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

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

slightly drunk and rather bruised

I went to the pub after fencing. It's a while since I've been to the pub but one of the fencers who began when I did - and who is now rather good - is headed for that mysterious place called "down south". It was his last night at the club.

Probably I shouldn't have been fencing. I was tired and bruised from last week. I'd had less than five hours sleep and a busy, exhausting and infuriating day at work. But of course I wanted to stab someone - as many people as possible.

I was glad I turned up. For the first time, there were more women epeeists than men (well, it was only 3 to 2). One of the women had just received her first epee and showed it off. "Shiny," every fencer remarked in turn, admiring the guard. The fencer was a little reluctant to risk her new treasure in combat - it seemed possible she'd be so protective that she'd be easy to beat.

It wasn't so. She has never beaten me so thoroughly. Even concern for her shiny guard didn't stop her. She said the pistol grip felt good in her hand. I'm back to being the only club fencer who uses a French grip.

I had a great deal of strategy this evening and tried mixing my attacks to take my opponents by surprise. This might have worked had I combined this with speed and accuracy. I was hit hard and hit hard - often, unfortunately, after I'd been hit by opponents. Occasional hits worked well and it's just possible this strategy of varying moves and attacks may work better when I'm awake, alert and accurate - the year after next, perhaps.

Then, hot and exhuasted, I headed with the crowd to the pub. I don't drink much these days and this has a wonderful side effect: in the right circumstances, small amounts of alcohol make me feel very merry quite quickly. We sat outdoors - probably a good idea as fencing is a rather sweaty sport. Half way through the first half-pint, I felt a happy glow as we discussed subject ranging from good fencing tactics to tactics for taking over the badminton players' part of the hall. Dynamite in shuttlecocks was discussed, as were posters casting doubt on the sexual prowess of badminton players. We NEED their part of the hall - our club is growing. Strong tactics are vital. Of course, some fencers play badminton as well - but not usually while fencing.

Eventually the laughter and jokes came to an end. I got a lift home. The bruises still don't hurt - evidently the pint of beer I enjoyed had an anaesthetic effect. And that's good too.

Note for connoisseurs of beer: the pub didn't have my favourite real ales but a half of Kroneneberg followed by a half of Cobra - very pleasant for a summer evening.

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Blogger KateJ said...

Just what is it about badminton? We have the same problem with our archery club vs the badminton brigade... except it's complicated by the fact one of our leading archers is a badminton coach!
Their nets etc are always filling up the hall cupboard and causing us problems getting our stuff out, then they complain we've moved their stuff...
Mind you, they'r not as bad as the parent and toddler group... why do a handful of toddlers need about a million ride-on tractors, wooden bricks, mini train sets, bilingual jigsaw puzzles...and why is it always all over the floor... and why do we always get the blame if it's nt put back exactly as they left it???

7:44 pm  
Blogger kathz said...

The badminton people take up the other half of the hall - there's just a curtain between us - and they're always so serious about everything and lots of them have HUGE muscles. Every so often shuttlecocks somehow end up on the electric pistes and I pass them back on the point of my epee.

We'll take them on one week. We'll have swords and they'll have bats and shuttlecocks.

9:34 pm  

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