Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Some Easter . . . .

Thought I'd better get one in before too long as we've been to-ing and fro-ing visiting the mother-in-law for what seems like ages now. Actually, it's just short of a fortnight, but it seems like a lifetime. We're both supposed to be on leave this fortnight, but it certainly doesn't seem like it at all. 

How is she? She's had a severe stroke, been left on the floor without  any treatment for 12 hours, had a heart attack the first night in hospital and now she's got pneumonia. She's a bloody witch! The hospital describe her as 'very poorly', but she's obviously not poorly enough eh? Personally I think they're just wasting resources because it's only the nebulator and intravenous feeding that's keeping her alive and 'alive' consists of fighting for breath all day and night and moaning and groaning. some quality of life eh? They should be treating the dying, not the living here. 

Anyway, one the radio the other day there was a discussion about people preparing their own eulogies on video to be played at their funerals and, while at first I thought that sounded a good idea, I'm not so sure now. I'm not likely to sit and watch the film over again, no matter how much I loved the deceased, especially if they're banging on about what a good, bad or indifferent life they've had or trying to be profound or, worse still, unnaturally witty. 

Its also a bit of an ego trip, I think. Not much chance of anyone giving you the thumbs down if you're the one doing the talking. You could always go for false modesty I suppose so that the family and friends (if you've actually got any friends) can contradict what you say and claim you were really a great old sort and you shouldn't have played yourself down. Nope, I think I'll skip that option and rely instead on some poor bugger being dropped upon to do the noble / dirty deed instead.

I don't suppose it's going to bother me anyway as, one way or another I'll not be there anyway. If there's no life after death then I'll not know anything anyway. If there is life after death, then I'm pretty sure I'll have enough to keep me occupied during the enlistment period. I bet it'd be like when I joined the navy; lots of new stuff to learn and kit to draw and badges to sew on, as well as having to find my way around a seemingly endless camp. I  think we'll all f=get to wear something like hospital greens and trainers; can't see robes being very practical. Course, we'll have no need to keep things in our pockets like money, keys, mobiles phones and the like cos we'll be incorporeal beings by then; ghost;y, or ghastly.

I quite fancy the idea of an afterlife, though the term reminds me of radioactivity or something. I prefer the great beyond or, maybe , the hereafter - not sure it'll be heaven  though. I remember a Maltese guy years ago in Valetta saying that Heaven is full of fat priests and cats, so it doesn't sound too appealing really. I'm not surprised he didn't fancy going there. I read and SF book about a man sent to Heaven and it sounded like he was in a foreign country - well, he was, so to speak. It would be an alien environment, but I don't imagine it to be all holy and full of blokes with wings (that's angels to you). I think it'd be more businesslike and certainly more efficient than down here. I mean, they've got billions of souls to organise and a hell of a timetable to run. Don't suppose you're allowed to say hell up there though (well, maybe only without a capital H). 

I imagine it'd be a bit boring though. No books or films and certainly no leads or wargaming. I bet there'd be no deep philosophical discussions either cos you'd know all the right answers by then. What would yo do all day though? if you're a spirit or whatever, you'd not need sleep or food and drink. there's be nothing much to do cos I bet the Angels would run things like clockwork. Anyway, God could just get things to run automatically, I bet. You can't sit around and natter all day cos what would you natter about? I think life (or death) without arguments or debates would be insufferable. We're not designed to be nice all the time, surely? Even though I think it's fair to say that I'm naturally lazy, I think I'd get bored just lolling about all the time being eternal or whatever. 

Anyway, just had thins morning's bulletin from The Chosen One to say that mummy dearest hasn't coughed it yet, so that's today's excitement down the pan. Time to sign off with today's toy, I think:


This is a representation of Pat Cleburn. Seems topical as it's got a dead yankee on the base.

G.
  





Friday, 14 March 2008

It's an ill wind . . . .

Well, not all bad news. My mother-in-law had a stroke on Wednesday (Tuesday night actually) so Chris has been making trips to the hospital and millions of phone calls to disinterested relatives. Should be in for exciting times for the next few weeks or less or longer. Personally I'm not at all bothered or interested: she's never liked me and I've never liked her, so no love lost at all. Went to the hospital on Wednesday and I'll have to make a few more trips as it's a lot for Chris to fit in, but I'll be taking a book.


