The Thinker ran the fastest that day!
Its been two weeks since I last made a post on this site. Have I been away, been abroad, been missing in action? No. Not really. I was here all the while but I was trying out a ‘working break’ that is an effort to cut my workload down while still being at work. How to do this you ask…well its not complex.
Essentially I wanted time to spend with my children and my wife as the weather here in Scotland finally and I do mean finally began to heat up and it meant time down the beach in Girvan and trips out and about. I work long hours and answer many hundreds of emails a week along with organising several projects and a dozen other tasks a day. On top of the wargaming company workload I have this website and a blog and the Notables Yahoo Group too along with other online profiles to update and interact with. To have a ‘working break’ I organised two weeks where I continued to do the office work but not the additional tasks such as this website. Call it working to rule instead of working on rules if you like.
In the last two weeks I have attended two large outdoor events, the Mauchline Holy Fair and the Girvan Lowland Gathering. I have had guests to stay, helped a long term and dear friend and her friend move house, written about ten thousand words of fiction, read four novels, watched half a dozen anime movies and listened to several new and older albums. I have spent quality time with the greatest lady in the world (my wife!) where she reminded me why she is still my number one after sixteen years together and I had the pleasure of learning that my middle son came third in his sports day at school and my eldest son came first at his (hence the image above).
What has been most interesting though is the concern from several wargamers and others for me. Why have I been so quiet, am I all right and so on. Let me say I am fine and what I have been working on will be happening later this summer. Thank you for your concern one and all!
Lastly I have decided that I can no longer keep up efforts to maintain my tabletop wargamer blog. So instead of putting it on hiatus I am going to end it totally. This will be in another post shortly.
ohn Watt & Davie Stewart, in the dance hall at the first festival – 1974. © Peter Fairbairn, Kilmaurs
It was the annual Girvan Folk Festival at the weekend and by all accounts a good time was had all around. While I did not attend any of the two dozen or so events I do live in the very heart of the town of Girvan and this meant I was within earshot of most of the pubs and hotels which hosted the groups and bands playing their music and teaching others the skills of folk. This was the thirty ninth festival, tinged with a hint of sadness as the instigator of the festivals Bobby Robb died last year.
In the Roxy Beer Garden 2013. © Tog Porter – Wigwam Photography
While it is no secret that Girvan has suffered in the current recession I was proud of the way that the town managed to bring in a couple of thousand visitors over a weekend and take good care of them. This despite the diminishing in facilities in the town (don’t get me started on politics!) and weather that was thankfully mild but dull and rainy. Listening to the music gave me free entertainment and some joy too. It is always good to hear people having fun (my neighbours got married at the weekend too) and while I got little sleep on Saturday night I lay awake with a smile on my face while the guitars played away the wee hours.
I have heard a rumour that some people complained about the charge for a weekend in secure parking and camping in the town. This charge being to turn away those not interested in the festival and for security, including a police presence, to keep families and others safe. I personally think that about 35.00GBP for a family of four for a weekend pitch during an event is perfectly fine but some did not. The security was needed after the activities of some ‘people’ (and I use the term loosely…cretins would be more accurate) last year and some property damage. There was no trouble this year that I am aware of.
If you have an interest in Folk Music check out the website for the festival and even if you don’t do it anyway as it is worth five minutes to see all the pictures.
Perhaps my schedule will allow me to attend some of the gigs next year for the big fortieth festival in 2014.
Well done Girvan!
My eldest son got another ‘senior student’ badge today from his school. Those who follow this blog might remember he also got this badge back in September last year. Getting it twice in a year seems to be something of an achievement. The badge has no meaning in terms of school work in class its a citizenship type award instead; being given instead for aiding others in school life. I will not go into details but the lad often assists other pupils who have medical or social needs beyond the norm and it goes with his caring and responsible nature. As normal he will accept no praise so a five pound note left in his pocket this evening will do the work for me.
Tonight is also the bi-annual parents evening at the school, so perhaps he will score big twice this week. Or even three times since the ‘star awards’ are middle of this week and he may make the grade there too.
Well done son!
Just a quick posting today here on the blog. Why, you ask. Well firstly so that I can show you all these three lovely Tooth Fairy Pillows my good lady made for our three lads and secondly because Salute has left me knackered and with only a day left until the promo month for the show ends the orders are still pouring into Alternative Armies. Normal service as of next week as they say…what am I brewing, lets just say its been talked about before on this blog…
In the picture you can see the three little pillows my good lady made. Honestly who needs to buy such things when this talented girl is in the house and making them herself. Lovely work and the project made a change from miniatures you can be sure of that. I said she should consider making them to order. As to to what such a pillow is for…you put your tooth in it when it comes out and then during the night the Tooth Fairy leaves you a golden coin (if you are lucky enough to have Sterling as currency, one pound coins are gold in colour) which you can spend as you like the next day!
Well done lass!
GBS, Bob, Eve Hallow and wee Bob too!
It has taken me a wee while to get to this posting here due to work commitments (I am only one Man damn it!) but I wanted to tell you all about a visit of several days that I had been looking forward to from my good friend in America Bob McAlister and his family. During a visit to Scotland last week the jolly three came by and spent a few days here in Girvan. A good time was had by all and several field trips undertaken as well. Bob had sent me a package last year which I posted about and I took the chance to repay him by a filling with beer at the Roxy Pub here in Girvan and getting him hooked on Irn-Bru.
