Murder in the Fae Court: A June Themed Preview Event

imageSince June is going to be a big month for Lonely Archaeologist in covering games and other costumed hobbies around Adelaide, I have the honour of letting the Adelaide Roleplaying Community Inc guest star a wee bit early in explaining LARPing and the current game we have coming up, Murder in the Fae Court. A lot of work goes into designing these games and this one, if you enjoy Machiavellian intrigue and Renaissance politics of the other world, will appeal to you.

What is a LARP?

A LARP, or Live Action Role Playing game, is a type of role-playing game in which participants physically act out scenarios, typically using costumes and props. It is similar to improvisational theatre where you play a single consistent character in a world set by the organisers as you get to know your fellow players, investigate problems and explore the world.

Never played any LARPs before? Is this one particularly friendly to new players? Absolutely! We have assistants to help you understand the powers on your sheet, and since everyone is playing a brand new supernatural there’ll actually be a real advantage to not knowing the canon behind your supernatural type since it means you can follow the process of discovery alongside your character.

Political LARPs typically have fun and welcoming out of character environments so if you’re not shy of in-character politics I do recommend you check them out even if you are brand new. Contact the organisers to find out more.

The Seelie Queen has invited you all to celebrate the Autumn Festival on Earth to reflect upon the joys of an existence interwoven, yet hidden, among humanity.
As ambassadors from the Seelie Seasonal Courts you have, of course, decided to attend to put forward the needs and desires of your people. You never expected the Seelie Queen would be poisoned within moments of her opening address and you certainly never thought her last words would be that the key to the portal to Faerie had been stolen!

To make matters worse it certainly seems that these two crimes have been committed by separate criminals and that means that you have two traitors in your ranks and two cases to solve before you can return home. Thus it is up to you to solve these crimes by gathering each of the twenty clues from a variety of other courtiers (also played by participants) who all have their own motivations and desires. You may even be the killer, or the thief, desperate to trick the others by including a red herring to your crime while keen to fine the real culprit of the other case to draw attention away from yourself.

Proudly run by the Adelaide Roleplaying Community Inc. in association with the Adelaide City Council, this is a Murder Mystery Game suitable for those 15 years and older where participants are invited to costume according to their season. You will take on the role of an ambassador within one of the Seasonal Courts of the Seelie Queendom who must discover the identity of a killer and a thief within their ranks — or potentially you will play the killer or the thief who will desperately try to cover their tracks.

Participants will also take an active hand in creating their own character by answering a few simple questions during the booking process and then interact with the other courtiers as that character.

Although costuming isn’t required, it is very much encouraged. The Seasonal Fashion Styles include the following:

Spring Court (Vintage)
Summer Court (Military OR Modern)
Autumn Court (Steampunk)
Winter Court (Gothic).

Tickets can be booked through the Eventbrite app:

Written by Laraqua and lightly edited by Clara Rose. Photo used with permission copyright Adelaide Roleplaying Community Inc.


Poppies at sunset: my complicated thoughts on ANZAC

imageThis is a rather personal essay I have to write up in the lead to a project I’ll be returning to in 2017. So bear with my rambling but I have mixed memories of Anzac Day. I remember my first one at nine or ten years old, I marched with the other students of Manilla Central School and sneezed the entire way from the school because of the rosemary pinned to my uniform’s collar to the town square and ach-chooed til the Last Post. I developed a severe dislike for the herb after that for awhile and the Last Post eventually became a sign of relief. Now, I’m Aussie as they come with roast lamb with gravy and garlic too and onions. I love a Sunday roast. Actually a roast any time. Not good coffee drinker…working on that cultural goal so I’m a real Italian descendant of successful migrants of the 50s.

Not long after I joined the Manilla Central School’s concert band as a clarinet player around 11 – it vaguely had less to do with a love of music and more to do with sitting in chairs at events and assemblies instead of on the ground and being stung by ants. Such is the world of children, we selfishly looking inwards and those chairs were awesome relief to a child with insect allergies. Later on, I did really learn to love music later on but playing “Abide With Me”, “God Save the Queen” and other dull hymns felt morbid and frankly duller every song we played through the service. Again, I adored the Last Post because it was finally over. It was only years later, when I did Anzac Day not long being back from the UK, did I feel the full weight of the Last Post. 

