Saturday 15th July 2017
Today has been a swordfighting day with a seminar on the use of the Montante taking up the best part of the day.
I woke up feeling very relaxed. After writing The Climb last night I went up to bed and read. I’ve started on The Republic of Thieves. I’m a huge fan of The Lies of Locke Lamora. It was the book that got me back into fantasy after I fell out of love with it for a time and heavily influences Black as Knight. I’ve reread Lies numerous times, but I’ve still not got round to reading Thieves.
I picked up a hardback copy of the book at Eastercon so it’s been sitting around and I thought it the perfect choice for starting some bedtime reading. If there’s one thing I wished I had more time to do, it’s read.
So I read the prologue whilst accompanied by the sound of thunder on the Alexa. You can do this thing where you tell the Alexa to go to sleep after a period of time so after I finished reading I told it to sleep in 45 minutes and turned off the lights… all without getting out of bed! This is the future!
And I woke this morning feeling really, really refreshed. SO much so I intend to try it again tonight.
I usually have a big cooked breakfast on Saturdays but as I needed to be in Reading for this seminar, I instead went for my training staple of 2 bowls of porridge. This did me very well and I really didn’t feel hungry until I got home this evening.
I thought we started at 12 so after editing The Climb and doing a blog post for The School of the Sword I headed off, running a little late. Except, everything started at 1pm not 12noon so I was sat in the car for an hour.
The Seminar itself was brilliant. The montante is basically a big two-handed sword that stands around 6 or 7 foot high. I bought a synthetic one about 18 months ago and it’s great. Because of the length and power you get out of them, it’s not something you can really spar with. We’ve done a few lessons on them over the years but they usually run around the same time as tournament prep… and because I’m usually always in tournaments, I usually opt for the prep training classes over the Montante ones. The same can be said currently where I’m doing rapier & dagger prep over the training block on the use of the dagger.
As a result, I’m not very good with a montante. I’ve not done much in the way of training with it and my expertise is not that great with 2 handed weapons. I find this ironic given the classes I tend to play in videogames always tend to be those who use two-handers.
I think part of my problem with these larger weapons is that I’m never sure how to properly use my hands. I grip too hard and end up twisting my wrists in the wrong direction. So I was expecting to be totally shit at this, not that I minded. This is outside my area of expertise and I don’t have that much of an ego to worry about looking crap.
And to be fair I was. It took me a lot longer to get things over others but… it took me a lot longer to get sword & buckler over others and look where I am now!
So I had fun, even if that fun meant getting it wrong most of the time.
In a four hour seminar where you are swinging around a large sword (even if it is made of nylon rather than steel) your shoulders ache and so as much as I loved the session, I wasn’t sad when it ended.
We went to the pub for a drink (and others had food) and I seem to have renamed the pub the Pooper Trotts… which we all found amazingly entertaining.
I discussed some of my plans for the tournament we’re doing on Wednesday and I think it could be a LOAD of fun. The idea is to make everyone to start thinking about tactics and I hope the way I do it will be a fun introduction. I almost wish I was taking part.
I dropped Dan back home and then drove back myself, surprised to find it was now gone 8pm. I got home just before 9pm and then cooked dinner.
I had planned to do a dungeon run in World of Warcraft tonight but by the time I’d eaten and loaded the game up, I wasn’t in the mood. I might try and do some when I get back from training tomorrow.
Tomorrow is going to be more traditional sparring and I’m looking forward to seeing how well I fence. I hope I have a day more like Monday than I did on Sunday, but then it’s the week before a competition which usually means you fence completely opposite to how you perform… so knowing my luck I’ll fight amazingly tomorrow and then suck come Astolat next weekend.
However, as others have said, sleep plays a major factor in performance, which is why, as soon as I finish the first draft of this edition of The Climb, I’m heading upstairs for reading and the sounds of thunder.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
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