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, April 02, 2008

where's the horse?

You know the scene. The hero has swung from the chandelier and fought his way (backwards) up a spiral staircase. Just as the villains close in, he finds a window behind him. He breaks the window, whistles, jumps and lands comfortably on his horse's back. Then he gallops off to freedom.

If you haven't seen it, watch Le Capitain, starring Jean Marais, for this precise sequence of events. The Zorro films show something similar, though Toronado has a mind of his own.

We didn't cover this in fencing class and, unfortunately, horses weren't issued as part of the kit. So I was neither practised nor prepared.

I had spent the evening going up and down the ladder to the loft (a grand name for the storage space in the roof), forgetting that I was ever scared of heights. The ladder was one of those collapsible types, which needed the extension pegged into place. I don't know quite what happened - there was only one peg and it may have broken or slipped - but suddenly I was tumbling down from the loft as the ladder collapsed beneath me.

I know I was indoors but in any decent swashbuckling movie I would have landed comfortably on my horse's back and galloped away, sword in hand. I wasn't holding my sword and no horse arrived.

I can't have fallen more than eight feet and I wasn't badly hurt. The ladder broke my fall and I ended up, shaken and bruised, on the carpeted landing. That was last night. This morning my right arm is slightly stiff and my right leg hurts.

And it's the one-hit epee tonight.

I know I hadn't expected to do well, but I had expected to get there and take part. And now I'm not sure.

I'm going to insist the coaches teach us about swinging from chandeliers. You never know when it will come in useful.

POSTSCRIPT: A friend persuaded me to see the doctor - and the doctor has banned me from fencing tonight. Apparently it could make the bruising and swelling much worse. Apart from that, I'm recommended anti-inflammatories, pain-killers, ice-packs and rest.

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