One of the things I have found hardest about my worsening disability has been watching my plans for the future go out of the window. I’d finally found something I was good at and was enjoying running a pub. I had plans; I was going to eventually run my own pub, where geeks and nerds like me could get together as well as football fans, and I’d be able to do things like having Mead as well as the usual wines and spirits. It was something to aim for. Somewhere like The Meltdown Bar in London, or The Quest Inn in York (which I am hoping will be funded and opening soon.
Now, all that has gone out of the window, what the hell am I going to do now? I enjoy the design and marketing work I still do for Country Village Inns, but what about the rest of the time? Well, hopefully, a few things.
The first thing the followers of my blog will have already have noticed; I’m getting back into my digital art. But I have other plans.
G always said that he knew I was the girl for him when he sent me a message one day asking what I was doing, and I replied that I was making chainmail. I’ve always loved swords, knives and the like, despite the fact that I am soft as anything (see my post with the baby bird for proof!). I have acess to a lot of antique blades thanks to G’s collecting, and I can’t help but admire the workmanship in them.
That’s just a few examples. G also only has the one tattoo (compared to my 15), and it’s based on the wolf makers mark on his favourite piece, an late tudor munition quality broadsword with a clamshell hilt, that also bears the german Solingen mark, similar to the mark below. There’s a similar sword owned by the Govenor of Jamestown.
The actual sword itself:
He also owns a 1796 pattern cavalry sword, because he was a huge fan on the TV Show Sharpe.
People tend to think we are a little (or a lot) weird for all this stuff, but hey, we enjoy it. G has been collecting militari since he was 10, when he started with cap badges, and now all kinds of things turn up at the house. He tends to go for pre-1900 items, but has things in his collection from all the way up to WWII (No interest in Nazi stuff). The swords I have written about fall into the “Never ever sell ever” catagory though.
Any, enough about the past, back to the future…
There’s not much up with my upper body, so far all my problems have been below the waist. I have reduced sensation in my arms, but all that means is blood tests are a doddle. So my husband, G, and I are trying to set up a small forge on his parent’s property. It’s something I’ve always found interesting, and G has done small things like forging springs and other small bits to do with his antique militaria collecting. We also are huge fans of Forged in Fire as well.
I always thought that I’d never be able to do anything like that, but after seeing the episode where Ryu Lim not only competed but also won, with his home forge made from an old satellite dish and a vacuum cleaner, I realise that you don’t have to have a forge with all the bells and whistles, so what have I got to lose (Shouldn’t say that actually, with how accident prone I can be the answer to that could be ‘a finger’). All I need is a perching stool and I’ll be good. The only thing that’s really holding us back is getting an anvil. To go along with that, I’m also starting leatherworking. At the very least, G can make the sharp pointy objects, and I’ll make the scabbards. Once again, it’s just a case of getting all the stuff together.
I’m hoping to get on a course with this guy, John Law, soon. His forge is about 45 minutes away from me, and I found him totally by chance whilst at Yew Tree Barn whilst looking for a fireback to go in our house. I also went to The Unconventional Market in Milton Keynes in January where I met two blacksmiths, from Millstream Forge and Firehound Forge, the latter being the gent who made the iron ring I wear (I go a little rusty occasionally, but I can live with that).
And you never know, at some point maybe I’ll compete on Forged in Fire. I have already made friends from being a fan of the show, and at the very least I am hoping to save up enough to go to the Blade Show in Atlanta next year. First up: Getting a passport!