I was not invested because I didn’t feel really Australian before 2004 in so many little ways: in the small country towns my parents choose to live in, being the child of European migrants was not as celebrated even though my grandmother taught herself English and worked as cleaner of churches and hospitals in rural Australia and my grandfather planted the pink and red roses that used to climb the railway bridges in Armidale NSw. But I wasn’t worth the same as a kid with a convict heritage. Sorry first settlers, unless your ancestor was a criminal, you too weren’t Aussie enough either. 

I wasn’t connected to ANZAC unless we are talking about how good my cookies were and I embraced my European identity to the extreme despite my ancestors fighting on the right side of history. I was a quiet introverted child until I joined Guides Australia as a preteen and learned life skills, camaraderie and leadership. They changed how I saw Anzac Day and community service. I proudly marched as banner woman for my town’s guides in the parade and later fire cadets for around 7 years. The years I didn’t, I wreath laid or played in band.

From them, I was inspired to some sort of idealism and desperately wanted to join the Air Force until I found out I would be a wheel in a cog not the patriot I wanted to be. Before then though, I marched several years as a banner bearer and both a wreath layer for both the Guides and Bushfire Brigade cadets. Yet that all changed when we moved from New England in year 10 and it was senior years at Coffs Senior College  I started studying ancient history and questioning why modern warfare was important to someone who wanted to be an Egyptologist and study Latin and Greek (cos at 16 years where I was going to choose my whole life path). 

I hadn’t paid attention to any of the modern history of either World Wars (despite 10 years of education). And to be honest I was pretty bored by and resented with Australia’s long prehistory and history to as opposed to the mysterious Celts and Vikings (I was a new age hippy). I actually said that as I soon as I was old enough, I was going as far from Oz as possible. Too soon for a love of Gallifrey but in the mean time there was William Shakespeare, the Italian Renaissance and European medieval history until I went abroad. The intriguing dark ages. I didn’t need to know how wanting to live in France, I’d still have an Anzac connection. For a smart teen, I was dumb. I even made a Darcy approved Austenesque reading list and *educated* myself with *the classics* in literature. Thanks Emma. 

When I was in my two senior years of high school, after reading Herodotus, Father of Lies & History, and then learning about Hiroshima in geography because eew modern history elective, I decided not only was modern warfare “too easy”because all you had to do was push a button to kill a bunch of people.  And the Great War and World War II were irrelevant and Vietnam was America’s problem. Until the end of my first year of university in Newie – where only arts and literature mattered – historical reenacting only went to the medieval period (16th century) and was just dress-ups, socialising with cute geeky guys and dancing. 

History was my hobby -not scholarship -and I was still in denial about Anzac having any meaning for me – I was young and stupid like those very same young guys sent to trenches who had no idea either. My biggest problem was a tequila written essay that got me a distinction and French reflexive verbs. I never saw myself as a real Australian but still identified as a person of European descent and was looking at going on student exchange to France and live out my Audrey Hepburn fantasy. I have family that fought on both sides of the World Wars. In my mind then and now, I’m descended from the Romans on one side, so I saw it as evening itself out for all the soldiers in the war because the Romans were supposed to be bigger than that. My ancestral people created the modern world. If it was only that easy. 

I took no pride in the Anzac Day marches and saw no need to observe once I was at uni and after 9/11. Or go to church services where I was famed anyway as the wrong denomination (is there ever a right kind?). And I was going to meet a French man or woman and never go back. I used to be the cut, run and scorch from my life issues type- still am but with a better therapist that Dr Pims. I was planningon deserting   (without being shot for cowardice). I was ready to blame ANZAC for my social isolation and my inappropriate life choices, prolonged adolescence and wandering academic transcripts that will drive admissions units to tears at universities for the next 3 decades.

Some how by the way of rather forgetting, in my second year of university in 2002, I transferred to Flinders University to study archaeology in Adelaide. My eyes were firmly in the ancient Middle East and Mediterranean when I began archaeology and followed it like a star and with three wise men, a camel and fermented camel milk which is why we were chasing the star I’d imagine. The classes I took at Flinders opened my eyes to the plight of Indigenous Australians through the work of Claire Smith and her husband Jacko.  This is also when I discovered the rest of world existed through an English guy who studied industrial archaeology where the wars had changed entire landscapes, created untold human misery and created the need for human rights to be enshrined in international law.  I was a naive crybaby til then and thanks Dan for straightening me out. I’m better from knowing you. 

