As someone who’s been interested in Steampunk for quite a few years now, finding out that a biannual Steampunk festival had started in my crappy nothing-much-happens hometown the year that I moved away for university was a slightly frustrating experience, to say the least. 2016 might have started out as not the best year, but it’s certainly getting better. Taking a year out of uni has unexpected benefits: namely, being able to hop on a train up north just because I feel like spending a weekend dressing up and ignoring the real world in a terribly splendid fashion. (And see my family, of course, ahem).
In a fit of excitement I decided to jump head first into the whole thing, so when I found out they were looking for volunteers to help out over the weekend I sent them an email straight away. I wanted to be as involved as possible, but I guess I also had an ulterior motive. It being exam season and all of my friends being still at university, this was going to be something I was going to have to do alone. (With an honourable mention to my little sister whom I dragged along with me, but I’ll get to that). Helping out meant that I could show up and have at least a few people vaguely know who I was, and ended up throwing me together with a bunch of lovely people and definitely making the weekend for me.
Continue reading “A Splendid Day (well, weekend) Out: Part 1”
So, as promised, the most recent of my recent adventures: I sparred with steel and survived the experience.
A short background for people who have no idea what I’m going on about (people who do have an idea what I’m going on about, please ignore this part because I’m sure it will be a terrible explanation). I spend my Sunday evenings learning and practising HEMA, or Historical European Martial Arts. Or, I spend my Sunday evenings learning and practising hitting people with swords. HEMA is a lot more than that – it’s a scholarly pursuit and really interesting with my historian hat on – but let’s face it: when it gets to the end of the week what you really want to do is pick up a sword, learn how you’re supposed to use it and then try and hit people with it (using those techniques you just learned, of course).
My club, Virtus Sword School (Cardiff Chapter), focus on learning German Longsword, predominantly from a translation of Joachim Meyer’s 1570 treatise. We dabble in other things, but this post is about longsword so I’ll stick to that for now.
I’ll put a couple of links at the bottom of this post for actual information about HEMA and Virtus Sword School, which is the club I train with.
Back to the freaking out over a steel sword. Again for the people who have no idea what I’m going on about, they’re not sharp. But my god they can pack a punch. And the feeling is very different to what I’ve done before, which is sparring (and training) with a nylon synthetic sword.
Continue reading “I Sparred with Steel and Survived”
This is my first blog post, how exciting. I have ideas of what I want to post about, and thinking about it I really should have started this blog a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, however, I do not yet possess a working time machine, so this will have to do. We’ll see how it goes I suppose.
Things to look forward to from me in the near future (or now, if you do happen to have a time machine):
- An account of my weekend in Morecambe for A Splendid Day Out, a Steampunk festival hosted by the League of Splendid.
- An account of my weekend fighting people in a field at Virtus Sword School’s annual May Melee.
- A slightly freaked out post about moving from sparring with synthetic swords to sparring with steel.
These will be in no particular order, though probably in reverse of the order that they actually happened because I’m an organised person like that.