Posts Tagged ‘fencing’

Everything’s gone green & crazy English


On Friday I went to see some people about work after Christmas and cycled through an area of Strasbourg called Esplanade to get there. I have been along this route several times, particularly when I used to go Fencing but I was either on the tram or did not have my camera. This time I did and I reproduce for you a picture of two tower blocks.



So what? They’re tower blocks, just the ame as in any other city? The black panels facing us are not just any cladding but are solar panels, facing the south. So, the building will not just consume electricity  but generate it too.  Something I think is good and I’m pleased to see the Council making an effort to reduce the environmental impact. They have a plan for this which can be read here.

On a separate note, whilst making my way home on Friday I passed a shop that had closed down. In its window was the following sign:



What is a ‘relooking’ apart from another bastardisation of the English language when swallowed into French. Just the same as using parking as a noun for the car park or talking about trainings for training courses. Grrrrr!

The title comes from one of the first singles from New Order, one of the many fabulous tracks from the band, after they stopped being Joy Division, enjoy:

En garde


This blog hasn’t lived up to its name for some time.  I’ve still been taking part in the Monday night fencing training at the Salle des Armes at Kibitzenau. The last two weeks we have been fighting with the fleuret. Normally we fight with the épée which is the weapon with which I first learnt to fence and the one I’ve used all the time until these last two weeks. The two main differences are that the whole body is the target for the épée and you gain a point for a hit only when you are attacking with the fleuret. I am normally more of a defensive fencer, letting the opponent come onto me. I feel I have developed with the weapon and mow when I fight people I was fighting when I started and was equal to, I beat them quite easily. People who used to beat me I now have a good match with and am their equal. The fleuret has required a change of tactics and I’ve not managed to get my head around the need to attack and have been beaten every time we’ve fought. Next week its back to the épée which is good for my self-regard but it would have been good to get my head around the fleuret and improve the attacking side on my fencing.

The pictures were taken the last time we were using the épée. The first is of an exercise where the fencer in the mask drops a glove in front of the padded target and the aim of the other fencer is to catch the glove on different spots drawn on the target. You might be able to see that the glove was missed and has fallen onto the floor. The next shows a sword that I broke whilst fighting with someone. In the second you can see the two parts of the blade are held only by the wire that makes the connection and identifies a hit. I’ve extra private training on Friday night. Stupid me I’ve agreed to do it at the same time as the last home game of le Racing of the season which the barmy President has said he wants to play behind closed doors – today the ticket office and the boutique were locked shut.

En garde


About five years ago I started the predecessor to this blog and chose the title to reflect that part of the subject matter would be about me taking up fencing and my exploits in the world of fencing.  I did take it up for a couple of years with a break when there was work being carried out to the leisure centre where we met.  Then I moved here and there’s been a number of difficulties which have resulted in my three years in France being fencing free.  That is about to change and its all because of the Foire Européenne….

This event happens every year in Strasbourg, this is supposed to be the 78th, and I wrote about it last year here.  Again this year we got tickets to get into the Foire from our local MP and again I start with a picture of the entrance from the nearest tram stop although this time it doesn’t give much indication of the sheer number of people present which was a lot for the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday.  Each year one country is showcased and this year it was Thailand so there were merchants selling things from Thailand, holidays to Thailand etc as well as there being a restaurant selling Thai food.  Having arrived after midday both JTO and I were hungry so we headed over to the Thai restaurant for some Sunday lunch.  The picture on the right was taken after we’d eaten but there were very few free chairs when we arrived.  The food was good and served with a more than acceptable Thai Rose wine but what surprised  the most was being served by Alsacian waiting staff, obviously people used by the exhibition centre when they had something on, rather than the Thai or South East Asian staff I am used to in the restaurants locally and elsewhere when I’ve eaten Thai food.

The whole of a massive exhibition site is taken up showing off things like farm implements, furniture, household heating systems, solar energy systems, TVs and other home appliances, swimming pools, garden furniture, local food and wine, household implements and tools. Basically anything at all.  The next picture shows the outside of the section where the local council, power company, newspaper etc all had stands, the garden sheds for sale in the front and swimming pools on the left.  Behind you can see the European Parliament building.

