Last weekend - Isle of Wight Open:
Headed down to Newport on the Isle of Wight for the Open fencing competition with Kate, Jo and Steve who turns out to be kalivor
, of this parish...
Quiet place, nice B&B, sure we got the rooms there only because they weren't listed on the main web sites. Probably agree with Kate's assessment that it could have done with a "fluffy doggie". Sure also that, on the way to meet the others for beers, there was a dog that ignored the locals but was staring at us...
Anyway, it's a bad start to a competition when your first bout (in the foil) is against a guy named David Victory. Sigh. Alas, he lived up to his name. Rest didn't get much better, won a mere 2 bouts out of 6 in the initial pool and then eliminated in my first direct elimination bout. Also managed to break my shiny new foil. Words will be had with Leon Paul about crap blades...
As a result, entered the Plate (a kind of consolation competition for those eliminated early). Much to my surprise, I ended up in the final of that one but then got demolished 15-3 by a guy who clearly should have done better in the DEs!
Another surprise: at the pub afterwards, one of the organisers came up to me to ask "Is your name Looi?" Turns out there was a little medal for the Plate runner-up which I'd obviously omitted to collect! One slightly embarassing thing - got chatting to person next to me and it turned out she not only knew I went to Saxon from time to time, I'd apparently even fenced her at epée but had no idea who she was! Fortunately, she gave me a way out by saying people said she looked very different with her hair up. Rapidly agreed but checked out her name on the noticeboard the next morning. Fortunately, there were only two Saxon fencers in the women's foil and I knew who the other one was!
Epée went a bit better (including winning a return bout against Mr Victory), got through my first DE by the skin of my teeth (15-14 when I'd been 1-3 points down most of the way) but still crashed out 15-2. No Plate eligibolity for me this time though.
Funniest comment of the weekend: Jo (to me): "I've never seen you fence foil" Kate: "Neither have I. I've seen him wear a lamé though" Ouch. Too true though.
Anyway, think I'll have to do more competitions. At Jo's suggestion, I've just filled in the forms for the Bill Hoskyns Open Epée...
Last week - Back in Stockholm:
Another busy week in Stockholm. Didn't even get round to meeting up with Andy. Ah well. Maybe this week. Key learning for the week: the US government tracks (and publishes) the numbers of incoming visitors from all countries, including Canada and Mexico. It also tracks the destinations and numbers of outgoing US citizens. Except those going to Canada and Mexico. Bastards. Fortunately, those two countries do publish the numbers of visitors they get from the US. The Mexican data was a bit of a challenge though - site was Spanish only and the sum total of my Spanish is pretty much cerveza, tapas and que!
This weekend - Knackered:
Sign of how far back into the sad consultant life I've falled: met an ex-colleague on the plane back from Stockholm (brought to mind memories of how, for a few months, Ursula and I were meeting more often on flights to and from Amsterdam than anywhere else), got home a little past 11pm and then headed straight to Tesco to restock fridge.
Decided I couldn't face going skirmishing at Elite Urban in the morning and had too many errands to run, including heading out to get a SIM for my newly issued company Blackberry. Never thought I'd ever see the day I thought I had too many gadgets!
End result: got to pub meet rather late in the afternoon but, still, a fun outing. After a discussion about vodka shots, burntcopper
said to let her know when I was next going to Vodka and Shots, as she was now working in Central London. "Er... unfortunately, I'm not right now..."
Next weekend's going to be tough. SAS have scrapped the 2005 Stockholm-London flight I've been taking and am thus on a BA 2050 flight instead. Figure I'll get home around midnight. Then, current plan is, next morning, pack ASAP and pick up Kate and head up North to a muster! Oh boy...