Thursday, 3 January 2008

The Sport of Fencing

Fencing the orchard/chicken run has given me a newfound appreciation for other athletes. Today, for example, I was thinking about snooker players and people who claim to sail round the world single-handed.

Two thoughts on this immediately:
o Such a feat surely requires the use of both hands.
o As they are apparently alone in the boat, how can anyone know for sure?

I digress.

Fencing equipment
Before you can play, you will need: A step ladder, sledgehammer, straight-and-slightly too-long crowbar-type object, a small axe, some string, several 2.5-metre fenceposts, a tape measure, a funny shaped stick and... a towel.

Fencing practice
Begin by making a 50-cm hole with the crowbar and sledgehammer. (This is not in the Rule Book, which suggests using a spade. But at least two knowledgeable shop assistants told me this is the way it's done here and, as here is where I am, this is the way I do it.)

Balance a 2.5-metre fencepost in the hole. Sledgehammer in hand, climb the step ladder to an uncomfortable height (having made sure the feet are probably secure) and balance yourself. Lean against the rung above, which should be wrapped in the towel to protect the calves.

Raise the sledgehammer and SLAM it onto the fencepost - side on - about 15 times. Wiggle the post, checking it is roughly vertical and SLAM and wiggle away until only two metres remain above ground. (The Rule Book suggests using a post rammer - previous point re-applies.)

Breathing heaving, take one handful of soil at a time and use the funny shaped stick to RAM it into any visible bit of hole.

Repeat until exhausted.

Side effects
Frequent practice results in increased balance, energy, upper body strength and beer consumption. A very little bit like darts.

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