redfiona99: (fencing)
The answer to "how are the refs applying the new parry rules in foil?" is "interestingly". I am being a little mean because hey, at least there was a ref and it's a hellish job, but when he calls the same hit two different ways, it makes life a little difficult. I don't mind reffing using the old rules, I don't mind reffing using the new rules, I object to inconsistency.

By the by, my opponent agreed with my confusion, so it's not just me being a sour loser.

Anyway, I finishing w3-l3 after the pool and I really shouldn't be complaining because there was a time when I would have killed for that sort of result and it's my fault for 1) not getting single lights and 2) not making it clear to the ref that the hit was mine, all mine.

Unfortunately, due to ranking weirdness (no-one's fault, v. good fencer back after a long injury absence so she was down as an unranked fencer and then happened to her opponents) and a couple of people not being awake for in their pool matches, I drew O in the knockouts. Which is bad because she is a good leftie. I was expecting to be pummeled so only losing 15-10 made me ecstatic.

Two more things that made me happy:
1 - Two separate people asked me for fencing advice, I must look like I know what I'm doing.
2 - One of the two got the exact same advice from the woman that won the competition so, to an extent, I do know what I'm talking about.

Something interesting (for the foilists reading this) )

Of course the day had been going far too well so TransPennine decided to muck up my journey home. I was tired, grumpy and stuck on a train full of obnoxious drunks :( A disgruntled e-mail is heading their way.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
It's been a bit manic in RL. Two weddings (lab people), two fencing competitions, three birthdays and one after graduation party in two weekends is a bit much.

Last weekend was probably the busiest with the after graduation party, a birthday party, a fencing competition and then a World Cup final party to go to. It was very much in the family of bad idea/great time.

I went to the after bits of P's graduation because no-one else could make it, and I graduated sans people from the lab and it made me feel a bit 'meh' about the whole thing, and since her grown ups couldn't come all the way from Mexico, I wanted her to feel like a superstar.

I must say, the Birmingham after-graduation ceremony shindigs are >>> the Leicester ones.

Anyway, after a brief break for work and a change of clothes, I went to the student's post-graduation shindig. Then, because P had made me promise, I went out clubbing with them afterwards. I have now found a suitable drinking and dancing place in Birmingham! (It's the Victoria -

We then went to Snobs, which is significantly less nice.

At this point, I feel I need to state that I am not pretty and apparently manage to convey an aura of masculinity that with long hair and a cleavagy dress, people still think I'm a man. Despite this and the fact that I was rocking this season's Burtons Menswear I still had some creep try to feel me up. Now, if I'd been Helen reborn, it still wouldn't have been right, but it does suggest it's less to do with sexual attractiveness and more to do with some sort of peculiar male dominance thing.

I dealt with the creep the traditional way (elbow to solar plexus) [resorting to this only after moving away did not work] and carried on. I did worry that he'd call the bouncers but I think, drunk as he was, he twigged that calling bouncers on a 5'3" girl would only get him laughed at.

It didn't spoil the night at all, I had a great time with the physicists.

Because I only got home at 4.30 - 5 (ish), I overslept madly the next day, which was not so good as it means I still owe T a botanical gift, bit I was at least in time for her party (it being a round number, I was determined not to miss it.).

The best thing about friends who are fencers - you can ask them if its okay to bring your kit bag along and the response is 'yes, sure, just make sure it's your kit you pick up in the morning.'

That party finished at 3-4 in the a.m. so I set the alarm for 8. Now unfortunately, mine is a new phone and I am bad with tech so the alarm didn't go off. Cue yours truly being woken up by a knock at the door and having to do the 5 minute dress and go.

The competition went okay - I finished 5th so I should get some points but I am unsatisfied. I'm back in that position where I've improved a bit and I can beat people I am better than, and against people of the same standard it's a coin toss but I just can't seem to beat (or land that many hits on) the people who are better than me. Oh well, more practice is called for.

After that came the World Cup final.

