I’ve felt entirely recovered from West Nile fever for going on three weeks now, and I’ve been going back to my HEMA training sessions. But until today I’ve been finding that, once I finished the actual class part of the class, I was all worn out, and didn’t feel up to sparing. But today, I felt like I could spar. So I did.

I didn’t get any video unfortunately, but I did spar with two different people, and managed to get some hits. It was good. I’m not going to beat anyone who’s any good at fencing, but that’s okay at this point. The main thing is that I’m finally, once again, able to train for an hour and a half and then spend half an hour sparing.

Oh, and two related details. One from my Oura ring which give me a score of 100 for my activity today:

Oura ring activity screen showing a score of 100

And from fitbit on my Pixel watch, yesterday I got the Sahara badge, meaning that since I bought my Pixel watch (October 2022) I’ve walked the length of the Sahara desert (2983 miles):

FitBit Sahara badge

For several weeks before and after the winter solstice, I’m quite prone to seasonal depression. In recent years, I’ve come up with a list of things I can do to ward off depression, two of which we practiced today.

First, we went to the University of Illinois Conservatory. It’s a rather handsome greenhouse where the plant biologists keep interesting plants, and make the space available to the public to come and see the plants, and hang out in the warm and humid and sunny.

Sadly, today it wasn’t sunny.

Interior of the University of Illinois Conservatory, on a rather grey day

But that’s okay. It was still warm and somewhat humid, with lots of exotic plants.

After the Conservatory, we went to the iHotel, where we had drinks by the fireplace, then went into Houlihan’s for lunch, then sat in front of the fireplace some more.

Jackie in front of the fireplace at Houlihan's, with our drinks on the table in front of her

It was very nice. I’m sure it staved off winter depression for a day or two.