Fencing trip to Budapest, June 2007

Salut to you and all the coaches!

Well, we are halfway through trip and only six of us are dead. I am told that some of the best fencers have gone to Rome (obviously they knew we were coming and got scared) so we are left with the children. It's hard to hit them because they are too small to see. Now I know how Gulliver felt.

Company is good when we can find it - at any one moment we are all scattered throughout the city on various trams, trains, taxis and metro lines frantically texting one another and wishing we had not had that 10th Unicom. Of course we are all starving as once we find each other, we discover that we have spent so much on mobile phone use that we have no money left for food. Drink however is not a problem as it can always be scavenged. I draw a veil over this particularly painful episode.

We were all hospitalised for rehydration treatment yesterday as we collapsed 5 minutes into the second coaching session. Finding that the nursing staff all in their whites was also passing out in large numbers, we assumed we had been admitted to a fencing hospital during high intensity training season. We were embarrassed to discover that a clinical health and safety assessment revealed dangerous levels of a compound (hitherto unknown) of alcohol and unwashed fencing clothing. After a vigorous programme of forcible washing, matters progressed much more smoothly and we are all very much better and eager to make up for lost time in the wine cellars of Pest.

I regret to say that two foilists have been arrested for trying to take on the entire Hungarian mounted police force, while shouting "This is Salle Gadaski". This did not surprise anyone - apart from the Hungarian mounted police. Explaining that they had taken the film '300' deeply to heart did not help matters. It is doubtful that the British Government will intervene on their behalf.

Everyone else has been on his or her best behaviour as we have the honour of our salle to uphold. We are behaving exactly as we would in London.

If I do not return - please put my remaining weapons to good use; I wish them to be dedicated to St Michael Archangel, the patron saint of fencers and then thrown into the Thames on 29th September.

Sara Spence via email

yu and ying
Here come the fencing tourists!

julia
fran
Just check: is anything still left in the glass?

adeel

ah, there is a berry!..

simon

and another one!..

olivier

How about a bit of clubbing?!

on the bar

All top Hungarian clubs are in swimming pools

julia

A special Sword Dance...

chocolate

The Rose and Its Thorns figure

kat, steve, matt

Then eating again of course

etienne

Happy go lucky

tube

they sing and dance

buda at night

they see lovely views...

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