To a certain extent, I'm glad Germany's opposition were Argentina, rather than Holland because it meant I could happily cheer for Germany (my love of Dirk Kuyt > my love of any of the German players sans Özil).

It wasn't much of a match and I could have done without the occasional acts of GBH by both sides (thinking particularly of poor Christoph Kramer who can't remember most of the match and Neuer's attack on Higuain) but I am so very happy for Özil and Khaderia and Klose et al. And Jerome Boateng who should have been Man of the Match.

The two things I think I will always remember are Hummels's ecstatic exhaustion after the match, where his signif. other is rubbing his tummy and he's just lying there, almost as though he was thinking "this is my bit of grass and it is the best bit of grass in the world and we've just won the World Cup and it is unbelievably awesome."

The other thing is Joachim Löw wandering around like he had no idea what to do with himself because he couldn't quite believe it.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
I'm a great believer in better living through chemistry* so I don't mind taking pills and potions to keep me functional.

For tooth-related reasons, I've basically gone low caffeine, which isn't a problem in terms of staying awake, but I use caffeine as a wit-sharpener, particularly while fencing.

Before, I used to use diet cola, but I know what that does to teeth. The other options are tea or coffee, but lots of fencing halls don't have those facilities or you need an urgent pick-me-up and don't have time to get a tea and let it cool.

That leaves the option of caffeine pills. I was a little wart because 3 people I know (2 rl and 1 on-line) have had really bad experiences with them, but at the same time, I also know that caffeine improves my performance including after nights with little to no sleep. The deciding factor was confirmation from on high that no amount of caffeine is enough to get you disqualified.

So I gave them a go, using Pro-Plus pills as recommended by the packaging.

Some observations:

1 - They give a nice steady dose. You don't end up jittery, not do you get the horrible caffeine crashes associated with coffee.

2 - I haven't found that it interferes with my post-competition sleep, but you're tuckered out anyway so I'm not sure that I count as a reasonable data point.

3 - Increased frequency of urination, but since that happens when I get nervous anyway, again, I'm not sure if that's a reasonable data point.

4 - You sweat buckets. Now I fence so I have a high sweat expectation; there is an ancient fencing proverb that goes "horses sweat, men perspire, ladies sweetly glow and fencers drip." This is the step beyond dripping.

Most importantly, all other things apart, it means I'm still alert going into the fifth, sixth and seventh hours of competition so I'll happily take the side effects.

*There are those who would say that since I don't take any illegal or illicit drugs I don't count but I'm a biochemist so I have a broad concept of chemistry :)
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Even though I can't do the stuff I wanted to do at work over the weekend (partly other people's fault, mostly mine), it's probably just as well that I'm not at Excalibur because I've caught a horrible cold and spending 2 days fencing sabre when you can't breathe is a good way of getting sent to A&E.

I've also managed to tweak one of my obliques while coughing last night. While it's not quite 'breathing hurts', coughing definitely does.


Oct. 20th, 2013 07:01 pm
redfiona99: (fencing)
Did the Leeds Open yesterday. Great fun even if I did have to get up at 6.30.

I finished ninth, which is one better than last year and, even with the smaller entry, the NIF* has gone up so I should get more points. I'm relatively happy with how I fenced, especially the two 5-4s that I won. I think that's been the main difference recently, the matches I was losing 4-5, I'm winning 5-4.

One case was a beginner (I think) with a giant whirly bird, but it was so big that you couldn't even get close so the timing had to be accurate.

The other was a Welsh stripe that I made stomp off the piste when I beat her. Making stripes stomp off is one of my favourite things :) That being said, if you're still wearing international stripes you won at (I'm guessing) 14 when you're over 20 (and she'd have to be because she wasn't a cadet, and she wasn't at the junior selection event that the Leeds accidentally clashed with through no fault of their own, which was where all the good between 17 and 20 year olds were), you need to look at your life choices. Because it's not half funny seeing a stompy stripe being beaten by two beginners. The second best bit was hearing the very nice GB stripe who was reffing going up to her saying "don't worry, she [me] got lucky with that last hit" to try to cheer her up when I'd got her with the same hit three times in a row.

