October 25th, 2006

Epee

Too much fencing?

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...