These issues became even more evident as I saw the after effects of 9/11 as more than an inconvenience to fly out and see the wrong guy in 2001. We will see I have a history of grand gestures because once I was a romantic and picking the wrong guy repeatedly turned out to be the right decision that led me to Lonely Archaeologist. Except the guitar, no talent for that but that particular Guy, I wish him well and will stick to torturing my pets with my clarinet.
In mid 2003, I ran to England as a Study Abroad exchange to Leicester University . I saw how the rest of the Western Europe  views the world in the newspaper, The Guardian, and realised we antipodeans are very naive, sheltered and the modern wars did matter but those generations didn’t speak for me or my beliefs in the present, I would be an idealist, a pacifist and functional vegetarian who studied the Iron Age Roman Britain as a contact experimental archaeologist. The previous year, I’d asked myself what ANZAC meant to me and I decided I would not support a day that glorified modern wars after and a failed invasion of Galliopoli as its undefined national holiday because war, what is it good for. It was a failed invasion of Turkey and our national day was a successful one that displaced entire nations of people from their country. Getting my head around this, I would be a quiet conscientious objector and also look for a better holiday than January 26th for Australia Day. *Yeah that’s going well too.

Undecided, I realised was looking at things in an entirely wrong perspective until April last year because in one 2013 maritime archaeology class I actually referred to modern warfare as the age of the analyst, that defense analysts were human, there would always been human collateral damage in warfare. I actually shudder when I quote myself in saying to an entire packed room of students: “You need to break eggs to make an omelette.” About human life.

Then last year at an Adelaide University Research Tuesday forum I had an epiphany that I had this all wrong for so long, a historian – Robin Prior -explained that while that Gallopli was a failure as an invasion in military terms and debunked the myths around Gallopli (I’ll let you research it yourself and make up your own mind about his claims), it was Australia’s first outing on a world stage as a commonwealth democratic country and it was a war we needed to ideologically take part in as part of a world wide freedom movement. But at the end, when an audience member asked about modern terrorist warfare such as with ISIS/L which is urban environments like cities rather than in the fields and trenches, where it’s getting harder to tell the civilians from the soldiers, Prior said perhaps it’s time we looked at warfare where we should be ideologically and morally questioning why we are fighting it. And I’m asking this too. I’m still undecided but I did get to Glenelg yesterday and lay a small wreath because our freedom is worth fighting for, not just celebrated.

And that is how a side project I’m working on in my own time, I’m with my co-researcher, Danny, came about last year. We want to look at what Anzac Day means beyond the obvious war memorials and the stories we were taught at school and in the pop culture of each generation. Both of us were curious to know how it became a quiet commemoration, then a glorious celebration of nationalism considering we are spending around $40 million to revamp the Sydney Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park and with a total of $80 million pledged for Anzac celebrations noted in 2015.

I remember Australiana became a thing as a child in the 1980s and now going to Gallopli in Turkey, or the Kokokda trail is a right of passage for young and old Australians.  When I stepped off the plane in January 2004, I knew once and for all I was Australian when I saw the brilliant blue sky and golden light. But I was ambivalent on Anzac and tried to understand a post 9/11 world where we all live in a state of constant mutual annihilation from climate change alone.

My thoughts on Anzac Day now? It was morally necessary but we humans still haven’t learned whatever it is that will let us achieve space travel and the United Federation of Planets, I actually don’t think it was a coincidence that Jean-Luc Pickard was a trained archaeologist. I love modern English & academic popular culture and from writing a thesis about ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ teaching me about chosen family in the face of adversity and that monsters can be human too. So it is strange how I started with an interest in the tradgey tourism of dark sites. Why do we go to the camps of Austerwitz or the fields of Villers-Bretonneux? That’s what I hope to study in archaeology and cultural tourism, what brings us back to these sites time and time again but we still make the same mistakes. I don’t think I’ll find an answer but it’s in the seeking we finding unexpected solutions such as looking at the urban legends and fictional histories that have grown these sites into cult venues. [I’ll talk leave talk about ISIS/L, the Taliban and indigenous site destruction as a method of policing belief well alone as it’s not my research gig.]

In 2017, Danny and I will be looking for people interested in contributing to the project which started as a paper for a conference and is morphing into a full project. It’s something worth pursuing and if this was long and to/dr: the Anzac memory is worthy of preserving but how do we define its spirit?

Clara Rose Santilli


Out of Wonderland: Mundane Life

Enjoying my time as patient zero of zombie virus, The Thing.





So it’s been quiet around here apart from my cat ringing people. Ironically,  it is university holidays and the normal time for wild adventures (or a whole lot of study) and here I am at home with my virulent – and probably bacterial too – little friend I named “The Thing.” If it becomes a super virus, I want it dubbed “Catriona virus.” Also the O is silent because it’s a Celtic spelling of Katrina.

