I went up to Wellington for the Harcourt Park International Jousting Tournament last weekend.  The tournament was fun.  We got to jousting, horse-rider displays, foot combat and demonstrations of English Longbow Archery.  It was an enjoyable couple of days out.  The jousting was in two grades: balsa-tipped lances for the beginners’ grade, and pine-tipped lances prepared with a spiral cut to allow a shattering effect and not as soft on impact.  One point for the strike, two points for breaking the tip, three points for shattering the tip into two or more pieces.  The strike has to be laid on the opponent’s shield.  A strike that lands on the horse is an immediate disqualification.  The horses also knew how to be playful if they wanted to, adding an extra disadvantage.

The event was popular, with a couple of thousand people coming out over the weekend.  It was a slow-moving spectacle and the public got into the occasion cheering along.  A shame that there is not another tournament until 2015.  It’s a fun sport to follow.

While I was in Wellington I got to two second-hand book-stores and came away with a handful of books to add to my language books.  Pegasus Books had L-Spaciality, rambling rooms stacked with high shelves reachable with steps.  I found Teach Yourself Welsh and Teach Yourself Beginners Hindi in the back rooms of its maze.  It’s in the Left Bank of Cuba Mall.  If you in the Left Bank for the Night Market you can get a good goat curry.

Arty Bees has changed it’s layout since I first visited it.  The front of the shop has Science Fiction and Fantasy novels on display, both first-hand and second-hand.  Then up to the mezzanine for popular fiction, and upstairs for second-hand non-fiction.  It is a veritable library up there.  I found a copy of Teach Yourself Hausa, which was a title I did not recognise and had to buy.  I took it to the counter and the guy immediately when to Omniglot to say “My hovercraft is full of eels” and Hausa wasn’t listed!  Somehow the world seems a smaller place!

Quilters was also mentioned as a bookshop to visit.  I didn’t get the chance.  Never mind.  I’m happy for what I found.  It makes up for missing the Regent Theatre’s Everything But Books Book-sale in Dunedin.

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