Wednesday, 8 July 2020


“The rain set early in tonight,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
And did its best to vex the lake:
I listened with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
Blaze up and all the cottage warm;”

- Robert Browning

For reasons that are no doubt perfectly logical it is only winter storms which are named in the UK. So when two weeks ago we were hit with hailstones the size of eggs and my garden was flooded twice, once because the hail was so intense that it washed the moss off the roof and blocked the gutters, it didn't have a name. A few days ago the wind was so strong that it broke off a sizeable chunk of the tree outside my house. On that occasion the branch - big enough to be used as a social distancing measuring stick (old school) - blew down the road at great speed causing cars to have to swerve out of its way, but still no name. Yesterday, the media got very excited about the approach of what is apparently known to everyone except the Met Office as Storm Edouard - and there's a definite touch of Johnny Foreigner about that name - to the extent that I planned a day inside. And what happened? It rained a bit, which, let's be frank, is not that unknown in the UK in July.

What I would have been doing if not for Edouard

Anyway, in the end I have managed to achieve a few wargames related things. I have had another try at washing figures in my new ultrasonic bath, and I think I have revised upwards my impression. It's all subjective, and the proof of the pudding will be when the paint doesn't flake off, but I think it's actually a pretty effective method. I have only tried it on metal figures so far and will have to report back when I have had a go with some plastic figures. I have almost, but not quite, finished off the couple of dozen ancient Britons which were left half-painted when lockdown commenced and were then never touched despite all the time I had to do so. The auxiliary cavalry command set that's next up has highlighted the limited extent of my reference library for the Romans. I have far more books on, for example, the Mexican Revolution despite not gaming that at all. The problem is that it contains a Vexillarius, and I could work out what he had on his head. Most online sources suggest an animal skin - although there is no unanimity about which - but the only animal it could plausibly be is a donkey, and I find that most unlikely. I have continued my reading of 'Infamy, Infamy' - another typo on page 22; come on Don, get a grip - but really need to set something up and work through it. That of course means either finishing off or abandoning the game currently set up.

And last, but not least I have had a go on the laser cutter for the first time since February. It was hard enough remembering how to get into the workshop, let alone how the machine itself worked, but it is another small step forwards.


  1. Got a copy of Infamy , Infamy but not read it yet , I'm a fan of Sharpe Practice which it is derived from so it should be okay (I do find their snigger snigger 'jokeyness' a bit annoying - but I'm a grumpy old man ) Think Roman standard bearers tended to wear bear or wolf skins I think .

    1. I've come to the conclusion that the figure isn't wearing a skin. Instead he's got one of those headdresses with a vertical feather on either side of the head.

  2. Ah - but you haven't found our deliberate error though have you!!