Oh yeah, did I mention that both my 5-4 wins were from behind? :D

I finished 9th after the pools and got a left hander in my DE. Left-handers as a whole were over-represented there being 6 of them out of 20 competitors. This is a leftie I used to be able to beat, and then she changed her style and since then it's been her winning. I did better this time, I lost 9-15. Not bad given that I was 1-7 down at one point. I had a quick think and went, "what would Jim say?" The answer being, of course, bend your back leg. And it worked.

Plus I got a free coaching sessions off one of the Russians so I'm really not going to complain.

Other highlights of the day - the look on J's face when she won the semi. Absolute shock has nothing on this.

- discovering a situation where an FIE ref is not going to card you for an audible obscenity - when you snap two foils in 3 points and are already 7-1 down in a final.

- the showers at the Leeds Uni gym are lovely.

So yes, I'm quite happy, all in all.

*number of points the competition is worth. Do not try to understand the NIF system. It has a similar effect on people as the Necronomicon. Possibly that's what the N stands for.
redfiona99: (fencing)
Came 3rd at the Ashton. Lost my semi 14-15, which is :( but I know where I went wrong and next time I will win. (insert evil laughter)

Unfortunately, it turns out that the mold has attacked two of my coats which are presently being boiled alive in the washing machine. I doubt it will rescue them but it's worth a go.

I've also managed to stab myself in the hand (thankfully, my left) with a glass pipette. Our official health and safety form now says "users have been told to use with due care and attention" possibly because "[real name redacted] is dipsy" doesn't sound particularly official.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Hi-Tec have changed the fit of their squash shoes. Which is :( because they were a useful fencing shoe alternative (Hi-Tec squash shoes = £25. Cheapest fencing shoes I can find in my size = £70, also Hi-Tecs oddly enough). I say this because apparently fencing shoes, or the grips at least, wear out quite quickly and I appear to secrete shoe-killing levels of acid from my feet and I really cannot afford to replace them if they wear out as quickly as D's do, D being the other person I know with shoe-eating sweat. That being said, Hi-Tecs tend to be resistant to the terrible things I do to shoes and my most recent pair before this are now 3 years old.


2 Questions:

1 - What newspaper do you think Tony Stark reads? Or at least, where do you think he'd get his info from?

Even in these days of online news, everyone has their go-to news source, mine's the BBC. So what do you think Iron Man's is?

This question is otherwise known as Red does not know enough about the US news media.

2 - When, in European history, did philosophy and theology become two different university subjects?

I mean, I can see the Greeks and the Romans having it under two completely different headings, but post-fall of Rome and whatnot, with the Church taking over as the main source of learning, did study of philosophy become a subject within theology or was it always separate?

Or, to put it another way, if I had a Danish princeling and his friend discussing what they were studying at university, and one said he was more interested in the theory behind thinking than anything else, would they both still be discussing the subject of theology?
redfiona99: (Thinking)

Good news: I may have interesting results
Bad news: I can't interpret them because work computer is, to quote the Linux dude, "shafted".

Good news: The project students are gone at the end of the week
Bad news: Leaving me with a mess of data because they did not listen and didn't add DTT or TCEP to buffers when I told them to.


Good news: The students being gone means I can start fencing again
Bad news: I haven't fenced in months. I am going to die. And so is my wallet (need to resub to the national body and pay my club membership).


Good news: I am getting somewhere with the novel I'm working on (hat-tip to [ profile] idleleaves for some of her suggestions).
Bad news: I'm not sure I'm getting anywhere useful.

Good news: I think I know how I'm ending part 2 of the never ending Mystique fic
Bad news: Part of the solution is to add about 2 more long paragraphs of thinking and a bit more speaking. Part 5 is already 6 people sitting around a table with no action. I wanted there to be less of that in part 2. (Part 4 is two people sitting round a table but fun stuff happens, and part 6 is two people sitting round a table but interesting stuff happens)

Fanfiction Meme - Day 27 – Where is your favorite place to write, and do you write by hand or on the computer?

