Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Heckenfeur #3

... or: "I aten't dead" to quote Granny Weatherwax.

Well, here I be, six weeks into baby Sam and all is going pretty well; no dramas to report. Big sister seems to be happy enough with her "bay" as she calls him. Amy's doing well; breast feeding is proceeding. Sleep is being lost! All normal so to speak.

So, it's half past six in the morning here at the moment, both children are still asleep as is mother, so it's obviously time for a blog posting.

So to business.

Firstly, thanks you all very much for your kind notes and emails after my last posting. They have been too numerous (and I've not really had much computer time to be able) to respond to, but please be assured that all have been read and are very much appreciated here.

Hobby activities are on a heavy, heavy slow-down here in the Duchy of Alzheim. Bauer has gone fishing and HM Augustus Rex is snoozing after consuming much too much trifle over the Christmas holiday.

Naturally, imagineering has gone on apace as ever; the focus of my attention is always rather like a blowfly trapped in a jar and bouncing off the sides if that makes any sense whatsoever. I recently dug out my old copies of Practical Wargamer - I think I may have about two-thirds of the set if it went no further than Volume 12 - and have been reading away. The first thing I turned to was John Treadaways always excellent "Fantasy Facts" column which I hope some of you might remember with admiration for the force of his opinions and very entertaining style. It looks to me like he was quite a fan of GZG's products (in addition to the work of Tom Meier and Julie Guthrie) and I remembered how nearly 20 years ago I really, really wanted some of the Stargrunt figures he wrote about but never bought at the time due to the difficulty and huge expense in those far-off pre-internet days of ordering anything from overseas. Well, a little googling (new verb anyone?) and I found that not just GZG but quite a few other manufacturers from that era are still in business and now I've various little parcels of lead and resin crawling their way through the lousy northern winter to my sunny door-step. lovely. Phil Olley will tell me off for being a hobby scatterbrain, but there's no helping that!

So, pure self-indulgence.

What else? Since Sam's been born my duty has been to give Erin her breakfast first thing in the morning and while she's dawdled over her Rice Bubbles I've done a little plastic modelling. Just some Armourfast kits that I had hoarded - so now i have a half dozen Sherman 2 and 3s with a Matchbox Dingo scout car for Alamein if that ever happens. I still go and re-read the Richard Marsh Alamein article on the Rapid Fire website. We'll see.

My Sudan wanderings continue. Not to the same extent as Gordon, but I have just finished painting a dinky little Conoisseur Screw-Gun and crew and just finished prepping and undercoating a trio of 9-pounders which seem to make up into very nice models. I've also about finished reading Mike Snook's "Go Strong into the Desert" which is a very comprehensive (for the relative brevity of the book) treatment of the early part of the conflict in the Sudan, say, 1881 to 1885. Lovely plates, excellent narrative, really good information on early Mahdist dress that chimes in very well with the early Mahdists produced by Castaway Arts. My respect for Gerry Webb as a designer and researcher went up another couple of notches as a result of reading this book.

I especially enjoyed the too-brief discussion of the logistic options available to Wolseley and how they pretty well sealed Gordon's fate. A good book overall, although I found the author's political commentary a bit off-putting, but then I would, wouldn't I? Recommended.

That's about it for now, Erin is strating to stir and will be wanting her Rice Bubbles shortly and as it's now a quarter past 7, I'd like a coffee myself.