On Friday, Mark, Neal Emma and I tucked into the Mussaman curry which was this month's Culture, Cheese and Pineapple experience. It was vegetarian (squashes instead of meat) in deference to Emma and Mark, and Neal did all the cooking. It was a revelation - coconut, tamarind, lime leaves and all sorts of other goodnesses combined to produce food heaven, so thanks Neal. We washed it all down with an excellent array of real ales, and Emma provided horrendously chocolaty puddings.
Then Saturday saw the British Fencing Annual General Meeting in Telford. Most impressively, a sport of 10,000 participants managed to see 23 people turn up at the AGM, most of whom were directors or bigwigs of some sort. I managed to ask a couple of awkward questions, a rule change was pushed through enabling the board to change any bye-laws without consultation, and we sat through presentations about the future of fencing: basically, let's grab as much cash as is going, professionalise the structures and produce recreational and medal-winning fencers. I know this doesn't sound too revolutionary, but the buffers don't like it, perhaps put off by the inevitably management-speak it was all dressed up in. I'm quite keen though: it's time my sports wasn't solely associated with posh schools and the aristocracy - it isn't in other countries.
Finally, Neal, Emma and I went to Birmingham for the Arts Festival. We enjoyed Brawd (blokes with guitars), the Music Maze (participatory sessions) run by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (Emma declined to bang things, but Neal and I had a ball) and foaming pints of real ale. We played on the BBC's science toys (Bang Goes The Theory) and mooched around the art stuff in the Town Hall. The only down side was the absence of the hot girls with books Neal had spotted the day before.