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

Thursday, December 20, 2007

angel v. turkey

The shop assistant couldn't stop giggling. "I didn't think we'd sell any of that," she said, as I presented my black and gold tinsel at the checkout. It did look strangely funereal amid the Christmas red and green.

"It's to decorate my sword," I explained. "Fencing club colours."

I'm not sure she believed me, even though I was wearing my club hoodie at the time.

As it turned out, I was slightly underdressed, as I realised when I walked into the hall for festive fencing to see a sabreur with a plush turkey sat astride his mask. For some reason I thought it was a chicken, possibly because it looked as though the turkey was laying an egg. The turkey caused a certain amount of debate because plainly a hit to turkey wouldn't register on the electric box.

Reindeer were everywhere. Mostly these were created by soft antlers on headbands attached to masks, but one fencer had decided to impersonate Rudolph. His mask sported a red nose but the piece de resistance was a pair of flashing eyes. "I don't know how anyone can fence that," a serious-minded fender commented, but I noticed that Rudolph was managing rather well at foil, with neat footwork and nifty hits.

Most fencing wasn't as serious as usual. A couple of members were home from university - one, in his first term, had gone straight into his university epee team and was fencing three times a week. In a steam bout against him, I became aware of all my errors, particularly a tendency to raise my hand slightly from the wrist before attempting a hit, providing my opponent with a clear target. But mostly my fencing was marked by tiredness - and I was distracted by the difficulty of keeping my tinsel in place. I tried it on my mask first, switched it to the hilt and sword-arm and finally wore it as a garland round my neck.

I had thought Rudolph would be the most excitingly costumed fencer, but that was before the late arrival of a sabreuse. Reminded of festive fencing at the last minute, she had seized gold and silver tinsel and metal coat-hangers. Then she proceeded to make angel wings, attached to the back of her lame, and a halo to sit above her mask.

I wasn't sure how secure the costume would be, but even the halo stayed in place, though it did slip a bit. Towards the end of the evening I glanced across at the sabre piste and saw that the angel was fencing the turkey. I never found out which of them won.

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Anonymous Jim said...

All of these things sound like a lot of fun. I hope that I can remember to do something like this at out club next year.

I will tell my friends about this on Friday.

Merry Christmas!

11:05 am  
Blogger n17man said...

I found your blog when googling "cafe viennois" which led me to your blog about your visit to the Musee Picasso in Paris. I was intriqued by your tags and followed a few of them up. Which led me here. Great blog and I share many of your interests. But not fencing I'm afraid. I am working with a human rights organisation in Geneva, where I live. Meilleurs voeux de la saison. Donal.

1:40 pm  
Blogger kathz said...

Thanks Jim - I think it's good for fencing to include activities like fencing.

n17man (Donal) - thanks for leaving a comment. This blog is mostly about fencing so has little connection to cafe viennois. I visited Switzerland briefly and for the first time this summer, and did spend a little time in Geneva - I'd like to return some day. Good luck with the human rights work and meilleurs voeux - I've glanced at your blog and shall return to it when I have more time (currently I'm just back from Paris and wishing there were at least a fortnight till Christmas.)

11:42 pm  

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