Nice view from our balcony
Nice view in the bar
Well, another lost weekend as the entirety of my wife's family (fifteen of us) decamped down to a hotel in Devon for Mother in Law's eightieth birthday party. Six hours and forty minutes to get there on Saturday and five hours and fifty minutes to get back on Monday. No real hold-ups but, still, that's over twelve hours of potential painting lost in driving time alone. At least I got a decent Vodka Martini at the end of the drive!
While in Devon we visited the pretty waterside town of Salcombe where Guy got Shanghaied into taking part in a charity rowing challenge. He'll do anything for a bleached blonde. Said blonde was rather surprised that his time was faster than transatlantic rower Ben Fogle and one of the women's GB rowing squad. We had to point out that he won a gold medal in the National Schools team Concept 2 rowing competition a few years ago. Blonde was impressed.
On the Friday I took Guy down to Portsmouth to visit the Royal Marines Museum which was small but excellent. This was partly a reward for doing well in his GCSEs. His school had predicted two Bs six Cs and a D. He actually got five A's, three Bs and a C. Pretty good for someone with quite severe dyslexia. We had intended to go to the new Mary Rose Museum and the Submarine Museum as well but there were delays on the A3 so we didn't get time. We'll go back at half term. He seemed more interested in the clothes outlets at the massive Gun Wharf Quays shopping centre, anyway. Two Ralph Lauren Polo shirts for £62 was a bargain. My wife had paid more than that for one the other week. At his age I had no interest in clothes but today's teenage boys spend ages poncing themselves up. The Legatus wouldn't be seen dead in a Ralph Lauren polo shirt of course, but that is probably because I bought a load of Brooks Brothers ones in Beverly Hills a few years ago at even more bargain prices.
One thing we did do was have a walk around the Historic Dockyard and check out the progress on HMS Victory's restoration. It was interesting to compare the parts they had finished with the parts still being worked on. When I first visited the Victory (in about 1966) it was painted black and cream but lately they have been using an orange-yellow paint which reminds me of the old Humbrol Afrika Korps Desert Yellow. They were removing the outer planks in patches to reveal the vertical planking beneath. It will look spectacular when it's finished.
We also spent a lot of time in the Antiques Storehouse there, which has an amazing collection of militaria (as well as other stuff) for sale. I didn't remember them having model soldiers or old model kits from our previous visit. I was looking for any interesting African weapons but they didn't have any this time. One thing I would have liked was the original painting from one of the Sharpe paperbacks. Like a lot of stuff there it's not cheap, though, at £3,500. They had a Waterloo period Belgic Shako for nearly £10,000.
I've been very busy finishing a couple of reports and haven't had any time for painting really but over the last couple of days I got some of the base colours down on my Roman Galley. All the colour edges need tidying up but it's coming along now. Whether I have time to finish the marines I'm not sure. I am at home this weekend but then I have to take Charlotte up to Edinburgh University the following weekend and Colours is the weekend after that. Charlotte looked at the galley today and said that it "looks a bit German!"
There is another trip to South America floating around at work like a smoking grenade at present and I had one of those emails that seems to be suggesting I should volunteer. Hopefully I will be able to palm it off onto someone else. I want to do some painting!