Inside the Rhenus Sport hall normally home to the Strasbourg basketball team, SIG,  were lots of sports activities.  My heart leapt when I saw that Strasbourg Escrime were present with a display and opportunity to take part.  I talked with them and discovered they were running ‘taster’ sessions on Mondays throughout the month so I took details of where they were from the club coach, pictured on the right.  This predecessor to this blog started when I started fencing and its name, after a children’s TV programme shown in the Summer holidays when I was a child, came from it.(See video at the top on the right)  It is exciting to be thinking about starting back with the fencing, so much so that I felt I just had to close with the following:

Strasbourg swings to the left?


p10201401Nope, no elections or polls that I know of.  On my way to work through the centre of the city I have passed a shop featuring the picture of Che Guevara pictured on the left (appropriately) of this picture.  So, what?  This red t-shirt with a black head of Che wearing a black beret has been around for years.  Look closer, at the detail, this one has a space under Che’s face containing something.  You can see the detail better in the picture below, Che Guevars’heim.  What?  That’s not right.  Oh yes it is.  The history of Alsace, having been French and German and speaking what is the biggest regional language in France – that has also been described to me as a dialect of Germanp1020144 – it means that Che’s name has been Alsacianised.  There are many place names in Strasbourg and Alsace which end with heim, Entzheim, Holtzheim, Oberschaeffolsheim, Eckbolsheim, Hoenheim to name a few in Strasbourg and Molsheim, Nordheim, Furdenheim, and Marlenheim to name a few local to Strasbourg in Alsace.  This is so much so that a visitor, after passing over the Rhine and entering France, legitimately asked when we would be in France as all the signs we passed read as German.  So, if the international icon of the left did not die at all in Bolivia but, as has been suggested by this t-shirt, has become a resident of Alsace and, to cover his tracks, adopted anp1020147 Alsace version of his name.  Ah I hear you say, this is just a t-shirt, what proof is there that Che did not die and moved to Alsace?  Aha, I reply.  If you were a well known revolutionary hiding out in France’s Easternmost Region and Departement you’d want some of your friends around you so you could go out, have a beer or local wine, some flamekeuche or chourcroute and talk about the old times in Cuba etc, wouldn’t you.  Well, just around the corner from the shop selling the t-shirt is the above, ‘Castro Cordonnerie‘.  I’ll be keeping an eye out in the local bars for Che and Castro talking about past revolutionary times, eating their local food and drinking their local brews.

School’s out

p1020135This week and next week are holidays for school children in France.  The break is for families to go skiing and has to be for two weeks so that people from the South of France have time to get to the ski slopes and get in some decent skiing before they have to return to the South of France.  As far as I can work out most other Europeanp1020138 countries which have a February break do so for a week rather than for two weeks.  Above you see some of the children who have not gone skiing celebrating Madi Gras on Place Broglie here in Strasbourg yesterday in front of the Opera National du Rhin, which has a roundabout in front of it.  The second picture shows the same group with an escort from the Police Municipal, who travel around by bike and always seem to be in groups of four.  There’s only one way to end this post, look out for the epee:

The Flashing Blade


So, phoenix like, The Flashing Blade rises again.  I had planned to restart my blog in the New Year but the death of Journalspace means that my idle thoughts about moving my writings to another site were forced to be made reality.

Another start another chance at a manifesto.  This will be about things that interest me, whether things seen in everyday life, thoughts on politics or other things happening in the World.  This is now and every time personal.  I do not normally seek to offend anyone gratuitously and if you  have views on anything here please feel free to comment.  Comments I think are offensive will be removed otherwise I am happy to have a debate with people via this site.

Why The Flashing Blade?  Starting my original blog at the same time I started fencing, and one of the things it would be about would be discovering fencing reminded me of a programme I had much enjoyed as a child during the holidays.  Here is the the title:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The Flashing Blade“, posted with vodpod

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