NEUROSCIENTIST Lilly Knechtel spends her weekdays researching causes and cures for schizophrenia.
But at weekends the PhD student trades her textbooks for a sword and her lab coat for a medieval gown, and has some of the best fun of her life.
Ms Knechtel, from Germany, said her passion for things medieval grew out of a love for theatre.
"I started sword fighting because I wanted to use it on stage, it is such a theatrical sport," she said on Saturday.
"I just loved it and then when I came to Australia I joined a medieval group."
After discovering the Cooranbong-based Household of the Green Knight, Ms Knechtel took up jousting and other equestrian pursuits.
"There's so much to learn. I'm just a beginner when it comes to the tournaments but it is so much fun," she said.
"I'm on computers all day so I just love getting out into nature and on a horse, not to mention all the feasting and drinking.
"I've even made my own feasting knife."
And what do her colleagues think of her unusual pursuit?
"My friends don't think I'm crazy, they know I am.
"But it is such a good time, and a great way to keep fit," she said.
"Actually, a lot of them have started getting into it as well."