Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Confessions of a secret geek

The time has come to 'fess up. My family and I do a downright wierd (but great) hobby. I'm a live role-player. No, don't run away... come back... hear more first.

Remember as a child, playing out at cops and robbers, princesses, knights and dragons? We all did, and we LOVED it. Go on, admit it, forgetting reality for a while and losing yourself in a made up world where anything is possible, only your imagination limits your actions (and, of course, physics... it always seems to win - no flying for me however much I try) is FUN!!

See, I never grew up, I still love dressup clothes and pretending to be some daring heroine in armour, bashing fiends with your trusty blade or damsels in distress (actually it is still rubbish to play a distressed damsel) or a spitty hedgewitch (now they are fun to play), a rufty tufty pirate or even a dirty thieving goblin. So I do, and I'm not alone.

Otherwise known as Live Action Role Playing (LARP) or my favourite description, Cross Country Pantomime, we get out into the woods and fields and play at being kids again (though the bruises last longer and legs hurt more now we're older, the drinking, singing and general merry making around the campfire sure makes up for that!).

If you want to know a bit about the history of the hobby, look at wikipedia's entry for Live Role Playing.

I got into it without even knowing it (I thought everyone played at pirates) but went along festing with friends and their families and wondered where on earth I had landed, orcs, goblins, wizards, fairies, celts and elves all playing with or, more frequently, against each other. All in a make believe world where magic exists, loads of groups pretending to make friends or fall out. Politics and even war - a battle with around a thousand people on each side is really something you have to try, the adrenalin rush lasts so much longer than a bungee jump!!

From there I tried other games and settings and played many different characters, which is a really interesting way to mould your own morals and outlooks, by trying on different personas you soon come to know yourself pretty well.

Pic courtesy of H '5 Dice' Adkins
For the kids the sense of freedom, both phyical and mental, they can feel is so special, I wouldn't want mine to be without it. Also I feel its important to show them how we, the grown ups, can let go and play too. As a hobby it can promote imagination and storytelling, playing music, community parenting, it instills confidence and independance and I feel it's great excercise for knowing yourself.

Why am I confessing all this? Well, it is what started me off on a sewing machine. The need for a girl to look good when you can't buy a cloak or a princess dress off the shelf on the high street. What else can a girl do but to make her own?

All self taught through trial and error,books and chatting to friends already doing it for themselves, I soon got the hang of knocking out kit for myself and later for my other half. When I had my daughter, 12 long years ago, we wanted to continue with the hobby but to make things easier and still wanting to be in the thick of the story, I started making kit (costume) to sell so we could have a trade stall in the market area of events where the story passes by your front door - perfick!

So that's it really, how I came to be a crafter. Little did I know at the time that I would become a whizz on the sewing machine and a dab hand at knocking up patterns and designs for people's characters.

Now Raggedy Revival is here, I am again with the kit making and am picking up orders steadily once more. See my slowly growing Kit (Costume) page by following the link in the top bar above. If ever you find yourself in need of costume design and build, get in touch and we'll talk through your ideas.

Thanks for listening, I'm glad you stayed.


  1. Fab post. I've always wanted to try Larp. Not hubby's thing though. After years of attending pagan camps with singing around the campfire and wearing my cloak it really appeals. Great hobby. xx Pixie xxx

  2. teee heee. One of my favouritist hobbies

  3. Geeky? Surley not! Nothing geeky about pretending to be an elf :-)