the erecting period. The anticipation was building since the 'gates' were about to open to allow in the attendees.
I guess positive body language wasn't being thought of when my husband snapped this shot. *smiley face here*
The event began and visitors milled about but those thundery downpours that were predicted? They arrived good style. Inside my gazebo the first drips started. Arrrgh!
Out came the plastic cover to go over the books because – guess what? My gazebo being shower proof does NOT mean real Scottish pouring proof.
The planned events carried on regardless but the expected turnout didn't arrive. The Roman Gladiators did their bit out in the rain and weren't bothered a hoot! The period costume through the ages display was wonderful. They got really wet but sadly were only seen by a few hundred people, not thousands. The display of horsemanship was being cheered by the spectators, though it was a thinner noise than was hoped for. I’m really glad the field wasn't too wet under-hoof since a cancellation of the display would have been so disappointing.
The eagles are flew beautifully and the handler was really pleased with his birds but while that was happening I was watching the fire eating duo, who were amazingly talented and funny.
The rain went off again and it seemed a few more people appeared though the huge areas were still empty. I didn’t want to miss the Roman Chariots so my husband manned my stall. It was a great display from a professional company who are currently being filmed for ‘Game of Thrones’ series and other exciting films soon to hit the silver screen. I really enjoyed the chariot racing which is both skilled and hilariously entertaining.
The day seemed quite short, but that was because my family stayed all day to spell me at the stall so that I could see some of the action. Sadly, no matter how much I tried to be positive books do tend to get damp and wet and curl at the edges. Even worse is that people who are damp and wet are less inclined to linger to view the material sold at the stalls- and those who came in to shelter from the downpours only wanted to hang around and not buy. My sale of novels wasn’t as great as might have been on a warm and sunny day.
Would I go back today since the event runs for two days? The weather prediction was for rain/ heavy rain all morning till around 2 pm.
When we took down the gazebo last evening, it was showery damp and had to drip in our downstairs shower. Using a hairdryer to dry it off sounded just a bit too much effort so Day 2, for my stall, was abandoned. It was asking just too much of my paper books. Of course, the stallholders who are a bit more savvy have acquired themselves the heavy duty sort of shelters which can withstand the best of Scottish downpours!
Nonetheless it was a great experience and I didn't want to miss the Chariot racing.
Selling books at indoor events sound very pleasurable. More on that later.