My new position has been keeping me incredibly busy.  It’s just about all I can do to get take out on the way home before stumbling into bed.  But it’s worth it and I’m really enjoying my new job.

Keeping up with my marshalate responsibilities has been taking up most of my copious free time but I’m sure things will be lightening up pretty soon.  I know I still owe you guys pictures of my Venetians (I promise they are coming!) but I’m already moving on to my new doublet.  Practice last week just reaffirmed that I’m really tired of not having my spaulders for C&T and my old fencing doublet is just too old to make adding points to it worth it.  So I really need to finish my new one. :)  Maybe I could finish start the alterations for my other doublet that I mentioned last month (or the new mending I picked up at Sapphire Joust…).  Two new doublets!?!  I don’t think I’d know what to do with myself.

I had a fabulous time at June University this past weekend.  I got to spend some time fighting C&T pickups with Giacomo, enjoyed Isobel, Robert, and Lisette’s furniture class, and my dueling class went rather well.

It was really rather hot on Saturday but I didn’t really feel hot.  I felt warm but comfortable while I was fighting which I found a little surprising considering how hot I felt fighting at Coronation which was about the same temperature.  I think the main difference was the amount of water I drank.  I drank an insane about of water before and during University and I followed that up with a bunch of water on Sunday.

The library seemed very well attended and there were a ton of books.  I was quite impressed by the work that was put into making it happen.

My class went rather well.  I had a bunch of students and the day shade that the group had provided for our class was quite comfortable and had plenty of space.  As soon as I format my citations I’ll be putting the handout up on my site so it will be available to anyone who was unable to attend the class.

I am now officially back from Mousehole.  To be honest I got back home Sunday afternoon but after an hour and a half nap Sunday and a full night’s sleep Sunday night I still couldn’t coherently string enough sentences together to post yesterday.  I needed one more full night’s sleep. 

Because of the time commitment being Baron and Baroness required I hadn’t been able to make it to really any Gardiner’s events in past couple of years.  So I was really excited to finally be able to make it down.  It was really nice to get to see friends I don’t see very often.  Good food + good fighting + good friends = good times no matter how much rain you get on the day of the event. 

We did some pike drills and sparing early in the day and then we worked on storming the fort in the woods.  The guys were testing out some new hand guns they had modified that shot the rubber paintball like bullets.  It definitely drove home the need to finish up getting my armor and a target together.  More protection against blades and bullets is always welcome.  After lunch we spent the rest of the day sparing between (and often during) rain bursts.  I spent most of that time working on cut and thrust with Jimmy and Alan.  I had a great time and fought pretty much until I was too tired to hold the buckler up correctly.  I was glad I got to spend most of the afternoon doing C&T because I’d like to authorize in February and there’s just not as much opportunity to work on it at home.  I did alright, not great but alright.  I did however take away several lessons to work on: 

1) I need a new buckler.

Specifically I need a new metal buckler for cut and thrust.  You see several years ago I had a great metal buckler.  It was the perfect size.  The only problem was that it was rather heavy.  I didn’t mind using it for fencing though and I was building my arm strength up for it.  But I lent it out to a friend to use in heavy fighting and we had a falling out a couple months later.  I never got it back and at this point I’m willing to just let it go and get a new one.  This past weekend I borrowed one from a friend.  It was a nice buckler and I appreciate him lending it to me.  It was about the size and weight of my old one which made me think that now that I need to get a new one anyway I’m looking for one that’s a little lighter.  It needs to be sturdy enough to take a shot but light enough that I still have good mobility.

2) I need to spend more time fighting with said buckler and working on my arms to build strength.

I fought until my arm was so tired I started tabling the buckler.  This pretty much opened up my entire left fore arm to shots.  Even getting a lighter metal buckler I’m still going to need to build up my arm strength so I will have the strength to block what I need to block and endurance to go the distance.

3) I need to be blocking higher than I think I do.

I took a number of shots because I wasn’t blocking high enough with my buckler and Alan and Jimmy were able to angle the shot around it.  Strengthening my arm will help with that but I need to remember to block high enough up that my opponent can’t just angle his blow around it.

4) The pause always comes back when I start something new or have taken too much time off.  Play through it.

Every fighter has a bad habit that keeps coming back when he’s learning new techniques or has gotten a bit too rusty and this one is mine.  I will pause between shots and it opens me up to attacks.  The more I work on my cut and thrust the faster it will go away but until it does I need to remember that tendency and work on playing through it. 

After sparing we had an amazing dinner (with some of the best duck I have ever tasted), (legal) court, and I spent the rest of the evening helping to clean and dry dishes.  There are pictures but I need to pull them off my camera and get them up online.

It was a great weekend and I got in some really awesome fighting.  I’m going to continue to work on the take away lessons from Saturday afternoon’s fighting and some drilling definitely would not hurt me either.