Anyways, I’m writing a brief post about what I’ve got planned coming up apart from Internet browsing on orca sociology at 3 am after running out of insomniac archaeology articles to read & post on Facebook then repost weird science like that freaky skinned dead eel with salt heated up (and taking my antibiotics, there’s a few).

Jana and I will be heading to the Bakery on O’Connell St in North Adelaide and eating cronut ice-cream cones as a public service. There will be pictures I hope since I eat like a Viking toddler! We have future shenanigans planned for the Guitar festival in July with Project Bad Reputation (mine) that need planning, just ignore our fedoras and trench coats.  Yes I tried to buy the Agent Carter one because I’m a fan girl. I’m also going to see Swan Lake by the Australian Ballet when they come to Adelaide in May so I might get to see Natasha Romanova! I’m also learning how to order a TARDIS birthday cake – chocolate of course. I’m really hoping I get a Time Lord jumping out of it.

Academically, in the next few weeks I’ll be doing some experimental archaeology (with newly minted archaeologist, Kate Riggs from Flinders) grinding different seeds, plants and nuts into flour that will be available for you to try at the SA Museum’s Night Lab event (I already have some acorn flour donated  by Shona!).  We hopefully have a practice session scheduled because I suspect there is skill to making good acacia seed flour than just running two stones over each other. Or just smashing nuts and berries…which we need to gather ourselves and I honestly have no idea where to start in nature.

Please come see Night Lab event on May 6th and drink cider, beer and wine, cos you don’t need no education but a museum at night and our company! Check out Eventbrite or the SAM website for tickets! I’ll finally put a post up on what it’s like to attend as a guest tomorrow in the morning about the other Night Lab events since I’ve been promising forever and it gets me out doing of the dishes in the morning!  I’m not a morning person but this will be fun since there was a photo booth to capture my evil deeds along with the volunteers!

In the meantime, I have to do some reading about why grind stones weren’t really used in this region of Australia which involves some ethnography and historical research. Anybody got some good ideas why?  They were valuable and carried across the contentment the ones on display at the SAM are made from sandstone and sparkle. They are beautiful.

With the demonstration, I’m thinking we probably will also have other things like rice-corn-wheat flour to compare the ground acacia seeds -which we still have to collect – along with some almonds and macadamias with the acacia and maybe chia that you’ll be able to smash into smithereens and marvel at the coolness of Stone Age technology from Indigenous Australia. We might even have a bit of ochre to make an even bigger mess!

After I get my assignment in tomorrow (there’s a bit o research in the second week of my mid semester holidays), I’ll be spending the afternoon finally getting all Night Lab pictures worthwhile up here to destroy my career as the face of what you shouldn’t do on an opal excavation for giggles.

~Clara Rose



The trick to the Lonely Adventure: Serendipity

imageUpdate: Luigi’s is Magnifico!

So today’s planned adventure was a planned tripped to a certain hazelnut event that turned out that if I went to it, I’d miss a Mozart performance by the Adelaide Wind Ochestra at the Baptist Church on Flinders Street, discovered once I hit the Victoria Square. So I was cold and in a bad mood, aimlessly wandering down Flinders Street looking for a coffee shop to redefine a new kind of cool with my new scarf obsession and English brekky tea from a bag (yeah those scarfs aren’t going anywhere!).

Then wandering through the abandoned glass and concrete forest, as any good urban fairytale waiting for a big bad wolf, instead , I met a magician of the name Luigi.  As I passed his little delicatessen, I was invited in by the cunning conjurer and had a lonely adventure because I am the lonely archaeologist! [I’ll be posting about the Mozart concert by the Adelaide Wind Ochestra tomorrow but right now it’s serendipity who owns the day.]

Let me tell you about Luigi, he is a master chef but he is also from Naples where cookery is not just a process but it is a form of theatre- but it’s more creative artistry than mere illusion. It is an old Italian proverb, the soul of the cook goes into to the baking and when the diner consumes the food, they take a little piece of the chef with them and a sad cook will drive you to weeping. There’s even an old movie I’m told on good authority. This magic process of food transcending it’s consumer eats it happens when Luigi cooks for you – you are special if he’s put it on a plate in front of you.  Luigi can take the ingredients of your personality and put them on a plate in front of you and they taste like the emotions you need to experience. At least for me it was eat, pray, love but with a better guru – Luigi is something of a larrikin with a ready smile, a sick sense of humour and excellent taste in music because Lionel Richie is cool! Really he is.

