This week, despite the need to add other objects with other destinations (including a visit to the lawyer who handled our son's guardianship stuff) I managed to have all the fencing gear in the car (yay!) and so got to fence on a crisp, cool night with my instructor...yes, the ouchy toe is still ouchy, but not ouchy enough to keep me from enjoying the practice. It was the first real, serious, all-out test of the new blade (purchased at Dragon*Con) and yes, it plays as good as it felt in the dealer's room. It is indeed fast--the perfect balance helps that, and the slightly narrower (thus lighter) blade than on my older one. I thought I wouldn't like the flat, disk-shaped pommel, but I do...it doesn't bump into my wrist tendons at all. The grip could be a little thicker (but I'm not having trouble holding onto it, with gloves on.) The older one, always technically too long for me, has become harder to manage as I get older (I've had it over 10 years), so I'm having an inch taken off of it, which should improve its balance, lighten it a little, and thus make it faster--but I don't expect it to be as fast. We'll see.
Lots of fun, and the toe would've been ouchy anyway.