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The Book of the Howlings of Ming, Seeker After Arcane and Esoteric Truths
Too much fencing? 
25th-Oct-2006 12:40 pm
Saturday: Met lissy111 at Angel to check out the militaria market. Found a metal ARVN jump badge but, more importantly, got a card from an American guy who apparently does lots of repro ARVN kit. Must get in touch! Then on to a fun pub meet at the Shakespeare Head, marred only by it being out of stock of the Kopparberg pear cider (well, apart from the non-alcoholic variant). Still, lots of guest ales as part of a beer festival! Also took a side trip over to Forbidden Planet to finally catch up on comics from before Manila trip. Ouch.

Sunday: Went to Bedford Open epée with Graham. Can only assume the field wasn't as strong as normal as I was 45th after qualifying poules and managed to get through first DE into last 64. Huh.

Monday: After some prodding by Graham and, given Poly was still shut, I figured I'd try out London Thames. Bloody Hell, that was hard work. The queueing system meant getting back on the piste for two bouts at a time pretty rapidly, especially towards the end of the evening as people went home. Damned good fencers too - lots of GBR stripes and stenciles. Conclusion: if I start going there even semi-regularly, I'm going to get a lot fitter and better. If I survive the experience. As it is, effectively fencing twice a week at not especially intense clubs plus a competition at weekend for last couple of weeks, my legs have been feeling permanently stiff. Guess I picked a Hell of a stage in life to start taking this even semi-seriously...

Another thing: Tim, Graham and I decided to stop off at a pub for a quick beer afterwards. We then got caught in a pretty major downpour crossing Hammersmith Bridge. Got completely drenched, including the Zen jukebox which later refused to boot up, causing much panic. However, after leaving it to dry out on top of main PC for a day or so, it seems back to normal. Phew...

Tuesday: Went to see Children of Men with Liz. Story was a bit thin and predictable but it did look very good: very plausible dystopic setting. Did mean I'd bunked off fencing at ULU though :-)

Got confirmation that Reading project will kick off on Monday. Should be interesting. Occurs to me I should check up on fencing clubs out there.

Today: DSL line failure and the date suggested my Be There service had been activated. Set up the Be-branded Alcatel Speedtouch they'd sent me and, yep, after some fiddling around with WPA and firewall settings, all is back in operation, only now running at some 17Mbps rather than 512kbps. And Clara were asking for reasons for switch when I requested a MAC code!

Also got a medical checkup today for company health insurance scheme. Saliva HIV test and urine sample included. Well, that should be fun...
25th-Oct-2006 12:35 pm (UTC)
well, there's reading uni (think my brother used to go there), and reading fencing club is closed for half term, whenever that is. Also, it's in Sonning, for some reason. Off the A4.
25th-Oct-2006 12:42 pm (UTC)
Ooh, cheers. I was aware of the uni one as there's two guys there, Bateman and Hilier who I seem to keep drawing in the seeding poules or direct elimination and who invariably give me a good kicking. Grr... Didn't know there was a separate Reading Fencing Club thoug!
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25th-Oct-2006 09:37 pm (UTC)
trip? when? and will it involve us to some degree? or will it be a day trip for you two?
25th-Oct-2006 11:18 pm (UTC)
Um... hard to describe but it's in a basement just off Camden Passage. I believe address is London Militaria Market, Angel Arcade, Camden Passage, Islington.

See also http://www.camdenpassageislington.co.uk for a map.

lissy111 could probably tell you more. She got there first and scouted ahead!
25th-Oct-2006 11:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, and thanks for the tip on Kopparburg. Acquired a taste for the stuff when I was working in Helsinki in 1999/2000 - imagine my surprise when it showed up at Wetherspoons pubs!
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26th-Oct-2006 12:57 am (UTC)
Yeah, and apple but our conclusion was that the pear flavour was the only one we liked!
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26th-Oct-2006 10:42 am (UTC)
Well, I'm sure someone must drink it or they wouldn't be manufacturing it. Then again, never quite saw the point of Budweiser either ;-)
25th-Oct-2006 09:39 pm (UTC)
another silly question: should I worry about tracking down a army water bottle for sunday - to use during the day ?
25th-Oct-2006 11:05 pm (UTC)
Not everyone brings one but I find it very handy. vireton asked me on first outing, "Ming, why do you carry 2 waterbottles?" He soon found out. They make me a popular chap ;-)
26th-Oct-2006 10:40 am (UTC)
Oh, and it doesn't particularly need to be a military canteen. Any sort of water supply is generally a good idea!
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