Friday, 28 June 2019

Many Happy Returns

It's been a while since we had a random music video, and this one is especially for anyone reading whose birthday it is today.

It's also been a while since we've had any wargaming and there may be some of that along shortly as well.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Elvis has left the khazi

So, I was in a small, rather attractive market town in Warwickshire and decided, as one would, to go for a curry. The entrance to the first place that I came across was up some stairs that took me past the door to the gents and just as I reached it Elvis Presley stepped out wearing his full Las Vegas stage suit. Obviously I was somewhat surprised, after all everyone knows his food of choice was peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

Anyway, I couldn't get a seat because the place was packed for what was presumably some sort of secret comeback gig - and I must say he looked good for a man in his eighties - so I strolled off in search of another Indian restaurant. (For the benefit of colonial readers any British town of, as in this case, around 6,000 residents will have three Indian restaurants). On my way back an hour or so later - Onion Bhaji followed by Subz Ghost - I heard him singing. He didn't sound anything at all like this:

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Don't mistake activity with achievement

"I always arrive late at the office, but I make up for it by leaving early." - Charles Lamb

I'm just popping back in to point out that this work lark is all a bit inconvenient. Still, what I am doing has a moderate Secret Squirrel element which always adds an exotic air. On top of which from where I am hot-desking I can see a chap in a white lab coat performing experiments with various pieces of apparatus, thus confirming that I am indeed at the cutting edge of science and technology. He hasn't yet held a test-tube or beaker up to the light to examine its contents, but it can only be a matter of time.

It has however given me a chance to visit the RSC again, although once again not to see any Shakespeare. Instead I saw Thomas Otway's 1682 play 'Venice Preserved'. This was written not long after women had replaced boys in playing female roles and the programme points out that playwrights had just begun to create parts to specifically address this. One change that they hadn't made from Elizabethan and Jacobean times was leaving anyone still alive at the end. As we rose to go for the traditional interval ice cream I heard a man behind me say "It won't end well", and he wasn't wrong.


Sunday, 9 June 2019

Batting on

"Working people have a lot of bad habits, but the worst of these is work." - Clarence Darrow

I have come out of retirement again, most definitely for the final time, and in theory therefore there should be less time for wargaming. However, it's only part time and a spate of heavy rain here whilst there was no rain where the Cricket World Cup was taking place led to me getting the brushes out for the first time in some months. Already half complete was a unit of WWI British cavalry in both mounted and dismounted form and so I finished them off.

As I may have mentioned previously I managed to lose one of the dismounted figures somewhere between the washing and mounting for painting phases. I had hoped that during the long pause he would have made his way back to his comrades like in the scene from the first Toy Story movie, but sadly his desertion seems permanent. The horse holder is intended as a marker to highlight that these are dismounted cavalry.

I also set up in the annexe the Möckern scenario for Epic C&C, last played a couple of years ago (photos here and here).

I think the current set-up looks better for having lost all the bits of coloured felt, although if you look closely you'll still be able to see a small piece marking the ford across the Elster.

This particular battle gives me a chance to put some of my Polish troops on the table. If you have clicked on the link above you'll have seen an almost identical photo.

And a reminder of what the letters mean; the numbers are strength remaining.

The maps just visible on the pegboard to the right are from the not very ongoing Seven Years War campaign.

Friday, 7 June 2019

The Night Tripper

So, farewell then Dr John.

Here's Aretha with one of his songs:

And here, not for the first time on this blog, is the song that first made me aware of Mac Rebennack all those years ago; it's very long, but then again you can never have too much Steve Marriot:

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

The Splitters Split

Reg: "We're the People's Front of Judea!"

Loretta: "Oh, I thought we were the Popular Front."

Reg: "People's Front!"

Loretta: "Whatever happened to the Popular Front?"

Reg: "He's over there."

My sources point to one possible reason for the Tigger's problems. Notwithstanding the succession of ex-Tory females paraded as their leader over the last couple of months it appears that both Chuka Umunna and Chris Leslie thought that the long term solution was an ex-Labour man; in fact each of them thought that it should be him.

Let's end with a quote from Harold Pinter which is relevant not just to the Keystone Cops of British politics, but also to the tangerine sleazebag currently polluting the air over here:

“The majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lies. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.” 

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Mary, Don't You Weep

I have been to see 'Amazing Grace', the documentary of Aretha Franklin recording a live gospel album in January 1972. It's every bit as good as all the reviews say. Mind you, I wouldn't believe everything you read. Mick Jagger is in the second night audience and I saw one critic claim that this was a direct influence on 'Exile on Main Street'. Maybe, maybe not. The fact that the Stones' masterpiece had already been recorded by then would suggest the latter to me. One thing very noticeable to your bloggist was that everyone is clapping in time; look and learn British audiences, look and learn.

I also went to see 'Booksmart', the first hour of which I thoroughly enjoyed. I then suddenly felt rather nauseated. It got worse and, having visions of being Uncle Dick all over the people in the row in front, I made a hurried exit.

So, one film strongly recommended and one recommended with the caveat that I never saw the second half.