Busy day today. Juggling a couple of projects but it looks like the way the Philippines assignment is shaping up, I think things can be arranged so I can go to Beltring for at least part of the week. Guess Kate's exhortation to think positively was spot on...
Also, Zoe and I got an email from Diane today, about a review of the Blake's 7 RPG we did. The reviewer noted it had been around for 12 years, a piece of data I *really* didn't need to know. Jeez.
Oh, and pimpage time. Check out this post on World Cup fans
Anyway, bit of an overdue catch-up post.Malta and fencing
Another year, another expedition to Malta for fencing, sight-seeing, histocial geekery and much consumption of La Valette and cold Cisk in the Mediterranean sun.
The actual Malta Open went about as well as I could have hoped, given all the recent travel to Sweden and hence lack of regular fencing. 11th in the foil, 3rd in the epée, one place worse for both than last year. Did find myself in the winning team for the team epée though. I wasn't intending to go next year but learned that next year will be the 10th anniversary of the competition so I suspect I may be signing up again...
Couple of moderately amusing things: Kate, Jo and Simon cheering me on as "Ken" and, after one particularly scrappy jabbing match, a cry of "Pigsticking!" Way I see it, that's part of the fun!
Finally made it on to Gozo, having established last year that a vehicle was really needed to get about, and remembering to bring my driving license. Loved wandering around the Cathedral and Citadel in Victoria. Particularly amused to discover that Grand Master Jean Parissot La Valette, hero of the Great Siege and all that, spent a month in the Gozo prison followed by 2 years' service in Tripoli for threatening behaviour and/or assaulting a layman...
This year's hotel, the Palm Court, was definitely not in the same league as the previous years' Santana - the air-conditioner was pretty much non-functional as was the ceiling fan. The Santana may have been a tad over the top and the Palm Court a lot cheaper but, next year, I think I'll be seeking something a tad higher class! Somewhere with fewer loud karaoke nights would be good...
Also think I'll be taking a harder line on single occupancy too. No complaints about Simon as room-mate and I think I've been making progress on room-sharing hang-ups at cons but, for a week, I think I really would like a room to myself.
Other weird stuff:
- I no longer seem to be able to go out in the sun with impunity. Previous years, I'd go half the week without any sun block. This year, I managed to get my arms mildly burned while out on Gozo and had to upgrade to factor 15... The others suggested I'm going native. Simon even commented that "the banana is losing its skin"!
- Actually found myself rather enjoying watching World Cup matches in bars over a cold Cisk or two.
- I apparently answered the phone too promptly (when calling between rooms to check on readiness to head out etc) and got told to "Stop sitting on the phone!"
Got back from Malta last Thursday. Saturday: picked up Graham and headed up to RAF Upper Heyford for the Bill Hoskyns Epée. Urgh. I sucked ass/rhino/cats/other (please specify). Quite frankly, as Rob would put it, I "fenced like a complete tit". Crashed straight out of the main and plate competitions. Ended up buying myself a pair of Hi-Tec fencing shoes as consolation... I seriously cannot remember having a more embarassing day, fencing-wise.
So, it was with some trepidation I turned up at the ULU friendly the next day, especially as I'd signed up for the foil too. That went rather better, made last 8 in the epée and, very much to my surprise, the final of the foil (although I noted at least one of ULU's strong foilists wasn't there).
Much better but still not brilliant - I'd failed to anticipate how knackering doing two competitions more or less at the same time could be - Graham was doing sabre too but he's way younger and fitter than I am. By my final bouts, my thighs were cramping up - couldn't even stand without wobbling. Even my final epée opponent asked if I wanted a longer rest before our bout! That one was embarassing, I'd beaten him soundly in the seeding poules but I just couldn't land my point and he quickly had me at 8-0 before I started to get my ass in gear. Not soon enough though - lost 15-13 in the end.
Despite all that, I also went to Poly on Monday. Bit dead though, few bouts of epée and foil and that was pretty much it. Was briefly tempted to try out ULU tonight but common sense took hold...