Drinkin’ ‘n’ Fightin’

So we are back from Edinburgh, where there was much revelry and boisterousness. Ben, Joanne and I set out on Thursday to get in a preview of the city and its drinking establishments. I spent Friday exploring the highways and byways of Edinburgh; they went on a day-trip to Loch Lomond. More on that anon, hopefully with pictures.

The weekend proper started when Nev and Jann, our comrades in arms, arrived and after dinner the Limerick School of Arms had its first encounter with the MacDonald Academy of Arms. Although we were a man and woman down (Ben and Joanne being missing in action) we gave a good account for oursleves in matters related to alcohol and diverse topics of conversation on matters historical, topical, and alcohol. Some time, many pints, three bars and a pie later the Scottish contingent had halved in numbers, ruffians had been encountered and dispatched; we learned why a Scotsman wears a belt with his kilt, how it is bad manners to grab a mans dirk without permission and that you should never grab an Australian by the hair!!!!

Saturday began with a hearty breakfast (Scottish breakfast = Irish Breakast without black budding, but with haggis) to fend off the ills and demons of Friday night. Joining once again with our Edinburgh colleagues; there followed a gentle stroll down the Royal Mile to Holyrood and an interlude for chololate. Saturday afternoon we received instruction in the Scottish Backsword and Italian Cane from Maestro Paul MacDonald.

After an instuctive, blistering and bruising five hours we went for pizza. I have no problems recommending Blue Cheese, bacon and haggis pizza (with onions and mushrooms) just be careful that the blue cheese does not overpower everything else like your breath, immune system or people within 100 yards. Afterwards we met up with fellow travellers from the fencing community; had a few beers and hit each other about head with sticks.

Saturday evening finished up with further imbing and conversation, return visits to the Scotsman and Royal Oak establishments. As the only limerick fencer left at the end of the night I was not positioned to defend the school against an accusation that we were alright fencers but terrible drinkers; all evidence being in the Scots favour.

Sunday morning we exchanged touches with the French Foil immediately behind Holyrood house a traditional Edinburgh location for duels of honour etc. Furthermore Maestro Macdonald and Mr Neville Gawley exhibited diverse techniques with the Epée, Smallsword and backsword. Dinner consisted of traditional Scottish fare – Haggis, Neeps (turnips) and Tatties (potatoes) all mashed to within an inch of their lives; and was immediatly followed by a quick jaunt up the Royal Mile to peruse infomous sites of Scottish fencing (Cricket with Longsowrd and Dagger anyone!!) and rugby. The watching of rugby – not the playing.

I absconded from the group for a few hours as A) they weren’t drinking, B) I wanted to browse a few bookshops C) I wanted to get in a phone call to Jamie and Hilary while we were all on the same island (even if Limerick is probably closer to Southampton than Edinburgh is). I met up with the remains of the group – Nev, Paul and Mike for dinner. We wento to an Italian Restaurant/bar (tavern would be a really good description) convenient to the hostel and occupied it for a number hours, and entertained ourselves with tales of daring-do, monkeys and watching people travel downhill in armchair!

One Response to “”

  1. Hilary Says:

    The bloke standing to the left of Nev, in the picture, must be really evil. As per cowboy movies, he’s wearing all balck ergo he is the evil dude. This makes Nev the hero type wearing all white – he will save the day.
    Although with all of you standing on that hill I don’t know how any fencing was done.

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