Consequently, I don't feel much like writing here.
So here's a little story about some pictures I took a year or so ago...
We used to use the oldest part of the old farm house as a "tavern" (The Cat's Perch) for Gardiner's events, and when we got to the point where it had to be taken down, we kept the chimney (the rest of the house went to the local historic society). To explain why we were under tents again for the next Mousehole, we made up an elaborate story about how the Cat's Perch had been stolen. We even did up a fake broadside with the Cat's Perch story being the main part (the rest had some stuff about possible Spaniard sightings, and happenings in Southwark), saying this:
Cat's Perch Stolen!!
The Cat's Perch Inn, famed haunt of Captain Gardiner's Company, has been stolen in the dead of night by nefarious evil-doers! Fanny, the ale-wife, and "proprietor" since Master Bedingfield bought out the previous owner, declares herself "devastated" and "not there at the time".
Master Bedingfield has promised to rebuild the tavern where no-one can steal it. Fanny is said to be "available for functions".
(Just for reference, "Fanny" is the loose-moraled ale-wife who sort of runs the Cat's Perch. She's been having a not-very-well concealed affair with Master Robert Bedingfield, but no-one cares, because Isobel, Robert's wife, is a bit annoying. I play both Fanny and Isobel, depending on what I feel like and/or who is appropriate for the event. For Yule, for instance, I played Isobel, since she plays music, and no-one is ever going to invite Fanny anywhere nice.)
(We've had ten years to build our personas for Gardiner's. We have a lot of backstory.)
When the next Mousehole happened, I got everyone around the old chimney, and told them to pose like they were looking for the tavern:
(click on the picture to enlarge)
But alas, the tavern was not to be found:
(click to blah, blah, blah.)
And there was much weeping and wailing:
(you really need to click on this one to enlarge; the details are very amusing.)
...Except from one person, who seemed quite pleased with the large amount of money she had recently mysteriously come into:
...but to this day, no-one admits to knowing what happened to the Cat's Perch. A new one is planned, until then, we're under canvas - not like that's stopped anyone from drinking.
It was, for all its faults, and large colonies of insects, a very cool and fun house. Interesting, too - the old part was timber framed and floored in heart pine, and the sill beams were a good 18" square. Great stuff.
It was a good place.
Who says authenticity can't be fun?