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, February 15, 2008

socks and bruises

The breeches are fine, though a little tight at present. And I've no problem with the mask or plastron. I have occasional problems with shoes, but I can cope. One heel rubs but I've no blisters yet. Still I dream of the sudden acquisition of money - not a great deal, not even enough to do sabre, but just enough for a little refurbishment of my fencing wardrobe.

The jacket was an economy measure - the cheapest I could find of the requisite thickness (tested to350 Newtons). I'd like a thicker jacket - 800 Newtons would be good. Epeeists hit hard and perhaps, with a thicker jacket, the black bruises down my right arm and leg wouldn't be quite so dark. More than that, I'd like a side-fastening jacket. I'm fed up of the weekly scramble and fumble and the embarrassed request for assistance with the zip at the back. It's a fine jacket - a strong jacket that wears well ... but I often dream of having enough money for one with a zip at the side.

I dream of proper fencing socks too ... but then I'm moving into luxury territory. I don't get hit on my legs so often that I need padded socks. Rugby socks are fine and much cheaper, though I'm not sure why rugby players want to wear white socks. But padded socks with magic names like "Duellist" or "Leon Paul" would be absolutely splendid. I wonder if I'd move better in them too.

Of course, there are other things I'd like too: more time for fencing, more weapons, occasional wins. I came close at foil last time, but the chef beat me in the end. These days she always does, but I keep hoping. I got a couple of hits that pleased and surprised me. But it's been an odd fortnight for fencing with the hall so crowded that we're all queuing for pistes or taking little stretches of floor for steam practice. I counted 45 fencers the other night, though quite a few were beginners lining up and practising lunge, parry, riposte. I took a couple of bad hits to my bruised arm early on and after that the epee weighed my arm down more than I like - but I kept going as long as it was my turn on the piste.

Later, one of the coaches got me and the chef to practise accuracy. He held an epee in each hand and, as he lowered his arm, we went for the crook of the elbow. At first we were standing, then moving slowly back and forth and finally we had to parry first or respond to pressure from his blade. And all the time my arm ached. It still does.

I'm dreaming of weapons and new fencing clothes. If only the cat avoided opponents. He's injured again - the vet prescribes tablets, injections and lots of comfort. It's all rather expensive. Sometimes at night the cat curls up on my bruised arm and purrs happily in his sleep. It seems cruel to move him, but in the end I do.

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Anonymous BrianH said...

Another nice thing about a side-zip jacket is you can unzip it partway between drills and bouts for some ventilation.

5:18 am  
Blogger kathz said...

Perhaps my premium bond will come up ... but probably not.

6:31 pm  
OpenID kentjamesr said...

Sorry to hear about the bruise.

45 fencers.....WOW! That is a good sized crowd. I know you have mentioned before that there is more than one club in Nottingham. I am curious to know the population. I will look it up after I post.

I bought some Adidas socks last weekend. They have extra padding on the shin and cool black stripes. Sometimes I get a special deal on these socks. If you trust me enough, send me your address and size sometime.

The down side is they are marked right and left and I invariably put the wrong sock on the wrong foot in my haste to get dressed.

Sorry, I have no friends who deal with front zip jackets. I use to read the British Fencing forum sometimes. Do they have a place for used equipment in their forum?

Quick healing to both you and your cat!


1:30 am  
Blogger kathz said...

Don't worry, Jim, but thanks for the offer. Eventually the cat will stop getting into fights and I shall buy luxurious fencing equipment. For the moment, I have all the clothing and kit I need - I just like to dream of luxuries sometimes.

There are quite a few fencing clubs in the Nottingham area (we're not in the City boundaries although I think a couple of clubs are) and keen fencers can attend more than one, if they have the time. But some fencers come a long way to fence with us - one woman comes from Lincolnshire so that she can practise sabre, which she can't do at her local club. We have a lot of beginners at the moment, which increases the numbers, and we usually have enough fencers to dedicate one electric piste to each weapon. Floor space for steam is open to whoever can grab it.

The bruises are fading and the cat is healing nicely.

8:27 am  

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