December 23rd, 2004



Just back from a pleasant xmas-meal evening with the fencing lot. Alas, katlinel couldn't make it because of lurginess, but otherwise, it was good.

I was one of the first there, and managed to prime the table with a couple of boxes of Musketeer figures from the Early Learning Centre -

...pause for a moment, here: each box contained five musketeers. Five. That is wrong on so many levels, it sort of makes my brain hit a speed-bump....

- and then waited for others to arrive. A good turn-out: we had twelve people in total, which is pretty good given that we're pushed to scrape four students for a lesson. Of those twelve, three were long-term regulars, one was long-ago but no longer attending, one was new regular, one was just-joined, two were will-join-next-year, three were partners, and one was the instructor.

Food was passable. Much amusement over the Musketeers, and while they're not posable, as such, they can be crow-barred into a number of amusing combinations, with judicious application of imagination, force and alcohol.

Some presentations: we gave the instructor an xmas card consisting of woodcuts from treatises, with his head photoshopped into place, along with a tankard engraved thusly:

Maestro: (n.)
  1. An expert, especially in music or fencing.
  2. the boss of you.

And in return, he presented the four free-fencers with a red tassel to attach to our weapons (no sniggering at the back) as an indicator of achievement. Apparently, this is a tradition employed by a famous fiddle teacher and his students, and we've been allowed to extend the tradition. So, do I attach it to the singlestick or the backsword? Hmm...

We finally staggered out of the pub at 11:30pm. The others headed off into town for a watering hole that stays open until one. I came back to collapse. Last day of work tomorrow - must try to be at least a little coherent.

So, good, and almost certainly better than the equivalent works event that was going on at the same time, elsewhere. For a start, a much higher proportion of attendees come under the heading of "friend" rather than "just people I know."

Just a shame that K couldn't make it.