Friday 1st May 2020

In many ways I’ve been impressed how well I’ve been handling social isolation.  I’ve embraced my inner introvert and so have kept myself busy with a load of things such that I feel I could ride this lockdown for months.

That doesn’t mean I don’t miss social interaction though.  There’s something about meeting up with and banter with friends that I like.  Social media doesn’t quite do it, neither do phone calls.

Last night, a couple of HEMA friends organised a quiz over zoom.    I have mixed feelings about zoom quizzes to be honest.  On one hand, anything that you enjoy and help you through lockdown is a good thing.  But I think there’s part of me that feels overly cynical about some people’s motivation to organise them – that for a few, they are something to be seen to be doing, rather than being done because the organiser wants to hang with like minded individuals and catch up.   I try not to judge.

This, however, was different.  It was just an excuse to meet up online, talk shit and have a laugh with good people.  People had put a lot of effort into it to give everyone a fun experience and just for that reason I wanted to support it.  It was brilliant.

They’d said it wasn’t a HEMA quiz, that there would be a range of topics.  They lied.

The problem with HEMA is that you are surrounded by experts.  People are museum directors, or eminent historians, or university lecturers.  One of the reason I like tournament fighting is because I can claim to be good at it.  I can’t claim to be good at the history or the sources, aside from some of the actual martial content.

But even though I felt a complete dunce, this was a load of fun.  It was so good catching up with a few people and taking the piss.  It feels like ages since we all last fought and whilst it might still be a while before we can again (just as well as I need to lose my lockdown weight) just seeing people and interacting with them left me feeling less flat than I’d felt earlier in the day.

There were some silly rounds as well.  As much as I might not like finishing near the bottom, I enjoyed myself and genuinely appreciate the time people spent organising this.  Hopefully they’ll organise more as I came out of it feeling mentally healthier than when I went in.

So perhaps I’m likely to be a little less cynical of others’ zoom hangouts in the future, even if I still think some of them are only organised to avoid having a discussion asking people how they really are.

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