Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Happy Birthday...

..it's my birthday today, so happy birthday to me... J ..so what about the presents?? Well nothing particularly bright and shiny in the wargaming department, but to be honest after this number of years I don't really expect packets of little metal men wrapped in birthday paper, and anyway part of the joy of the hobby is being able to choose and buy yourself - if someone else bought them for me, what would I do??!

So what did I get??

  • Well, standing instructions to my nearests and dearests are "book tokens, please, plain vanilla, and in any denomination you care to choose.." What does he mean by 'plain vanilla', you ask?? Well, in the UK you can get book tokens/vouchers that can only be spent in a specific shop - hideous - I like the one's you can spend in any shop... my idea of a nightmare is to get WHSmith vouchers (a UK stationers chain for my worldwide readers) - their book ordering is a minimum 6 weeks, and that's if they can get it, and usually they're more expensive than anyone else.... Anyway I'm pleased to say I got a nice pile of "plain vanilla" ones this morning - now starts the cogitation, planning, thinking etc. about what to spend them on... ace! The only definite I have at the moment is the Saul David book "Victoria's Wars: The Rise of Empire" which is just out in paperback.. suggestions to me....
  • Beer - another one of my abiding passions! Four bottles of Hop Back "Summer Lightning" (absolutely classic ale - golden, slightly citrus, bitter), and four bottles of a beer that I seem to discover every winter Fullers "Winter Ale" (web site says it all - dark, malty, fruity, nutty, bitter).. I also got a bottle of Fullers "Vintage Ale" - not tried this before, but it looks like I need to treat it with reverence.. J
  • Books - just one, the new Alan Mallinson, Hervey of the Light Dragoons novel "Man of War" - I've been reading the Hervey books since the start of the series and wholeheartedly recommend them - this is the 9th book, and is set in 1827 (all the books are about life in a Light Dragoon regiment after the Napoleonic Wars, so not the normal re-hash of Sharpe). Previous books have dealt with conflicts in India, Canada, etc. Top notch reading, in the style of Patrick O'Brien....

So what has been happening on the wargaming front...?? Not much, to be honest, bit busy elsewhere.. I have been catching up on my reading, however, having just finished Falkners book on Ramillies. Falkner is rapidly becoming one of my favourite military history writers (see also his book on Blenheim in the same series), he writes clearly, lucidly, with good sources, and lots of eyewitness comments. He also has the happy knack of being able to keep me turning the page - very easy to read, and very exciting....

My wargaming buddy DG is down this weekend however, and the drums of war are already beating...

Final word this post, from "Ramillies" - how about this for a life??

"In memory of William Billinge, who was born in a Cornfield at Fawfieldhead in this parish in the year 1679. At the age of 25 years he enlisted into His Majesty's Service under Sir George Rooke, and was at the taking of the Fortress of Gibraltar in 1704. He afterwards served under the Duke of Marlborough at the ever memorable Battle of Ramillies, fought on the 23rd of May, 1706 where he was wounded by a musket, shot in the thigh. He afterwards returned to his native country, and with manly courage defended his Sovereign's rights at the Rebellion in 1715 and 1745. He died within the space of 150 yards of where he was born, and was interred here the 30th January 1791, aged 112 years.

Billited by Death, I quartered here remain. When the trumpet sounds, I'll rise and march again."

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful epitaph!

    Allow me to wish you a belated "Happy Birthday".

    -- Jeff