Our house is in there somewhere!
Like many people I have taken some time off recently but not that much as if I don't work I don't get paid, so I just had a few days in Cowes this year. Also Charlotte was working for the BBC at the Edinburgh Festival and couldn't get away until Monday.
Cowes Week seemed much quieter this year and there was a distinct shortage of really good yachty totty, sadly. Still, we enjoyed those tanned legs which were very much on display given another welcome summer of shorts and the equally welcome dismal failure of the attempted return of the hated maxi dress - what a disappointment that was in the the seventies for the Legatus, just when he was first showing a real interest in young ladies.
There were a lot less tents and stalls along the parade this year and the ones that were there were largely just clothes or food stalls. No enticing ladies trying to get you to win a boat this year. I was quite tempted by the paella stall but wasn't sure about eating anything from somewhere where it seemed to sit out all day and you didn't know if they just kept adding stuff to it for days.
Kaboom! Eric's new light up flickering explosion markers were put to good use!
I was very busy before I left for the Isle of Wight so never got a chance to report on my visit to Eric the Shed's, where he kindly hosted a game of VBCW for Alastair, Matt, Mark and I on his new extended board, which is now vast. He has a full report on it here but I really enjoyed using an aircraft for the first time in a wargame, to successfully bomb an enemy Renault tank. This was the second time I had played Bolt Action and I am really starting to like the rules. I must get some more WW2 figures finished! I might see how they work for Back of Beyond games. That is three games this year!
Having not looked at any blogs for a bit (the house in Cowes has no internet access) I am amazed at how much has gone up in a week. It will take me some time to catch up.
Sophie was asking me what had happened to my final Tour de France food posting. Given its limited appeal I will put this up separately later. That said, I have recently written a food-based piece for the next edition of the new Wargames Bloggers Quarterly, which looks like it could become a major force in the wargames world, given the calibre of people involved. Many of my favourite bloggers are working on this and the first issue contains an excellent photograph by Big Red Bat, of his Cremona game, detailed inside. The design of the pdf magazine is really excellent and easily looks as smart as the professional print magazines out there.
Usually I take some figures down to Cowes to paint but given our short stay this year I didn't bother. However, all was not lost on the hobby front as Hurst the ironmonger had restocked with my favourite washers! I bought all they had, 200 of them, which should hopefully keep me going for a year or two. I am going back at the end of the month so hopefully they will have restocked. It made my week!
Anyway, while watching the Ride London cycle race on TV yesterday I cleaned up and based my Artizan Designs North West Frontier figures. There are some good second hand bookshops on the Isle of Wight and in one I got this Michael Barthop illustrated history of the North-West Frontier. Can't wait to start these, although I am planning to finish my tribesmen first. I did manage to paint their shoes yesterday in the limited time I had!
Although we got back from Cowes on Saturday I spent an inordinate amount of time walking yesterday, as the main road was completely closed for the Ride London cycle events. We had the 23,000 amateurs coming past the end of the drive in the morning, in the pouring rain, and then the professional road race in the afternoon. It meant, however, that I had to park the car a mile's walk away, the other side of the course so I could take the Old Bat to work. I had to do the walk six times between Saturday night and Sunday night, which essentially used up all my painting time. Oh well, maybe I can do an hour this evening if the light holds.
Another big addition to the lead pile arrived this morning in the splendid shape of the new North Star pirates. Forty two figures plus five pre-order specials. I really like the monkey and the treasure chest! You can read more about the figures on my Swashbucklers blog. The Assassin's Creed character will be winging his way to Scott in Middle Earth (Scott, I've sent you an email via your blog Gmail address) because, for some reason, I hate the stupid looking hooded character! He is nearly as annoying as BBC gardening presenter Monty Don or the most annoying person on TV, Gok Wan.
I will use the cabin boy to represent John King, an 11 year old pirate I learnt about from an excellent pirate exhibition I went to in Houston a few years ago. I'm going to have to be really disciplined and not start work on the pirates now!