It’s been an entire week since Mrs. Dave left us. Food stocks are low. I have part of a jar of olives, two meat sticks, some salt, and a jar of Luxardo cherries, left. The Barbarian Horde ransacked the refrigerator almost immediately, and have begun waylaying passing stroller-pushing Military Mommies and ransoming them for candy. The ravening howls are indescribable, and I’ll hear them in my sleep until the day I die. I’ve built myself a barricade of books and cookware. If I don’t survive this, tell Mrs. Dave I tried.
Oh, no. I hear the patter of ‘orrible, little feet …
More seriously, Mrs. Dave is off trotting the globe, again, and we’re surviving fairly well. Thank God for the advent of ubiquitous video telechat, though, is all I can say. Telling a three-year-old grieving the absence of her mother that she can’t say goodnight would rend the heart. And of course she’s taking it out on her brother and father, because she’s three. And incredibly precocious and usually delightful three, but three nonetheless.
Lest anybody get the wrong impression, we’re doing quite well for our circumstances. I even got the Annual Big Brother Extortion Exercise accomplished relatively painlessly. As the sun is out while I’m writing this, the Littles and I shall spend some time out in it, this afternoon.
Enough maundering! I’ve made decisions. My friend and fellow-conspirator Tom Knighton recently joined a sword school in his region of the world, and they look pretty darn cool. They also don’t have a problem with distant students, and even have a study group somewhere within a day’s drive of me. As their membership dues are quite reasonable, and so I’m going to join their rowdy bunch of filthy Fiorists.
This came after acquiring Guy Windsor’s work on the Italian longsword in Fiore dei Liberi’s Il Fior de Battaglia, specifically the Getty manuscript. In a lot of ways, Fiore was far ahead of his time. Most of the swordmasters wrote their treatises in a manner that made sense to them, while Fiore seems to have worked hard to make his effort as future-proof as he could. And it shows. He lays out an entire system in such a way that the student can begin with basics, advance through topics such as unarmored fighting, armored fighting, fighting from horseback (probably not going to get into that one. Not only don’t I ride particularly well, but the initial outlay on gear seems prohibitive) and so forth.
I’ll be honest, here, folks: I’m still collecting resources for this HEMA gig. I just found out about a reputable company making gambesons, and while I know where to buy a good sword, I don’t know, yet, at what point I’ll be able to afford the kriegsmesser of my dreams. I’ve had a wooden waster for years, so I’ll be using that until I get a modern synthetic sword (probably from Purpleheart Armoury) that more accurately mimics the behavior of steel. Other than that, I’m steeling (hah. hah.) moments to read through the Windsor tome – not a bad deal for the Kindle edition – while also parenting two precocious, rambunctious children.
The one thing I have been making more time for is conditioning. After Mrs. Dave returned from overseas, last year, our routines fell apart, to include my physical training. I’m getting back into that, using bodyweight calisthenics and Indian clubs to start with. Specifically, I’m working to rebuild chest, shoulder, and arm strength in preparation for sword work. And trying to figure out when I can write. That’s it for today. More next week, when we’ll hopefully have had some better weather. Sword work is rough on the furnishings…