I am always surprised when I get anything wargames related for Christmas but the friends and relations did very well this year!
My daughter, Charlotte, not only got me a pork pie but the Games Workshop Mirkwood Rangers as well, which are the first figures I have got from The Desolation of Smaug. I put them together while watching the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special last night. I had to watch it though, as some of the parts are very delicate and need carefully cutting from the sprue, so no getting distracted by Aliona Vilani in motion. She was partnered with the singer Matt Goss, this year, who went to the same school as me!
Just as the film was made in 3D (I'm going to a 2D screening though as I can't stand 3D in the cinema) so these figures are defiantly 3D as well, with most figures being made up of two pieces (often a front and back) which enables their characteristic flowing robes to be modelled in a most impressive style. The detail is amazing but I doubt whether my painting will be able to do them justice! They'll need some filling first, though.
My sister bought me a book on the fiftieth anniversary of Dr Who, which Charlotte promptly stole - she has just discovered Dr Who and is working her way through the new series. I want to point her in the direction of some of the Tom Baker shows but suspect she will laugh at the special effects. She also bought me All the King's Men by Saul David which I hadn't even spotted before. I enjoyed his books on the Zulu War and the Indian Mutiny so am looking forward to this one.
My parents in law not only bought me four boxes of Lifeboat tea but a book on Stealth Warfare. It's always good to get a book that looks interesting but you wouldn't necessarily get yourself.
My most unexpected wargames present, however, was given to me by my particular friend S who gave me the wrapped parcel when I was in Colombia. I did struggle getting it home, given I had hand luggage only, and had to take it on the plane in a separate carrier bag. I had no idea what it was but when I opened it it was something I had been trying to get for ages. I had bid twice on eBay and lost out and must have mentioned this fact to S who tucked it away in her memory. S managed to get one and so I now am the proud possessor of the poseable, limited edition (number 1 of 5000) vinyl Talos for my Jason and the Argonauts project! And he doesn't need painting.! Excellent! So, he's not quite big enough to pick up the Argo but he is big enough for a game.
The main road from Cobham to where I live
As for Christmas itself we had our dinner at home on Christmas Eve, for the second year running. This year the last minute shop for dinner was precipitated by the fact that my sister in law had a power cut, thanks to the storm we were hit with the night of the 23rd, so she didn't know if she would be able to cook Christmas lunch as planned. In fact she got her power restored at midnight on Christmas Eve but with the children getting up late and her cooking being appalling anyway we happily missed it (pork pie for lunch instead!) and just turned up at teatime, thus limiting out exposure to the troll family and their inevitable snivelling ailments. Fortunately, we live on a hill, as the two towns either side of us were both flooded when the River Mole burst its banks and there were lots of trees down on the road on Christmas Eve.
So, the inevitable annual review next...