Monday, October 15, 2007

Archduke match Crisis!

The Archduke is the winebar I have been occasionally known to retire to after work before catching the train home from Waterloo station. Well when I say "occasionally" I mean at least once a week. And I have been going there for some time. In fact, next May I will have been going there for twenty-five years, mainly with my long suffering friend Bill, my equally long suffering sister (who also both go home from Waterloo) and an even longer list of former girlfriends (and some ex-girlfriends -including the ones my wife doesn't like me to still see!). In fact I go so often I have been offered a discount and nowdays the cute barmaid from Shanghai gets anxious if I haven't been in for a week or so.

So what has all this got to do with painting soldiers?

Archduke matches! They are the perfect length for stirring pots of Humbrol paint; just slightly longer than standard matches. But now with no smoking in winebars (hooray!) there are also no matches and the last time I went (last week) the basket of matches had GONE! What shall I do? I only have about twenty boxes left. I may have to find out who made them and actually buy some! Match makers must be having a thin time of it so they might be grateful for an order!

Did a little bit of painting tonight but even with a daylight bulb it's quite hard on the eyes so I have decided to get base colours down during the week and do shading at the weekends.


  1. That's hilarious! Does the Archduke still have live jazz bands? I used to go their either before or after concerts at the RFH. I had an excellent dinner there to celebrate my 25th birthday before catching some Mahler, I remember. It sounds as if the bar staff have improved since then!

    Anyway, the serious question that arises is this: exactly how long is your list of former girlfriends?

  2. They still have jazz there.

    How long is the list?

    Well, confining it to those who I took to the Archduke, it would be:

    Veronica (who introduced me to the place -after seeing Georg Solti conduct a stunning Beethoven's 5th), Janet, Catherine, Cathy, Katy (slight theme here -all redheads too), Sally-Ann (quite a lot), Denise, Susan, Cute Susan (as opposed to normal Susan), Pauline, stinky Caroline the Paratroopers daughter, Zoe, Marianna, Rachel, Linda, Kerry, Anna, Bettina and Amarylis.

    Looks really scary like that but that is over 25 years!

  3. ...excellent.... best chuckle I've had all! I hadn't thought about that downside of the no-smoking rule! :o)) PS. Have you tried "extra long" matches - I get mine from Tesco's... also double up nicely as fence posts when making scenery...

  4. I know a funny story about Georg Solti, as I knew one of his daughters, Claudia, at school. She plays the harp and when she and her mother first arrived at university she asked the head porter if he could arrange some help to carry the harp up the stairs. "Where is this harp then?" asked Head Porter, to which Lady Solti replied "it's coming later with the Maestro". Head Porter allegedly responded "I wouldn't have thought you could fit a harp in a maestro".....