Not sure it's my favourite place, but I do most of my writing on my sofa. I wish I had a desk (like I used to) but there is no room in my flat. I used to write in bed but there's only one easily accessible socket in my bedroom and my alarm clock now uses that.

I write using my laptop and, 99/100ths of the time, using Notepad. I have no idea why I prefer it to writing in Word, I just do. I always send my fics through Word before I post. It's amazing the number of times doing that catches those little details I've forgotten to put in, or those tiny mistakes I have left in.

For some unknown reason, I find it easier to write Harry Potter fic by hand.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)

Came 5th at the Liverpool Uni Open. Am annoyed because I was 4th after pools. But I got knocked out by a better fencer (even if, due to some dodgy refereeing it was 15-7, when it ought to have been 15-11) so I can't complain. Also, I was suffering from the hell cold (see below) and my fingernails were going blue so I really oughtn't complain.

The Hell Cold

Basically, the write up area where I work had to get new carpets so we tidied the whole thing. I immediately came down with a chronic 30-tissues-a-day cold. According to colleagues, I am not allowed to claim I am allergic to tidying, despite this evidence. It's a lot better now.


However, because of the hell cold, I haven't been to the gym all week. This makes me a sad panda. The trainer got me lifting free weights and I have decided they are the most awesome thing ever. Results are slow but there. It's now a definite four pack and a barrel and I'm down to one and a half chins. Also, I think I'm back to having better legs than Bully Ray. Also I feel a lot better in and of myself. The old problem of none of my trousers fitting me is back (oh the joys of being a size 15) but that's what they invented belts for.


Getting quite worried that my lgbtfest fic will not be done on time. I'm on the last section but it still needs Giles-picking, and like I said, it went from sounding like the Jam to sounding like the Waterboys which means I have to re-jig my expectations but I fear it lacks punch.

Fic Meme - Day 10 – Pairings – Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone and written a pairing you liked, but found you couldn't write, or a pairing you didn't like, and found you could?

I'm a gen writer mostly so this isn't much of a problem, and unless it were for a friend, I'm not sure why you'd bother trying to write a pairing you actively object to. Pairings I like but can't write are legion but the two most annoying are Lupin/Snape, because I cannot catch Lupin properly. He's very good at making himself absent when I try to write him. Which I get is part of his canonical character traits but so difficult.

The other one is Florton. Yes, please ignore the number of Florton fics I have written, and consider instead the ones I've never written or never finished because I find Ric Flair hair-pullingly difficult to write.

Other Days )

TNA - I think everyone else has already discussed everything else to death so let me rant about the X-Division.

So Kenny King and Chris Sabin both give good promos. Roles are established, the crowd now want Sabin to beat King. Perfect time for a one-on-one match.

Except, of course, with the stupid new rules, we've got a three-way match with Petey Williams thrown in. Petey Williams is too good to be thrown in just to eat the pin.

As I said, repeatedly, so far, I've only been wrong on one of my guess on who gets pinned in the X-division 3ways. And that was them having my beloved Zeema Ion get pinned. :(

Other than that Gail Kim's new hanging figure 4 is a thing of evil beauty, AJ continues to be Sting (to the extent that real-Sting lampshaded it) and James Storm remains the highlight of the night (whose name is not Kazarian, Daniels, Roode or he who has f-ed up mightly).

Work - Help, I have a project student. Who sets new records for being late, as in half an hour is normal. Also, all the NMR machines have gone down so my project is stuffed too. As is my work computer where one of the hard-drives is dying.
redfiona99: (fencing)
Excalibur went far better than the Winton, both personally and in a fencing way. I'm not sure if that was due to being in a team that was properly organised, having more supportive team-mates or not being stressed out.

