The weather was as good as could be reasonably hoped. The sun was strong but not unbearable during the day (and the temperature utterly perfect when slightly clouded); humidity was deliciously low; evenings were campfire-cool but not frigid, although I did damn near freeze my nose off Friday night. (I'm just claustrophobic enough that I don't like having my nose under the covers, but it turned out to be a plain necessity.)
We were camped with Darostur -- they're another household, closely related to but not part of Lochleven, and they acted as hosts for both households. As always, I love camping with these folks: the Lochleven style is just organized enough that I don't feel I must become Organization Man to make things happen, while still being pretty communal and mellow about getting things done. Everyone pitches in and works together, nobody gets excessively controlling, drama is kept to a minimum. Very much what I need for vacation. Sitting around the campfire and listening to people sing was really pleasant, although it reminded me that I need to get my songbook put back together before Pennsic.
My self-appointed task for the weekend was Grill Master, which suited me fine: it kept me busy for several hours, and is the sort of work that requires focus but little brain -- meditation with clicky tongs. As hoped, it got me completely out of my head, and kept my mind off CommYou for a couple of days. Other than that, I drifted quietly through the event, going to a couple of classes, doing some woodcarving, and generally mellowing out.
The event was definitely smaller this year, by at least a couple hundred people. While that was probably related to it being a smidgeon low-energy, it also kept the tension down: having so much empty land for camping means that things started out on a good foot, without the desperate scramble for territory that the event sometimes has. It actually bodes well in a way for Pennsic (which, rumor has it, will be down a couple thousand people this year) -- I expect there to similarly be a little more elbow room than we've been used to lately.
I will say, however, that the entire weekend did underscore the state of the economy: I will now officially laugh at any politician who fudges the notion that we're in a recession. The merchant area did *not* look like they were doing all that much business, aside from the one brilliant lady who was selling iced drinks in fourteen different (and at least partly documentable) flavors.
On the way home we stopped in Freeport for lunch, at the Azure Cafe on the edge of town -- highly recommended, BTW, with excellent food and pleasant al fresco dining. Freeport was pretty as always, but notably *much* less busy than the same stop last year, when we barely managed to get a table. Again, business appears to be off all over.
That detail aside, though, it was all just what I needed: a nothin'-for-nobody weekend that allowed me to clear my head a little. Fair warning to all that I'm in one of my periodic phases of backing off from stuff, to work through my stress and burnout. I'll still be around and helping out, but avoiding leadership a little more than usual, so I can focus my energies on work.
(Oh, and I'm also in one of my occasional bouts of being ridiculously behind on LJ, so if there is something I *need* to know promptly, please email me.)