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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Remembering Leonard Nimoy



A sad day. It has been announced that Leonard Nimoy has passed. I'm sure his Mr. Spock will not be forgotten for a long time, particularly by those of us who were teens in the late sixties and early seventies. (Boy, I loved Star Trek.) He was last seen by us in "Fringe".



I could not find a picture for Fringe that included Leonard Nimoy

Monday, 9 February 2015

"Kingsman", "Louisbourg 1758" and two more trips booked


Saturday trip first to Carluccio's for a very tasty pasta lunch followed by Cityscreen in York to see "Kingsman". Both B and myself said the film was OK, a laugh, entertaining, definitely not to be taken seriously but a couple of hours well spent.

During the week I have sorted out some more travel for this year (off screen - rubs hands together with satisfaction and excitement), two more history trips.

First - I am a very inactive member of the Fortress Study Group (FSG). In the January edition of the FSG magazine, "Casemate", there was a piece about a proposed FSG Study Weekend to Plymouth in late April to tour the 1860's landward forts. These were built to protect the Royal Navy facilities in the port. I have a place on this tour. As the hotel rates are priced per room and not per person, B will come with me but to see friends in the South West, not to visit the forts and batteries.

Then in June I have my trip to the Maginot Line.

Second new trip - with B to see some of the sights of Andalusia in Spain. A week in mid-September, staying in Malaga, Seville and Granada, travelling by coach and visiting the major Moorish sights such as the Mezquita and the Alhambra. We are very excited about this, we have been saying for a few years that we should do this.

Other bits of news. Last week I returned to studying French history. The History of the Crusades course I am attending looked at the 12th century Albigensian Crusade against the Cathar religion of Southern France. This was very interesting as the class is mainly older people that went through a 1960's and 70's C of E based education and were not familiar with the intricacies of the Catholicism v Catharism debate.

Also, I read this book:

I like these Osprey books, they are always well written and illustrated. I have several by this author, René Chartrand, a specialist in the French military of the 18th century. They are a great way to get the basic facts and for quick reference material. The main problem is now that Louisbourg has been added to the list of sites I want to visit.


Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Konigstiger

Another Facebook photo.


Fancy meeting this tiger on the road! This WWII German Tank, a SdKfz 182 Tiger 2 or Konigstiger, was being returned to the French Tank Museum (Musée des Blindés) at Saumur after starring at a publicity event for the publishers Histoire et Collection in Paris.

According to Wikipedia, Konigstiger is German for Bengal Tiger, not King Tiger. This particular example still runs and on occasion is driven around the Museum's testing ground.


Another Facebook photo from a mischievous person.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

17th Century French Partisan


I think this is beautiful so I wanted to share it.

From Fort Ticonderoga's Facebook page, a photograph of a French Army Sergeant's Partisan, made during the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Vapnartak 2015 and "Her"

Sunday, 1st February.

The day started badly with England playing Australia in a one day 50 over cricket match and losing, badly. Australia were very good, England were....mediocre. This does not bode well for the World Cup that starts in two weeks time with Australia v England as the tournament opening match.

The afternoon improved as I went across town to Vapnartak 2015 at York racecourse. I heard someone saying this is the largest wargaming event in the UK outside London. I had a very pleasant afternoon, talked to some dealers, made some purchases and watched a few games and resisted the temptation of fish and chips.

One of the games brought back some schooldays memories. "Ilkley Old Boys" staged The Battle of Blastof Bridge, as written in Charge. This is a book I remember well and played some games using these rules. A fairly simple ruleset, the idea was to try to entice some youngsters at the fair to try wargaming. It seemed to be working.

Purchases. I am buying and painting a few Middle eastern figures, Ottoman and Arab troops, for mid-18th century armies. I wanted to buy some sample figures.

Ottomans from Dixons, two blisters covering half the Dixon range

Arab Militia spearmen

These Saga Saracens look fantastic

Saracen shield transfers, also from Saga

A couple of blister packs to complete another project 
£90 worth of figures and transfers. £500 of temptation resisted, in particular the Early War Miniatures 1940 French Army vehicles and figures.

Home and close the doors and curtains for the evening. B made a lovely roast duck dinner and we had a nice bottle of Cote de Rhone. We settled in to watch a film. Our first choice  was "300 Rise of an Empire" was a mistake, after 15 minutes we gave up, just in time to catch "Her" on Sky Movies. It was billed as a romance but it was good. Joachim Phoenix is a young actor who is starting to shine.


Sunday finished very well.