You may remember that a while back, dear reader, I embarked upon a new hobby/sport called archery. You may remember I was an instant fan of loaded weapons being called a ‘sport’. Normally, I start new things and have to work at them, and in the end it tails off and I quit because “it just doesn’t do it for me”, as Lone Star once said.
But archery. Ah, archery. Six lessons down the line and I’m getting worse. About missing it, I mean. It’s an obsession. In fact, it’s coming close to writing as a constant pre-occupation. I think because I only get one hour a week at it, I always feel it’s snatched away before I’ve had enough. I don’t know what would happen if I could last two hours at once. I don’t think I could - my right arm would be dead long before the two hours were up, and the fingers of my left hand would probably lose the ability to curl.
It’s getting to the stage where I should have my own training bow. I know exactly the one I want - I already borrow it for lessons. It likes me and I like it. All I have to do is actually buy it and then it could come home with me - and therein comes the next problem.
Where in the perpetually vexing hell would you be able to practise with it in HK? I mean, the place is not exactly famous for its wide open spaces. I have asked at the block where I live. There’s a huge dance studio, a ginormous aerobics room, a yoga hangar, a multi-function aircraft storage facility and a secret underground lair. Ok, so there isn’t a secret underground lair.
Anyway, even after a lot of bargaining and showing of examples and guarantees of safety, The Management have decided that none of these are available for someone who wants to shoot 16-inch metal arrows that travel at 260 feet per second into an 12 inch thick, 6 foot wide safety bail with a relatively small paper target pinned to the front. I can’t say I blame them - there are a lot of mirrors in all of those rooms, and they’d no doubt be expensive to replace. I’m not suggesting that I’m that bad a shot that I’d take a few out by accident, but, by definition, accidents are inevitable and I’d be stupid to pretend I could never loose an arrow sufficiently off-target to cause some damage. It just means I’ll have to look somewhere else for target practice.
If you happen to know of anywhere, please let me know. I’m thinking of asking the local police if I can use the park outside our block.