Slaying Dragons and the Practicality of Swords

Tomorrow is a special day, an auspicious day if you will.  It is of course St. George’s Day and I’m sure you have your celebrations planned accordingly.  Anyway, it’s a great time to go out and practice your highland broadsword and work on perfecting your technique of St. George’s Guard.  Today though, I find myself considering a conversation I had a couple of days ago.  I mentioned what it is I do and although he was keen on martial arts and weapons specifically, he was less than excited about swords.  He said he wanted to train with something more “practical.”  So this raises a simple question.  Can swordplay be considered a practical martial art? Continue reading

Freestyling Bread, Made Easy

Bread is a wonderful thing loaded with symbolism, metaphor and history.  I think it’s intimidating for a lot of people, though.  It’s seen as a strange and unstable alchemical thing or a mythic beast waiting to attack.  It doesn’t have to be though.  Bread isn’t a monster.  It’s cuddly and warm and just wants to be your friend.  One thing they do say is that you should never freestyle bread.  Thankfully, as with most things they say, this isn’t at all the case.DSCF2008 Continue reading

Son in Law Cheesecake

Back when I first started teaching myself to cook, when I first lived away from my folks and grew so very sick of pasta I bought a cookbook.  It was a thin little thing called “Quick and Simple Chinese” and I got it at Oscars Art Books for about $4.99.  Contained within was a recipe for something called Son in Law Eggs.  The idea is that a prospective son in law would make these apparently quite complex but actually very simple eggs to impress the parents of his lady love.  For a while now I’ve been toying with the thought of stealing this idea and applying it to dessert.  All I needed was a foolproof dessert that anyone could make with very little actual effort or skill involved.  I think I have it, too.  A simple cheesecake with some fun flavours that really isn’t as hard to make as you might think.  A Son in Law Cake, if you will. Continue reading

That’s Armour

Armour is a great thing.  It keeps people from dying.  The history of combat is in many ways the history of armour.  Looking back it’s a historical arms race between the weapons used and the armour used.  Let’s look back shall we, at the symbiotic relationship between swords and armour and carry it through to the present day. Continue reading

Staff Party

One of the more common and interesting discussions in swordplay is that of which weapon is the “best.”  It seems there are as many opinions as there are weapons.  Some think the rapier is best, because of its reach and preeminence in the a one on one duel.  Some argue for the longsword for its versatility and power.  There is the side that likes the basket hilted broadsword for hand protection and ease of carry.  Some people even say the katana is best because they know nothing about swords.  It’s always a fun conversation. Continue reading