Oddly enough, that means I have less to say. )

Point 8 gets to go outside the cut - I may finally have a fencing scar Very last bout of the very last day and one of Wiltshire hit me hard enough to cause a cut in the fleshy bit inside my elbow. Since it was a pressure injury not a cutting injury my jacket is in one piece, if a little bloodstained. The important bit is that it was off-target and I won the bout afterwards.

9 - Related to the above, I went to the Walk In Centre to get my wound fixed up (washed out, a proper dressing applied and a tetanus jab) and the doctor saw my arm. I got the "should I be worried that my patient is being abused" look. I always feel really bad for putting GPs through this because it's not their fault that I get hit a lot, and bruise like crazy.
redfiona99: (fencing)
It will be nice to have a weekend off from fencing, because I love it but I fenced both days on the last two weekends.

Saturday at the Winton Cup or 9 1/2 disasters )

Sunday at the Winton - I got hit in the throat by an epee and it was still a much better day )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Did the Allstar/Uhlmann/Leeds Open Part 2/whatever it's really called yesterday. Managed to get knocked out 15-0 by a 15 year old. She's damn good and a lovely girl so it wasn't too bad, but 15-0 :( Actually, the funny thing was, the person that beat her in the final was one of the people I beat in the pool stage. It confuses me greatly.



Dear Mark Webber, I suggest exorcising the car.

A curse is starting to be the most sensible explanation of his luck.

Other than that, much like the Aussie GP, that's was boring. Any over-taking was due to tyres or the DRS button.


Fic Writing

I've made a start on my lgbtfest fic. This year's panic is a return to the first year's panic of "does this contain enough lgbt-related content to be suitable?" I think it does, there's just a very long prologue.

RL, films

Mar. 3rd, 2013 10:39 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)
I have a terrible effect on my friends. So friend of mine who isn't even a fencer texts me to ask if there's a competition on in London because he's just seen a bunch of people with kit bags.

Other than that, while out shopping yesterday, I was in Lush and ran into teenage daughter and father shopping for mother's day. It was every cliché going, including him turning round to me (who literally had her arms full of Lush stuff because it's my first Lush binge since November) and saying "it's so thrilling" in the most deadpan tone imaginable.

I managed to find a perfect mother's day card for my grandmother, and found a reasonable one for my Mum. It's just so hard to find cards for her. My Nan is easy, she likes syrupy verses, but Mum and I both loathe them, but the non-syrupy cards are all "mother who likes handbags" (which my mother doesn't, not in the way they mean), "mother who likes chocolate" (which she doesn't) or "mother who doesn't like football" (which she does, to the point of phoning me to rant about United's choice of goalkeeper).

In films, I do think people at the time were unfairly harsh about The Sorcerer's Apprentice. It's a fun little film.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Re: last rugby post - this is what I meant by Castrogiovanni looking like he was ready to murderise someone - So glad I wasn't playing against him.

The French rugby union team continue to be ... themselves. Trying to guess how they'll play is a fool's game, but I think they were paying for not having specialists in their second row. I have no doubt that over a 100 yard dash or bench pressing, the French would win, but in rucking and all the various diabolic arts thereto attached (i.e. the stuff that actually goes on on the pitch), the Italians were going to win every day. See also, the basis for a lot of recent Irish victories against England.


Formula 1 - The best thing about the new season is Gary Anderson talking about the new cars and the changes from last year's specifications. Of particular interest are his comments about the new Red Bull ( I also like that he apparently grades on a scale, because he's nice about the Marussia ( and scathing about the Mercedes (, even though Mercedes will probably finish higher in the end of season standings.


Guess who is ranked 100th in the country? Boom!!

Now to stay there, despite one of my favourite competitions not being run and me having points to defend from it.


Some fun links -

A photo gallery of this season's F1 cars -

ATOS declare Richard III fit for work -
Well, it makes a change from the Blackadder jokes and all the locals pointing out exactly how much Richard III owes in parking fines :) (Link care of [ profile] nwhyte)

Someone else's Castrogiovanni picspam - Castro owns an Italian restaurant out in one of the little villages round Leicester, and is apparently beloved by every small child that has ever entered it because he does things like jumping out at them and pretending to eat them.