Luigi also has an uncanny ability to read people and what they need, and he puts that into their food and as I passed by lost,  (since Luigi’s Delicatessan is now open on Saturdays and I’ll be back hopefully sooner), he offered to create something unique for my character and tastes on my limited budget. I’ll keep my little piece or serendipity and magic to myself except he gave me a sense of home and place when I was tired of wandering on my own. I belong in the city lonely wandering.

Here’s some of the amazing photos I got of the delicatessen as a kitchen, a hearty, you feel Luigi welcomed you into a warm home in a big city and I’ll let the truly devoted fans read my short reviews on The Lonely Archaeologist Facebook page or my personal page but it’s like little Italy. Remember we are not just dealing with a chef in cooking a unique meal but a whole culinary performance with a genuinely good guy with the Italian-Aussie gift of the gab! Meet Luigi and the girls and yes they do good coffee I’m told.



~ Clara Rose

Flags of a different kind.

Don’t Sue Me…

Those who know me well would argue this logo, property of the BBC, could serve as my flag and the international community of Whovians I belong to. We are referred to a pop cult fandom ang it’s not accidental. Many of us have versions of it on t-shirts, shower curtains, multiple TARDIS bedspreads, a cookie jar and a journal, a pocket watch of the evil adversary and that’s just me. Also I do a very good wench from the SCA (hi guys)  and that’ll come into play later – don’t trust the woman in the blue, she’s the devious Magdalena of my 20s! She had more fun than I ever really did.

Recently in Adelaide, some white douche-bros decided to attack a lady for a piece of fabric on her head and a guy who also liked wearing fabric on his head from a pop culture group threatened retaliatory violence because that will totally work on fixing inter-religious fighting and racism. I mean really guys, are you moronic cybermen arguing with the Daleks and this wasn’t even Doctor Who or an argument on Eccleston vs T-Baker as the best Time Lord. You’re all wrong, it’s Missy, duh!

So I decided to start a protest that a piece of fabric was just that until you take intangible meanings and turn that scarf into an object. What’s the difference to an object and a thing? According to Ian Hodder, in a system of entanglement, a thing is just exists, objects create snares in interrelated systems. The headscarf that woman had been wearing for whatever reason she had decided to, had become an object and I decided to use my process as a way to reverse it and show that fabric scarfs are just things with #scarfingwithrose which I haven’t quite completed yet.

Zero Plague Bearer &  Whedon Studies Assocition member!

This graduate’s hat was the meant more than anything to me, it is my bachelors with honours, that graduation cap I got for my English degree at UNE was the most important thing in my world. Actually it was eating the burger after it in full academic regalia while Gabe tried to kill me by being Darth Gubbs or something. Sorry about the scene in the cafeteria but I was starving. Those are long ceremonies man. Maybe I’ll be back one day for my post doc and show my potential to certain English professors for whom this hat had become an object in my life and theirs and a waste of potential in the system, but I’m not Neo. Though I will ever be grateful for the tutelage of Dr Liz Hale who took Buffy and pop culture English seriously, we were right with the MCU exploding to take on Joss! The scarft in zombie zero agent me is just one one my favourites.

Eventually my persona as Magdalena as an Ancient Greek or Byzantuim woman because face it, corsets hurt and I took on more veils and rarely found myself leave the house without a light weigh scarf. Me as a Greek heterae and at the Flinders Map Roon trying to find Montenegro for tourism before the plague…

Sexy Grrreek Me and Normal Me

Day 2: Fafrican

And this is where de-objectifying a piece of useful fabric under the hashtag courtesy of Jill began. #scarfingwithrose


I found when I looked Islamic (see below for pretty Islamic) and sick plague-carrier of the zombie apocalypse, I actually got more positive responses to the Farfican look than either middle-eastern looks or my hat at the Gaol’s blues where I do look trashed admittedly. The second day Fafrican look I look healthy thanks to Bronzer and my best fake smile. Hats and scarfs have remained objects through out world history but I think it’s time to remove them as societal entanglements and just see them as head accessories because we are in 2016 and they no longer carry the status symbol beyond a few occasions like they did or once did in a capitalised and globalised society in the present. Pop on to the Facebook page to get a daily review of how each scarf went down as I wore it all day around Adelaide. I have a few days left and let’s see if this blog changes any points of view or my perspective gets worse on how people behave towards me. ~ Rose Santilli