Category Archives: LARPing


So with the impending registration at the University of Sheffield, the end of the larp fest season* and the new careers both myself and Al are embarking on, I decided we needed to de-clutter the house. I say we, it is me that needs it. I also have plans for a bit of a refurb. We have been in the house for about nine years now so it is about time really.

There have been a couple of incidents that have made me realise we have far too much stuff. One was the invitation to go and help out at Empire. This required “new” costume, Al managed to create his entirely from kit stored in the garage. Me? I was going to recycle, but then ended up have ideas and made a new tunic and snood. So now we have even more kit knocking around. I t also meant that we went through a few of the boxes in the garage and could see that there was some kit that was good enough to pass on to others. So project right there.

Another incident was Al bringing home all the stuff he took to school over the last seven years. Thing hands, costume, show and tell stuff….six large boxes of it! That all needs a home.

So generally I have been taking the advice of the Unfuck your habitat app and have been going through the house bit by bit throwing out old broken things, separating out sellable objects, and putting away the good stuff. Its not simple though, it should be. I hold onto too many things that I feel have a sentimental value and don’t have a mechanism for storing them, or presenting them.

I have a couple of goals on top of the general fewer things in the house aim; I would like new bookshelves. So I have been boxing the books ready for the new shelves. If I don’t the new shelves will never happen. I also want a reading nook under the stairs. This means that space needs to stop being a convenient dumping ground.

It is oddly comforting this uncluttering process and strangely addictive. I suspect this is due to my need for keeping busy at the moment. My brain is full of new things happening. I hope the need to do it continues though, once my brain has settled into new ventures.

*I clarify the fest season here as I have seen the numerous debates about seasons and whether they exist in this capacity. Also that there are many more events that take place between October to March.

Here is another cat picture, she is helping with the clean out…honest.


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September 28, 2014 · 7:54 pm


A friend of mine blogged about LARPing the other day and has been looking for other LARPers to tell their story about how they got into it to try and encourage new players to try and stay in the hobby.  As I decided to expand my blog this seemed like the perfect opportunity, so I volunteered.  His blog is here:
Lair of the Jiggybeast

So, here we go.

For the purposes of the other blog:  In the real world (the distinction will make more sense later) I work for the University of Leicester in the Student Recruitment (Widening Participation) Team.  For the last year I have been working on outreach and public engagement for the Richard III project and am currently looking at that, as well as the role of the University as a living memorial to WW1.  I have just completed a second master’s degree and will be starting a part-time PhD in October at the University of Sheffield.   I live with my boyfriend, Al, and our friend Lee.

I was introduced to LARPing at the age of 18 at University in Aberystwyth.  The boyfriend at the time was a LARPer and so were the majority of Rocsoc where I was hanging out.  I thought it was a little odd and it took me a couple of sessions to get the courage to give it a proper go, but I was soon hooked.  It was a brilliant outlet for the imagination.  The small system is still running (I think) and we used to have a ‘Guild night’ in one of the meeting rooms on campus once a week and an ‘adventure’ on a Saturday in the local woods.  From going to the small system, I was taken as part of that group to the Lorien Trust (LT) events.  I haven’t been back to Aberystwyth to LARP since 2000, but have carried on with the LT events.

Me, as Anya when I was 18.

Me, as Anya when I was 18.

LARPers often talk about their LARPing career, on reflection, mine could have it’s own CV!  I made a lot of friends all over the country through going to LT events. That led onto trying other systems and meeting even more people.    Originally I played a half-fae called Anya, then realised the opportunities available and changed characters to Frantica the lizard.  I was then asked to become a non-player character (NPC) and help out with the running of one of the factions at the LT.  I changed character and played Aleena Tepes.  I played Aleena for 13 years…maybe, and was a commander in the faction for 10 of those.  Volunteering as an NPC has its ups and downs.  The ups are amazing and the downs can be devastating.   The experience is invaluable though.  I have it on my real CV and it has helped me get jobs.   I carried on until I realised that I needed to get *my* hobby back!  So now I play an Appleseller.

The Viper Faction, I am in the middle.

The Viper Faction, I am in the middle.

Running an event

Running an event

As well as the LT, I also currently play Wasteland UK (post-apocalyptic), and Serenity LRP (Firefly based).  I crew other systems such as Slenderman, and have been to Disturbing Events LRP (Cthulu), Eventyr (DnD), Outcast (fantasy), Curious Pastimes and Profound Decisions events.  Each character I play is a little different to the next, has different goals and different fun.

Preview to an Exhibition - Disturbing Events LRP

Preview to an Exhibition – Disturbing Events LRP

My favourite current character is Bouncer from Serenity LRP, although I do love being the Appleseller at LT.  Each character has its background, personality and skills.  They are quite different, one is a healer and the other a warrior.  I would go into these in more depth but that might be a later post and might be confusing here in a general overview.   I think my favourite character which is now also a monster role is Frantica.  There is history attached to the character which I love.  Depth is good.

The best parts of LARP are when you push yourself.  It could be stepping into a group of people and asserting yourself, it could be going into that dark room first.  I love the adrenaline rush that makes my fingers tingle.  I also love the quiet times when you can sit and chat with others and develop your character.  They are both instances when stories happen, firstly by doing and being part of it, and secondly by making it up.  Aleena, as a character, had a sister and we used to make up stories on the fly about our childhood together when talking to other people.  Those stories then got retold by us and others, it made it a little more real.

The hobby has changed in the 15-16 years I have been involved in it.  At one point the LT could boast an event of 6000 people on an August bank holiday weekend, but now the numbers are much smaller.  This is partly to do with disposable income, but also to do with choice.  There are more systems to choose from, so that precious income is being prioritised when it comes to choosing where to go.  If someone wants to LARP they will spend as much or as little on it as they can afford or need to.

My advice to anyone starting the hobby now is get stuck in.  No one goes into a LARP game to play second spod from the left!  No one will laugh at you because we are all in it together, in silly costumes in a field, shouting and waving rubber swords at each other!  It is a silly hobby on reflection, but so much fun.


Filed under LARPing, Stories

One chapter ends another begins…

I have woefully neglected this blog for nearly a year. I have been contributing to a staff blog at work, however that is no excuse. So I thought I would bring this up to date and also broaden my topics.

I have finished my MRes, I will go into more detail on that process as time goes on, and I have secured a place at the University of Sheffield to undertake my PhD. So my plans are progressing via the application of hard work and sometimes abandoning my social life! As the inspiration comes to me I will write about various aspects of finishing research, dissertations and applications.

What really bought me back to this was looking through my photos on Facebook. I am a larper, and I also tend to put myself up for interesting projects or activities. The photos reminded me of some of the fun stuff I have done, there are a lot of photos of my smiling while I am doing things. So I thought I would expand my topics on here to include some of the other things I have done outside of academia.

Let’s face it people are made up of more than on aspect. It’s is the sum of these parts that create a personality and experiences. So I think I would like to tell you about those. I will probably use the photographs as inspiration and to jog my memory, and as a frame of reference for some of the stories.

If you see that I haven’t posted for over a week, comment, poke me or something so that I pull my finger out. I have no excuses!

As a starter I am going to leave this photo here-


Fatty the Cat as pictured by Al. The internet loves cats.

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Filed under Dissertation, LARPing, Stories