Tag Archives: Norsk Hostfest

Another year, another Hostfest

I suppose you’ll want a report of my week at Høstfest 2017 in Minot, North Dakota. You’re demanding that way; I’ve been meaning to discuss it with you.

Hostfest 17a

My major reaction, frankly, is that I’m pretty exhausted. That doesn’t mean it was a bad week. It just means I’m old and too fat, and not as much up to the challenge as I used to be. Back when I was a fighter, I found the fight shows kind of demanding. Now that I’m retired, I miss the action. 11 hour days, surrounded by crowds of strangers. Walking around on concrete floors wearing unstructured medieval shoes. The dusty, dry air of the horse barn which was our venue. It all took its toll.

Hostfest 17b

But the thing in itself was pretty successful. We had a large group of reenactors, most of them of pretty high on the authenticity scale. I met or improved my acquaintance with some interesting people – notably Phil Lacher the wood carver, Dawson Lewis the Saxon moneyer, and – surprising to me – Randy Asplund, an artist who used to work with Baen Books, and now – get this – makes medieval books in the traditional manner.

My basic criterion for a successful Høstfest is whether I make enough money selling books to cover the cost of the Viking bling I buy. I succeeded at that, and I got some pretty cool stuff. One was a finger ring based on a famous Danish arm ring. The other, an even greater delight to me, was a silver crucifix that looks like this:

Birka crucifix

This picture isn’t of mine, it’s the original, but they’re pretty much identical, except that the thong ring on mine is a tad narrower, and mine is – I honestly think – a little better executed than the original. I used to have a rather crude copy of this crucifix, but I lost it last year. This one, I am told, was made by a Polish artisan who once crafted a chalice for Pope John Paul II. It is tiny and perfect and exquisite.

So all in all, a good festival. Now excuse me, I have to lie down.

Report from Minot

I’ve taken a few pictures here, but I’ve done that on my Kindle Fire. And I haven’t worked out how to get a photo from there to WordPress. So you may have to wait until I get home for visuals.

In the two years I’ve been away from Norsk Hostfest, Minot, North Dakota, the Viking exhibit has changed. We’re now in a new building (a horse barn) which we share with the Sami cultural people, in relative amity and accord. Various Viking groups are now represented, which makes the whole thing more educational and interesting, at least in my opinion.

A problem with this venue is that it’s a little remote. We’re a long way from the entrance, and people seem to have trouble making their way through the two covered walkways that eventually lead to us.

I’m not doing any fighting this year. They imported some Canadians for that purpose. Although I found the interruptions for fight shows annoying in the past, I’m finding it a little boring this year just to sit through the day, trying to impersonate an author.

Book sales, I fear, have been from hunger.