Sebastian Chabal's comment on France vs Italy - In his defence, he was really nice about Italy after the match, making it quite clear that they'd won the match rather than France losing it.

A taxonomy of wrestler's names -
redfiona99: (Thinking)
My copy of Doctor Who and the Daemons has arrived. I am excessively excited by this.

I have also managed to find a pair of jeans that fit. I would hereby like to recommend Red Herring @ Debenhams. Particularly when there's a sale on so I find a good pair of jeans for £14.

I also found a Bat-belt going cheapish too. Sadly not a real Bat-utility belt but I'll take what I can get.

I couldn't find any Brylcream anything in Boots, which is annoying. It's like when they stopped selling Simple stuff.


I've seen the January rankings and I'm 101st in the country. That means I've not quite achieved my second aim for this fencing year (part 1 was top 16 in a competition with more than 30 fencers i.e. the Leeds) but I'm not far off. Now to kick tush at the Merseyside and make up the 10 points I need.


I really enjoyed the Hobbit, and there will be further comment once I can get beyond Dwarves!!! Hobbits!!!

I was also thinking Spoilers for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings )

For those that haven't seen the Hobbit yet and haven't read the books and don't want to be spoiled, have a different story of familial silliness in the cinema - The year Baz Lurhman's Romeo and Juliet came out was also the year my girl cousin was doing R + J in English, so she and my Uncle went to see it. The rest of the patrons of that screening are also parent plus child combos. So Romeo and Juliet ends the way it always does, and my girl cousin is rolling her eyes as we all do. Except half the cinema is crying, the parental half of course. Apparently my Uncle was crying so hard that the lady next to him, who wasn't much better, offered him a tissue.

We shouldn't be allowed out :)
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Based on something that happened to me in RL.

We have 3 cards, marked E, S and F. They are drawn 8 times. What is the probability of the draw being:

1 - E, S, F
2 - E, S, F
3 - S, E, F
4 - E, S, F
5 - S, F, E
6 - E, S, F
7 - S, E, F
8 - S, F, E

Now they were all supposed to be independently drawn, so I think I have to add the probability of each independent draw rather than multiplying them. What's confusing me is whether or not each line is 1/3 x 1/2 or whether I have to take into account the probability of the first pick when I work out the probability of the second pick.

(In case anyone is wondering what the RL scenario was, it was the running order for weapons in a match, randomised so no-one would have an advantage. I just want to know why Lady Luck kept putting me (Foil) on last.)
redfiona99: (Default)
My flat has sprung a leak. I've managed to stop it, but not before it got into downstairs's flat. Thankfully my downstairs neighbour is being incredibly nice about it. Hopefully there'll be a plumber round tomorrow to fix it.



I came 10th (out of 30) at the Leeds Open. I think I fenced well, and I only lost 14-15 in the knock-out match I lost. I have to admit though that I was one of the ones that benefited from a mild (not the organiser's fault) rankings related snafu.

Basically, the poules for a competition are worked out according to the rankings, and unfortunately 3 overseas fencers with no British ranking turned up and threw the rankings out a bit (1 v good German, one American Professor of fencing).


Formula 1:

The bit in the build up of Adrian Newey driving his cars warmed my heart. I think that's the thing Red Bull are a team of tech geeks (and Ferrari are a racing team, hence their uselessness in qualifying). And Eddie Jordan is adorable, 'I didn't want to sign Adrian Newey because I was happy with Gary Anderson'. It's such a ridiculously nice thing to say. Eddie is adorable.

The rest is mostly Kimi-love )
redfiona99: (Default)
Fencing was fun, I finished 5th at the Coventry Open and the only people I lost to were veterans, who, as we all know, are evil. (The vets are not evil, they're merely sneaky and accurate.) I managed to frustrate one opponent to the point that she rushed at me, pretty much straight onto my blade, for my last three hits against her. Very pleased with that. Other than that, it was the usual problem of there's the people I can beat, the people where it's sometimes me winning, sometimes them, and then the people I can't even get hits on. Most frustrating. The only good thing I can think of is that the people where it's a coin toss between us now goes up to people who are ~70th in the country, rather than a few years ago when it was people at ~ 100th.

