Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Boot sales, Assignments and Tai Chi

This is a mixed post and no mistake! After the recent upheaval of my daughter's hospital visit it was with some relief that this weekend saw a return to what passes for normality in my household. To that end, we visited the famed 'lazybones' boot sale at Rettenden on Sunday and boy did I do well! The three books in the picture above came to £5 in total and are now residing in the fast filling library in my 'office'. Russia's War by Richard Overy tells the story from the Soviet perspective which I am sure will make for interesting reading. The Russian campaign of the last war is one of those periods of history I would love to game in some fashion but I have never gotten around to it. I used to really enjoy playing Cross of Iron (the first and IMHO best expansion for Squad Leader) and one of my most read books is Guy Sajer's The Forgotten Soldier which is set across the Eastern Front. I would prefer to game this at an operational level using something like Megablitz or Divisional Commander rather than tactical as the idea of irresistible force meeting an immovable object has an appeal all of its own! The other two titles will sit firmly in my rapidly expanding Dark Age Britain collection. I have always had a soft spot for the age of King Alfred and the associated Viking 'stuff' so this is a welcome addition. The Arthurian title is yet another twist on the story and will provide much food for thought.

The next bargain cost me £2 and is a complete copy of the game Cathedral. The idea of this game is to occupy the most amount of a medieval city within the perimeter walls by placing buildings to cover the ground and deny it to your opponent. The buildings are plan and in two shades of brown except the cathedral which is black. the game is good fun but true to my wargaming heritage I was mainly interested in the buildings. These would need painting and as mentioned are plain with no surface detail. In terms of size they would probably suit 6 to 10mm figures but I plan on using them for my 12mm 18th century Risk stuff when I ever get around to it. They would be very easy to paint into representative horse and musket generic buildings and so £2 for 29 buildings and two bridges is a bargain!
I have just completed my first assignment for college and have already hit a small problem. Not one that is difficult mind, just one that is probably a reflection of one of my more endearing habits. The assignment was fairly modest - 500 to 700 words outlining the role and responsibilities of the teacher in the teaching cycle - and so I attacked it my usual gusto and managed to complete it in 1,348 words...................As a result I have spent the last two days whittling it down to a more modest size and finished up with 864 words! My mission statement of never using a sentence when a paragraph (or two) will do just as nicely may need some drastic revision!
Finally, I fulfilled a long held ambition to start Tai Chi and so had my first session yesterday. I really enjoyed it although initially had all the grace and poise of an overweight Walrus attempting to do the Tango. It is not easy and is all about control my young padawans....;-). I ache in places I had forgotten I had although not in a major 'I-have-just-run-a-marathon' kind of way. The thing that struck me as odd though was the fact that some of the 108 moves have had their names 'updated' from the original Chinese descriptions. For Example, the 'Crane spreading wings' is now known, rather less poetically, as the 'unscrewing the light bulb' move. I know which one I prefer!!


Paul O'G said...

Well done "Grasshopper', on many fronts:
1) Great books, love Dark Age Britain too - you must go visit the Yorvik centre in York!
2) I'm always at least 20% over too so dont sweat it!
3) A least you dont have the grace of a 3-toes sloth in hibernation!

David Crook said...

Cheers old Boy! Rayleigh is quite close to a number of sites of Dark (Viking) Age interest and I should really make some more time to study these. I like the thought of gaming with warbands as well - forget all that fancy tactical stuff - just go in and hack!

I am not sweating re the numbers - I just need to fine tune the tendency to waffle!!

3-toed sloths - sleep 22 hours and eat and fornicate the other 2 - not a bad plan I think!

Paul O'G said...

Perhaps the 3-toed sloth is the new Mascot for WWS!

David Crook said...

I would love to see the coat of arms for that - and a suitable latin motto!