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

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Barefoot fencing?

"You've lost it already," a fellow fencer said sternly.

She was right. I'd begun the bout - against a keen, 13-year-old left-hander - with an apology for being such a lousy opponent. I expect I'd have lost anyway but that is no way to start.

There were two new epéeists: the boy and an army pentathlete. I didn't get to fence the pentathlete. She reckoned epee was one of her lesser skills and found the boy, who's been fencing epée for three years, a difficult opponent. Most of the usual epéeists were absent. I left fairly early since I seemed to have the beginnings of a cold. "See you next week," I called.

I made resolutions. I would fence to win next week. And I would get my trainers repaired.

I like my current trainers. They're white with pale blue trimmings, which seems a decent colour scheme. More importantly, they're comfortable and I feel as though I move slightly faster down the piste when wearing them. But in the last couple of weeks I've noticed that they aren't exactly safe as the tips of the soles, by my toes, are coming adrift. I thought of using superglue but decided on a trip to the local cobbler instead.

But my week was taken over by illness - just a virus - and the impossibility of taking time off. Any time at home was spent slowly doing a few urgent household tasks (washing up, putting the bin out) and sleeping restlessly. I was even working on Saturday. I didn't get to the cobbler till the morning before fencing. ( "You can't fence," my Dad said on the phone. "You need to stay home." I croaked agreement but secretly thought I might be better.)

In the end, the cobbler decided it. He wasn't there. The young man who took my trainers explained politely that they couldn't be ready till the following morning.

I thought briefly of fencing in old trainers - or barefoot - and dismissed the idea. I needed to get better. I stayed home and cooked curry instead.

It hasn't been a week entirely without fencing. I found the Royal Shakespeare Company's 1985 production of Cyrano de Bergerac on youtube. I remember watching the production from my cheap seat and thinking nothing could be better. The verse translation by Anthony Burgess seems as light as the French original. Watching on youtube doesn't have the glamour and excitement of the Barbican Theatre but it's as close as I can get to this past pleasure.

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Blogger The Gray Epee said...

Hope you and your sneakers (sneakers = trainers) are both better soon!

2:58 pm  
Blogger Kathz said...

Thanks - I'm definitely on the mend and my trainers/sneakers are entirely well again. I'm hoping to fence this week.

9:02 pm  

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