Sunday, 11 October 2009


It's a horrible word, isn't it? Yet I've been producing rather a lot of it all week as I've been laid up sick at home. I guess a fairly stressful and busy summer finally caught up with me and dealt me a good belt. Felt like it anyhow. While I have enjoyed the time spent at home just to sleep, rest and eat, I don't enjoy feeling weak, having headaches and mountains of tissues all around me. Basically, it sucks being sick! I'm on the road to recovery and I'll probably head back to work tomorrow but it'll only be indoors stuff this week. No diving for me!

I thought that we would be finished well in advance of the end of October so I could easily take some days off and enjoy going to Swordfish 2009. Now it seems we'll have to work right up to the last minute and into November to get all the pieces into place. We've got about 500 videos to watch and the underwater nature trail to break down for winter.
It never ends, does it?

Speaking of Swordfish 2009, there is a pretty interesting line up and I'm still looking forward to attending. I initially decided to take part in the longsword tournament but I have since decided to do something else instead, namely take part in the half-swording techniques from the Falkner manuscript, by Mr. Dierk Hagedorn. I had the pleasure to chat with him briefly last year and he was sound. Why did I change my mind? I had started to get a bit stressed about the whole thing, particularly after my rather dismal performance last year. I attended the Medieval Mayhem last weekend at the Helsinki salle (which was great fun btw!) and had a chance for a brief natter on the subject with Ilkka Hartikainen. I asked him if he intended to take part this year and he said probably not. When I asked why, he told me that he wasn't so fond of the competition-like approach and that it was much more fun for him to just have a bit of informal play with people he could choose, and that he felt he had nothing to prove. His attitude gave me a lot of pause for thought.

Perhaps I'm simply not yet ready for such a tournament? Given that the tournament rules (as in any competition) will result in a certain type of modified behaviour to best take advantage of the rule system in place, what would I actually and constructively learn about what I know/don't know of italian swordsmanship? I really don't seem to take competition-pressure too well. Ironically, the only person putting me under pressure is, myself! So, I figured I'd get more out of the half-swording class than the tourney and if I want to have a friendly spar with people while I'm there, then I'll probably get ample opportunity. The fact that I don't yet have a plastic sword for the competition, nor intend to buy lacrosse gloves for it either, because "hard" protection is not allowed, are just little contributing details.

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