More Adventures in London

I didn’t do as much on Thursday and Friday as I did on my first three days in London. On Thursday morning I was feeling a bit sick (I’d picked up a cold from someone on the plane), so, since I wanted to go to Swash and Buckle Fencing Club again that night, I decided to have a quiet morning. In the afternoon, I did the Kensington Village walk, which was with Emily, who had also taken the Hampstead Village walk. Kensington Village was good – lots more blue plaques, and a fair bit of Royal history – although I think I preferred Hampstead. Towards the end of the walk, however, I suddenly realised my voice had become a croak, and it hurt to swallow. So I reluctantly decided not to go to Swash that night.

My throat was still bad on Friday morning, and I self-diagnosed a throat infection, which would probably need antibiotics. As a result, instead of doing the “Westminster Nobody Knows” walk, I went to see a doctor. He agreed with my diagnosis, gave me antibiotics for the throat and a decongestant for my chest … and told me I would fence badly in the competition the next day (a conclusion I had already come to myself). Since I didn’t feel too bad, apart from my throat, I decided that resting up in the afternoon would be unlikely to have a significant impact on my performance the next day, and I went off to do the “Legal and Illegal London” (Inns of Court) walk. It was another interesting one – though it seems like every walk I do has a bigger crowd than the one before – with some Dickens and Shakespeare references, as well as legal stuff. In the evening, I caught the train out to Reading, to have dinner with Erin O’Neill, a former Sydney Uni fencer who I haven’t seen in years.

This morning was Day 1 of the England Cup A-Grade Competition. Completely against my own expectations – and those of the doctor! – I won four bouts in my pool and ended up seeded 43rd in a field of 84. As a result, I got a bye straight through to the Direct Elimination of 64, which is being fenced off tomorrow. Admittedly, I had a certain amount of good luck, and a few fluke hits; but maybe it helps to go into an event with absolutely no expectation of doing well. Certainly I wasn’t at all nervous. My DE bout is at 9:55 tomorrow morning, against the number 22 seed. So, again I have absolutely no expecations, though I’m not sure that will actually help this time …

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