Thursday, July 26, 2012

...une longueur monotone..

...."Blessent mon coeur d’une longueur monotone."*

I think it must be the weather but my thoughts constantly turn  to that famous line just lately when thinking anything wargame related.... damn hot in the loft, and despite that fact that I have a regiment of Black Hat Miniatures Marlburian troops under-coated and ready to go I'm having great difficulty in summoning up enough enthusiasm to mount the steps, sit down, and apply brush...

Picture blagged from the League of Augsburg site North and Grey's
Regiment - these guys are simply superb and were
painted by forum member Churchill
Those guys are destined (eventually) to become the Earl of Bath's Regiment (or 10th Regiment of Foot, North Lincoln Regiment), though by the assault on the Schellenberg/Blenheim they should more properly be known as Lord North and Grey's Regiment, as the Earl had gone to Barbados as Governor in January 1703.... this will be the fourth regiment I've painted in Rowe's Brigade (named for Brigadier General Archibald Rowe)....

With a summer the like of which we've had in the UK, it's also hardly surprising now that the sun's come out, that I've also been fairly busy on the boat...  after long winters of work, cold hands, cold nose, aching muscles, and all the rest of it, sailing types start to reap the dividends at this time of year.....  and so it is with me, I've had some fine times out in the sun, but it surely chews into you wargaming time...

The good news is that DG and I are about to fight what I think will be the last game in the ongoing ACW Campaign - using Regimental Fire and Fury for rules, and Battle Chronicler for exchanging moves....  move 1 at the moment...

...and lastly, we have holidays fairly soon - lots to prepare......

....which I hope explains my 'monotonous languor' with regard to updating this blog!

==============================================

* Shortly before the D-Day landings of 6 June 1944, "Radio Londres" broadcast the first stanza of Paul Verlaine's poem "Chanson d'automne" to let the resistance know that Operation Overlord, the invasion, would begin within 24 hours.
Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l’automne
Blessent mon cœur
D’une langueur
Monotone.
[The long sobs of the violins of autumn, wound my heart with a monotonous languor..]

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Does it get any better...

..than the thump on the door-mat that indicates reinforcements have arrived for both Marlborough and the Duc de Tallard??

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Soul guitarist..... Mike and the Mechanics at Bournemouth...

“soul surfer...to pursue surfing not just as an athletic endeavour or as a sunny day diversion, but to try to glean whatever lessons you can from the practice. It means being aware of your surroundings, and respectful of the people and places that you interact with. It means being patient, mindful, kind, compassionate, understanding, active, thoughtful, faithful, hopeful, gracious, disciplined and…good.” 
[Brad Melekian in a 2005 article in Surfer magazine]

...so to push the analogy a little further than was perhaps intended, I think it's also possible to have a "soul guitarist", and by that I mean that after far too long listening to many many rock bands, I've identified two types... the histrionic rock gods epitomised by Slash and his ilk*, and then you've got the guys who just meld with their instrument, and just make music that sends chills up and down your spine....

...and so we bring ourselves to the 02 Academy in Bournemouth on Monday night for a quite astonishingly understated, and under promoted, gig by one of my favourite bands, "Mike and the Mechanics" who have quite possibly one of the best "soul guitarists" I know, Mike Rutherford, the Mike in the name of the band, but also of Genesis fame...

...superb concert - there's all the signs that as he gets older, he is getting more free with his back catalogue, so not only did we get the Mechanics hits (though no new album to tour unlike last year), all the regulars were featured plus a few from last years album, but we also got some surprising Genesis hits (Throwing It All Away, Follow You Follow Me, I Can't Dance) and also a couple from the back catalogue of Andrew Roachford (Cuddly Toy, This Generation) who, along with Tim Howar, continues to provide the vocals for the band....

What a superb night, consummate musicians, wonderful set, hideous venue, but the crowd were up for it from the second song and there then ensued a veritable orgy of "dad dancing" by yours truly, and ensuing embarrassment to my little'uns....  tough....  I spent a lot of time getting to this age....!

I'll leave you with a live version of "Living Years" - one of my top 5 of my songs of all time...  and the perfect demonstration of what a soul guitarist does best - like a metronome in the background, understated, but it carries the whole song..... 


* ....they have their place, but I find less and less of a place as I get older... 

http://www.genesis-news.com/news-Mike-The-Mechanics-Tour-start-with-new-setlist-n285.html

Sunday, July 01, 2012

"Cause for Alarm".. a review..

Works a bugger at the moment, then we had visitors,but I promise I'm still here...

Thank goodness for the American Civil War campaign DG and I are playing as it's a bit of a lifeline at the moment, that and the Blue Max/Wooden Ships website!

I've also been reading a fair amount, but not a lot of it directly related to wargaming though there always idea's to be found...!

Just sneaking in before the end of June, this one was an interesting read though... Eric Ambler is not read enough these days in my view (ditto Alastair MacLean, Ian Fleming and those other pantheons of 70's fiction )...


Marlow, an engineer, is "let go" by his company in pre-war 1937 Britain. There is an economic depression, and after searching for some considerable time for a new job, he is finally offered a job by an engineering company who have an office in Italy.

Despite his misgivings, and as beggars can't be choosers, he takes the job and is then plunged into Mussolini era Italy...  shady generals in mascara, the ballet, bribery and corruption, fascismo, and a beating by the Italian secret police follow before he eventually has to escape the country following a trumped up charge that could see him in prison....  a brilliant account of his escape from the country which is helped by the Soviet (?? or is he an American... we never find out!) agent Valeshoff (I found out after I started it that this was the second book in a series of two featuring him)... Good.... 7 out of 10