quaker fencer

kathz isn't quite my name. I may be a Quaker. If I'm a fencer I'm a bad one and I don't do sabre. If I'm a Quaker I'm a bad one - but you've worked that out already. Read on. Comment if you like. Don't expect a reply.

Location: United Kingdom

Friday, April 20, 2007

restless fencer looks for a mirror

I was late to fencing and had to leave early. One hour and ten minutes just isn't enough.

All the careful arrangements for lifts fell apart so I rang for a taxi. There were none available. After trying a list of cab firms without luck - what was going on? and why wasn't I invited? - a friend gave me and my son a lift. I'd missed the warm-up and the club was swarming with sabreurs, whose slashing movements take up (I'm convinced) more room than foil or epee.

The good news was the return of an epeeist who has been unwell and off work for the past eight weeks. I thought this might affect his fencing but, while he may be rebuilding stamina, his accuracy was devastating. Perhaps he spent eight weeks in bed practising wrist hits on visitors.

I fenced two other opponents with a little more success, still not managing a stance in which my wrist was well-guarded. "Practise with a mirror," I've been advised, but we don't have any big mirrors - our biggest is about a foot square and awkwardly placed in the kitchen between the cooker and the saucepans. That's probably not the best place to brandish an epee. There are a couple of mirrors on bathroom cabinets but no space for a lunge. And then there are a couple of small mirrors (about four inches square). I suppose I could hang one on the raspberry bushes that are taking over the garden - or even on the plum tree - but I wonder what the neighbours would say if they saw me with a sword in the garden. Might they think it's a new technique for cutting the lawn or trimming the hedge? If not, an ASBO seems inevitable.

I had less fencing than I wished, but I probably had a better evening than my son, whose back is troubling him. The doctor says it's a result of growing rapidly; he's suddenly taller than me (only just) and his voice has deepened. Growing an inch a month for six months causes odd aches which makes fencing tricky. He did his best, but left early and walked home in the warm Spring night.

Since the curtailed club night, I've been tired and restless. I'm busy at work, but too much time is spent sitting at my desk. I look for excuses to prowl the corridors or go up and down stairs. I'd quite like to stab a few colleagues (consensually and competitively). But it's probably not a good idea. Mind you, there are some good big mirrors in the ladies' toilets. Now there's a thought.

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