The weekend just gone has been really good. In fact it was almost perfect except for one small faux pas that I will save until last.
Saturday morning was spent conducting the usual weekly shop whilst the afternoon was spent with me loading the car for the visit to the Cavalier wargames show in Tonbridge on Sunday. Two large boxes of books, four crates of unpainted figures and a pile of other bits and pieces filled most of the Honda Civic but with all the extra ballast on board I fairly confident that the forthcoming high winds would not be an issue!
In the evening the family headed out for a belated celebratory dinner for my wife's recent birthday (and also our wedding anniversary). As this was the weekend our grandson was with us it was the perfect opportunity to head out and so we visited our favourite local Turkish restaurant. The food was, as always, excellent but since they doubled the size of the venue it has lost some of its personality. It was also very noisy which was a shame. The general consensus was that in future we would probably confine ourselves to eating there outside of the weekend or via their excellent takeaway option. It was great fun though and as mentioned, the food was outstanding - Turkish cuisine is my favourite if I am honest, surpassing even Indian.
Sunday was of course the day of the show itself. For me it is the first show of the year and it is always one I enjoy. I set off bright and early although the drive down was dismal with overcast skies and wind propelled drizzle all the way - there was also the small matter of the main road - the A21 - being closed in the vicinity of where one would usually turn off for Tonbridge. This meant an impromptu tour of the nearby town of Hildenborough which was actually rather pleasant. I arrived safely though at around 8am.
I was quite fortunate in that I bumped into Colonel Bill in the car park which was very handy as the four crates of figures were heading in his direction! These represent the remainder of Eric's unpainted 18th kit which he is sorting through for me.
It was then on to Dave Lanchester and his second hand book emporium - in exchange for helping him and his wife Lynne set up his stall it means that I can get in early. We also had some business to transact and so I am now the proud owner of copies the Blandford Peninsula War and 1812 titles in hardback as well as George Nafziger's monumental work on the Russian campaign of 1812. I could easily have spent a small fortune with Dave and his stall is always worth a look.
Members of the bloggeratti were present in the shape of Bob Cordery (more of which later), three of Postie's Rejects - Lee, Ray and Postie himself - Lee Gramson (again, more of which later) and also Henry Hyde. With the exception of Lee Gramson I had some lively and thought provoking discussions and apologies to any other bloggers that may have been present that I missed!
Bob and I indulged in our usual exchange of bits and pieces and so I am now the grateful owner of a large number of Del Prado figures - mainly command types but with some very useful infantry and guns - as well as some 15mm WW2 kit which is being put to one side for the present whilst the Napoleonics are being worked on. There were also some 1815 related titles which is always a good thing in my opinion!
We spoke about things many and varied - Bob is always good value for gaming related advice and support - and following on from his blog post about the Portable Colonial Wargame it is one that I am really eager to see in due course.
On the subject of books due to arrive Henry Hyde mentioned that his forthcoming book on Wargames Campaigns is moving towards the final stages prior to publication which is really good news and it is certainly one that will be on my 'to get' list in due course!
I had a brief tour of the show which seemed to be busier than usual and also with a few 'no shows' in respect of the traders. If I am honest I was more concerned about making sure that all the various bits and pieces I had were delivered than looking around but it was great fun in any event.
The only downside for me was that I completely managed to mess up meeting with Lee Gramson - basically we didn't - for the first time after his move back from foreign climes. I will have to stick my hand in the air and say it was entirely my fault as I had not nailed down the arrangements nearly well enough. After several tours of the venue, some attempted messenger calls, a brief and intermittent exchange of emails (probably not the most reliable method as my phone signal was rubbish) and evening a shout out over the PA system I was forced to abandon the attempt and head home at 12:30.
Note to self - failing to plan is planning to fail....
All in all it was a great way to spend a Sunday morning and the injection of figures for the Del Prado project was really welcome. All of the French figures are now off of their original bases so I can now start cleaning up the undersides prior to getting the glue out. There are a few figures from Bob that need soaking off their bases and so they went straight 'in the drink' last night. As mentioned most of the figures are command types - mainly musicians and standard bearers but with a smattering of officers, some rank and file and gunners. Not to mention a pair of French guns as well. All good stuff and with the eBay bits that are arriving this week I am in pretty good shape overall.