Things in RL have done odd things. Or rather good things, that have led to odd things, which require listening to of Alanis Morissette. We're talking threat level red wine and Ironic.


Korean GP notes )


Also, from [ profile] angstbunny's tumblr, Colin Salmon has also joined the ranks of British actors appearing in US tv shows.
redfiona99: (fencing)
Opening Ceremony

I was actually travelling down from Birmingham (and out to Hounslow) during most of the opening ceremony, and I only really saw from Iceland onwards.

I loved what they did with the torch, it was perfect. There may have been sniffling. Just yes!

Also just yes, Chris Hoy's face on entering the stadium.


Day 1 )

Day 2 )

I'm just so immensely glad that I got the chance to go.


Jul. 16th, 2012 06:50 pm
redfiona99: (fencing)
Spent all of last weekend fencing. No exaggeration, I was up at 6.30 on Saturday, back home at 4, and then 7.30 to 7 on Sunday. All in all, I fenced 18 matches to 5, and 4 DEs (to 15). Apparently, every 3 minute bout of fencing is the equivalent of a mile run, so as you can imagine, I was a bit tired this morning. Not as much as I expected, mind. Actually, I feel remarkably good all over, including the legs. Hopefully that's because they're okay, not because they're waiting till tomorrow to seize up.

Did quite well too.

Saturday was the Warwickshire County foil. Since there were only 3 women, we got chucked in with the men for the poule round. I didn't come bottom of my group, and may have confounded a teenage boy. He looked most distressed when I beat him. I did feel like going up to him and pointing out that I've probably been fencing longer than his little brother has been alive, and not to worry.

The ladies campaigned to then have a poule unique as well as DEs and because the organiser was wonderful, he let us. The DEs were then fenced off, I won the semi and faced my new team mate A in the final. She annihilated me 15 - 3, but she's good enough that I'm happy with the three.

Sunday was the Much Wenlock foil, part of this - It was lots of fun, even if the organiser had to tell us to just fence around the cameras. Actually, for once, the non-fencing related people had the sense to stay a sword's length away from the mad people with swords so no one got stabbed in the lens.

Because there were 18 ladies we actually got ladies poules to start with. Won 3 lost 2 in the first poule, and then won 1 lost 4 in the second poule. I finish 12th after the poules so I get the 5th ranked fencer. And it turns out to be a Louth fencer. Not good times. Thankfully, A had fenced her in the poules and explained to me, using little words, what she was doing, and how to deal with it.

Therefore, in a thrilling 13-12 at time victory, I finally beat one of the Louth lot in a DE. The trick is to esquive and keep your feet moving. So yeah, I broke into the top 8.

I went out in the next round to H, which wasn't a surprise, but the 4 hits I got on her were good, so I'm happy.

H also features in the silly story of the day. Basically some twit rolled up to the competition claiming to be a referee. I'm assuming he is actually a ref, but that's not saying much. Now most of the time, female foilist are a bide-able bunch. We know no-one likes reffing, and we'll put up with a few wrong decisions. But this twit tried to card H for violent conduct/brutality. Now H fences aggressively, and has left bruises on me (a lovely blue one on my thumb on this occasion) but she's not violent. Actually, that wasn't the worst of it. What he did was card her, refuse to explain why, when pushed explained why and then carried on giving some of the more wrong decisions I've ever seen given in fencing. Normally you can at least see why a referee has give things but this was so wrong you couldn't. I've known H since she was ~ 15 and it's the only time I've ever seen her angry on piste. Anyway, there were general mutterings of discontent and he was barred from reffing any more women's matches for the day. I've never seen anything like it.

Anyway, long story short, team mate A won the competition, which was awesome.

I had a fantastic time at both competitions and must now plot next year's tournament schedule.


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