More importantly, but maybe not as high on the good news scale is that I'm not the proud owner of an iMac. Given it by my daughter and son-in-law and it's virtually brand new. Yep, that's how generous they are. At first I thought they were having a joke until I say the box in the middle of the living room. Excellent piece of kit and I'm only just beginning to discover what it can do, but so far it's knocked a PC into a cocked hat. The speed is incredible ant it's still able to operate the Microsoft applications I use for work. Recommendation? Get one!

Can't make it to the Triples this weekend apart from the hospital visiting. Got plenty of work to catch up on because I've been to so many meetings lately and lost out on time. This also means I've been unable to knock out leads as I'd planned and missed out on other events like trips to the pictures we'd thought about and no time to read anything other than reports and such. 

I like the Triples because it's not horrendously busy so I can see old friends and have a chat and catch up. The disabled access is very poor and I moan about it continuously. I refused to attend for a few years and I bet they noticed because a couple of years ago they'd made some attempt to address the situation. Well, that's what I like to think anyway.

The other down side to the show is the bloody re-enactors who spend their time strutting about as though they were something important. I miss the irony of the morbidly obese Confederates and the bespectacled SS, but I really can't do with'em at all. The Dark Age clowns are usually top of my hate list because they usually clutter the place up with shields and weapons. Next come the ersatz SS who want a bloody good pasting for being insensitive, uneducated, simpletons with small dicks. No, sod it, they're the top of my sod off list. They defend themselves by saying they're only paying tribute to an elite military force and they're recreating history, not idolising them and anyway, they're the Waffen SS who were only soldiers. What absolute bollocks!

I hit my all time low or high a few years ago when I was trying to chat to a mate in the bar, but was continually interrupted by an idiot pretending to be a Yankee drummer who kept beating a tattoo in my ear. He desisted when I offered to shove the drumsticks up his arse.

Anyway, today's toy:


Friday, 7 March 2008

Been a good week . . . .

Lots of changes over the past week; mostly good.Got a new mobile which is more of a camera with a phone wrapped round it; acquired a new iMac with a 24" monitor; my boss is off with septicemia and got access to some new developments at work which will save us a great deal of time and effort. So, all in all, a decent enough week.

There's a fair bit of work to do associated with all this, particularly burning many CD's of uniform plates and wargame rules for myself and friends before I pass on the old PC to my son (who'll probably just cannibalise it anyway). All of which is eating into my lead painting time and, by default, into Frank's project, which isn't good at all as I'd promised to get the stuff done s
harpish. To add insult to injury, I can't make it to the Triples because of work commitments. See, I told you it was mostly good.

I've noticed lately that painting is becoming more therapeutic as I get older and there's no immediate need to rush through projects. I can paint for a couple of hours, no problem, and be happy with the result, even if I've not actally achieved much. Not so much a sign of old age or increasing maturity as the realisation that the damn things will be herer long after me.

I'm surprised at how much I seem to know about painting and paint properties compared to other people, but I have been at it for a few years. I'm also less worried about making a mess of something because I know I can easily correct any mistakes, so I suppose that takes any pressure off. Just as well really as I'm becoming as blind as a bat . . . .

Just watched a programme about a working men's club is Bradford. Not a very exciting job, but strangely compelling viewing and the first in the BBC's 'White' series. Bradford is a pretty run down place anyway (Bingley's nice though) and the programme didn't do much to improve its image. The people in the programme made some canny observations, but most of them seemed like alcoholics with a pretty tenuous grasp of common sense and reality. I've never been a fan of WMC's because of their stupid rules about women and I've only actually been into one (about 30 years ago). This place was well on its way out and deserved to be because the committee couldn't run the proverbial and wouldn't face up to facts. Probably a reflection of
the last days of empire.

I went to a Polish club once in Crewe which was being used as the reception venue for a brother-in-law's wedding. My God, if was a dismal place and the (mostly older) Poles were miserable sods. I'm sure they were still plotting about the Warsaw Uprising because they all spoke in murmurs in Polish - maybe that should be Polish murmurs. Anyway, Andy and I livened things up a bit when we told'em their rum was shite and was probably watered down. I don't think we did much to promote Anglo-Polish relations, but it made the evening more interesting.

Good segue into my next bit of news which is that I appointed my first Pole this afternoon to an admin job. She's got drive like I've not seen for a while and a natural confidence which can only come from somebody who's made it across here with a young child,live in two places since then and never been out of employment. She's going to be a great asset to the team and I think she'll go a lot further. Good luck to her, she deserves it.

Anyway, haven't got any Polish leads, so we'll have to make do with this:


He's an Austrian Napoleonic Brigadier (15mm)



G.