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Monday, 25 April 2016

"Miles Ahead"

Sunday - we had a trip to the cinema to see the new "Miles Ahead". Both B and myself are fans of 1950's/60's jazz so the film had a natural appeal to us and it it did not fail to deliver. "Miles Ahead" is far better than we anticipated. I'm not sure how much of the film was biographical (or true), but it was very well done, very well acted. And the music - wow. I have already ordered another album.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Salute 2016

Yesterday I had a day out in London to attend "Salute 2016" - and a good day out it was.

I took a wad of cash with me but this special edition magazine (and a lunchtime "Bad Boy" burger) is all I bought.

The day before I was considering a buying list and trying to plan which merchants I would visit and what figures or accessories did I want. I looked in my desk and there was nothing specific that came to mind so I thought I would buy whatever took my fancy. When I was at the show, nothing grabbed my attention, so as I said, all I bought was the magazine.

Having said this, I had a really good day, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. There was a lot of sci-fi and fantasy; as a great fan of sci-fi/fantasy films I liked checking out the figures although some of the RPG female figures were a bit close to being an adolescent boy's fantasy.

I had a few good chats with dealers and gamers, including a ten minute talk with the author Dr. Stephen Summerfield about the 1808/09 campaign in Spain, a very interesting chap. I watched and admired a few games, one sparked another film related memory. A large table with a Vietnam game, lots of palm trees, as soon as I saw it into my head popped "This is the end, beautiful friend", the opening sequence of "Apocalypse Now" with the Doors. That was my earworm for the next hour.

On the train home I finished the biography of Sir John Moore I bought at Sheffield Triples.

All things considered, a good day out.

My desk - the middle and bottom drawers hold my metal mountain

Work in progress - a lot of Ottoman figures (Dixon, Red Box and Zvezda)

Monday, 11 April 2016

"High Rise"

A month has passed since we last went to the cinema so we chose this British film to go and see. It is an adaptation of a J G Ballard novel from the late seventies, a very dystopian plot about a high-rise apartment building where the floors of residents start fighting each other.

I cannot make up my mind about this film. Maybe I  missed something. A very interesting cast list with some old names but some of the new, upcoming actors. An interesting idea. Good 1970's costume work and decorating of the apartments. seemed long and ponderous and I was glad when it finished.

And now I don't know how to finish this blog........

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Book buying spree

I have given into temptation. I promised myself that I would not buy any more books until I had read a couple of the unread books on the shelves, such as Simon Schama's "Citizens" or Chris Duffy's "Eagles Over the Alps", but I am a weak man. Sometimes, good intentions have to be put aside in order to find the answer to a nagging question or follow an interesting nugget of history. So in the last two weeks I have become reacquainted with our postman as he delivers a few parcels.

First temptation; Osprey had a special offer and I have been curious about the Siege of Petersburg for some time, since someone told me this was the longest and largest siege in the American Civil War. A special offer is a good time to buy a book so I have :-

I have finished this book already, now I know, or at least I have an overview of the siege.

Second temptation: at the end of my talk on the Battle of Verdun, one of the questions asked was did I think the battle was the cause of the collapse of the French Army and the subsequent mutiny. My answer is "No" as I believe the final spark for the collapse was the Nivelle Offensive on the Chemin des Dames in Spring 1917, on top of a number of other factors. Why do I think that? Maybe a new book on this could enlighten me.

Oh, and whilst I am thinking about this, a return visit to the Chemin des Dames would be good so a new guidebook is required. I have a couple of books by Andrew Uffindell, yes, I could buy his new book.

Third temptation; for next year's U3A talk, it was a penny on Amazon, plus two pounds eighty pence for postage - a bargain.

Fourth temptation; a return to my main subject, the military history of the French Third Republic, well, one of my main subjects. This book from Mr Zaloga was part of Osprey's offer.

Fifth temptation; just because I wanted it. This is one of a small series of books from H & C in Paris, on the French Army in 1940. No excuses for this purchase, I just wanted it.