While he was here Bob and I played out the Typhon demo scenario for Salute 2013 on a cut down sized playing area and yes I won but only just. It was a close call. Below you can see Bob and I talking shop before play commenced. Typhon is a super game for a visual experience and my Droves of Shades gave a powerful account of themselves against Tyro and her Cyclopes too.
Getting ready to Play Typhon. Bob is the handsome fellow on the right!
During our excursion to Glasgow we visited Static Games and I picked up a stack of second hand books and magazines including some very early White Dwarf issues. If time allows I will post on these later in the month.
Bob and his family were delightful company and we all missed them when they left. The world can seem a large place but really in these days of jet travel, skype, email, facebook and more its not so big after all.
A Golden Ticket with my name on it!
Its a rainy dreary day here in Scotland…well at least in the South West where I am. But that did not put the wee three off a trip to the Chocolate Factory today. A trip which had been planned since the Warrior’s fourth birthday. At the themed party that day he had gotten a ‘golden ticket’ and duly a visit to the excellent Chocolate Factory about an hour or so away was arranged. It has taken a few months for the golden ticket promise to be honoured but today was the day. I unfortunately was too busy to go along but the tale was told upon their return.
The Thinker and the Warrior learn the ways of Choc!
The CocoaBean Company runs the premises and you can see from their website just what they offer. Above you can see a photo of a children’s chocolate workshop which all three of my lads enjoyed a lot. After this and a spot of lunch (and chocolate..duh!) a large indoor play area offered fun and then an even bigger play area outside had a giant slide; see below.
The Poet on the loooong slide down!
All in all based on what I seen and been told I would recommend this experience to anyone with children who is in this part of Scotland or North England. Good show!
The Swag of the Day!
Its me birthday today…Huzzah! Its also been a long week of many things the future will show, hence the lack of blog postings and updates.
Thanks to all who gave me a gift. Not only a physical object but also their time, for the emails, phone calls and also visits in person. Above you can see some of what I received including several graphic art books and DVD’s too. I may do a posting or two on some of these but they are all smashing great objects which will keep me ‘nerding’ for many hours over the coming weeks. You will also see a polo shirt behind everything else. This is a staff shirt from my local hostelry the ‘Roxy’. They adore me so much they gave me a uniform so that I might work for them…but the 15mm.co.uk shirt I currently wear would have to be prised off with a white metal crowbar first!
Special mention to my best buddy Jim Brittain who took several days off his work to come and stay here with me in Girvan for my birthday weekend. Also Eve Hallow who amused all with the scratching of his long nails on every chalkboard he could find. Also my Good Lady who organised not only a rousing cheer or two but also a cake and other surprises.
Normal service resumed soon!
p.s. I am 34 today in case the title is somewhat confusing in this posting.
Happy Birthday to ‘The Poet’ for yesterday was his seventh birthday!
Above you can see the lovely cake, my good lady does like to get a proper cake for a birthday, this time themed upon SpongeBob Squarepants featuring him on the left and pinky Patrick Starr on the right. Great taste and the little chap loved it. The day went well with some presents to open and cards to put up upon the mantleplace and he was very grateful to all who had given him gifts and funds which he has promised to add to his savings for ‘fun later’. We had arranged for a two hour birthday party at the local Kidz Play centre where he, his brothers and twenty other children went on a sugar and music fuelled rampage (no pictures of this..sorry!).
I love the ducks me!
After lunch we decided on a trip to Maidens and then a walk along the beach to the grounds of Culzean Castle estate where a couple of enjoyable hours were had including the swing park and feeding the ducks and swans (on left over party food..what else!). The Poet and the swans are pictured above and a view as I walked back along the hill to the beach and back to the car also so that you get a feel for it. I intend to go back with the children when the weather heats up a bit more as it was a little chilly by late afternoon but its a fine view and a great place to spend a day.
The view from the hills on the Maidens side of Culzean
Given his choice of evening meal The Poet elected to go for Pizza which was duly done and then rounded off the day with a little chat to his favourite Uncle James (Jim Brittain) on the phone before heading off to bed. I should mention that he was most taken with the smooth lumps of lava, quartz and granite that he and the small Warrior lifted off the beach. Who needs toys eh!
Now we are seven…its a gonna be a cracking year!
Just another print on the wall…blame Pink Floyd
I actually carried out what this post is about a couple of weeks ago but work and other things have kept me from publishing this post…mainly as until this morning I thought I already had!
In a previous post I told you all about the artwork and article Sam Croes and I had created for Irregular Magazine. Sam based the artwork on my description of the giant fighting machines of the 22nd century. I thought the image was so awesome that I had it printed at a very high resolution and then framed by Green Jam here in Girvan. Green Jam do an excellent job in framing, highly recommended. Its an A2 sized print in top grade ink on a thick vellum like paper which is a little raised for a rich feel which was then fitted into a wooden frame with white border. Normally I only place frame prints of my wargame titles on the walls (you can see DarkeStorme to the right of the Robo Basho picture) but I made an exception here. Eventually wall space will run out but for now I am gold as they say.
Sam saw the print when he was here last week and he liked it a lot. I offered to send him another A2 sized print if he desired it, perhaps he shall.
Anyway call it a sin of pride but I just wanted to show you all what I got! :-)
What a magnetic kid!
Coming home from school today the oldest of my three sons, the Thinker, presented to me his beloved father the latest example of his achievement at school. A metallic magnet plate telling him that he had reached the point of having ten stars in his class. Stars are given for good work, good behaviour, good time keeping and helping others. I think of it more as ‘citizenship points’ than ones for education. He does well every year in this and his teacher has told me that he looks out for others constantly…if only all human beings were this way.
Well done me laddo!