Saturday, September 30, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
The chorus of this latest blend of rock and dance has the wonderful
Something kinda oooh Jumping on my toot toot, Something inside of me, Wantin' part of you oOo
1984 is here...
Wiki on Girls Aloud video
Have a look at the above linked page on nettles - it might prove useful - for instance
It is a strange fact that the juice of the Nettle proves an antidote for its own sting, and being applied will afford instant relief: the juice of the Dock, which is usually found in close proximity to the Nettle, has the same beneficial action.
'Nettle in, dock out.
Dock rub nettle out!'
is an old rhyme.
You never know when you might fall in a bed of stingers.
Wiki on stinging nettles
Thursday, September 28, 2006
'Trail'st thou the puissant pike?' Shakespeare Henry V
I thought I'd post some more pictures of myself - this time at my first ever reenactment in 1985, where I trailed the pike for Col Nicholas Devereux's regiment and did so for about 4 years (I am on the extreme right btw). The pike is about 14-16 feet of ash pole with a spear head at the top - mainly used to create a defence against cavalry, though infantry pike v pike clashes were more common in the 16th century. It eventually became obsolete with the invention of the bayonet. It was considered a noble weapon - more honourable than the musket and was often trailed by gentlemen volunteers. It is mainly a question of balance being able to swing this long pole about and training and drill were performed to the beat of the drum to enable the 'stands' of pikes to move about the battlefield. A tell-tale sign of a force about to break and run was the wavering of the pikes.
The 'posture' depicted 'charge your pike' is the main fighting stance. In the other picture I am standing next to the late Gordon Usher of Frome who recruited me, took me along, filling the journies with stories of reenactment battles and also invariably beat me at wargames.
More on the battles here
Russian troops raised for the 1700 campaign
I love this period as it combines my love of the 18th century with my love of the pike - I'd really like to see a group started in the UK to do this period - there were plenty of English and Scots soldiers who fought on both the Russian and Swedish armies as mercenaries. A guide to the armies of the Northern Wars.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Coming soon from Osprey - publishers of military history books - is a series of graphic - or comic book-style history books. Looking a bit like they're dumbing down for the American market the titles cover the American Civil War and World War Two. I suppose you can't blame Osprey for wanting to make a buck or two. This is the usual stuff they do - includes the new book on the Volksturm with art by my pal Sean O'Brogain which you might want to buy.
Monday, September 25, 2006
As today is the anniversary of the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 - part of the run up to the Battle of Hastings - 14th-15th October - I thought it would be interesting to check out the advance stuff for the Hastings reenactment again. I have stuff for this period - shield, spear and so on but I've never done a Hastings as I'm not involved with any of the societies participating but there was a time when I might have tried to take part. The period is pretty accessible as its not expensive to kit out as a Fyrd or something lower class. A Norman knight involves a lot of work. Make a date in your diary though if you want to attend a no doubt large spectacular.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
A couple of interesting images from about 78 I reckon - interesting is a loose term of course - me and Henry Hutton of the Bad Detectives and the other sees me with Kev Saunders later of Frenzy and Bunse, or is it Bunce? Practising for a gig at the Youth Wing - not sure what we were called then - was it the Thunderbirds or the Contenders? Anyway - check out my waistline in the right pic - I didn't even wear glasses then let alone having some hair to dye! Curse you decay!
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
This documentary did sort of end an era of me loving the Fall though - in some ways they have now received the acclaim that they deserved I kind of am not that bothered really - it's like supporting a team when they're in the third division is probably more fun than when they get promoted to the first division - or something...
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Saturday 23 SeptemberNewbury, Borders new store opening [12-2pm]
Oxford, Borders [6-7pm]
Tuesday 26 September Glasgow, Borders [1-2pm]
Edinburgh, Waterstones [6-7pm]
Thursday 28 September Milton Keynes, Ottakers [1-2pm]
Birmingham New Street, Borders [6-7pm]
There's also a news story about the obnoxious Russel Brand starring as Ant in a new film.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I must admit I liked the first film despite never having read the book (I wasn't either a hippy or a nerd) but by the 2nd one was beginning to think that we'd been conned; why couldn't they condense it into three hours and save our bottoms the sensation of going totally numb? Why was there no colour in it? Anyway you couldn't really say anything bad about it at all at one time but now of course - it's open season. Fire away - watch this funny little animation of how the trilogy should have ended.
Monday, September 18, 2006
I really like this. Kelis manages to bring out some pretty good pop singles - Milkshake - Trick Me - really good salty r'n'b dance floor fillers. This one is a really catchy toon - give it a spin - we all love someone who is bossy don't we? Wiki on Kelis
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Enjoyable were the Autons
Friday, September 15, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Possibly the most decisive battle of the era this conflict between Holy League troops and the Ottoman Empire ended 300 years of war between the eastern states. Not really a famous event in Britain as we were far removed from the action, though on a European level it was a decisive turning point, one of the key moments of early modern history. Document on the siege from 1683
See images of the spectacular Polish winged hussars here
Monday, September 11, 2006
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Today is the anniversary of this skirmish in the American Revolution. Near the amusingly named Fort Griswold or is that just me that finds that name funny. New England artist David R Wagner (see below) has done a painting of Groton Heights - that's the great thing about the Revolution - all the minor skirmishes are celebrated and remembered.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
A great selection of paintings depicting incidents big and small from 1781 when French troops had landed in America to assist the forces under George Washington by New England artist David R Wagner. A very picturesque period with colourful uniforms this selection of paintings are evocative and pleasing.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Today is the anniversary of this the final battle of the English Civil Wars. Charles II's Scottish army was beaten by the Parliamentarians. Wiki on Battle of Worcester. The above link has photos of the battlefield that are worth looking at, and this link will take you to the Fairfax Battalia's webpage - Fairfaxes are probably the best English Civil War reenactment group going in my humble opinion, but I am biased having once, long ago, been a member. Buy the print by Chris Collingwood here.
Daughter Bea is safely back from Connecticut and of course it was presents all round. One thing I really loved was a set of WW2 Japanese infantry weapons from 21st Century Toys in their range of accessories for their 12 inch or so figures. The detail on these weapons is incredible with working bolt action and removable magazines and so on. They were discontinued and so marked down to a dollar so an incredible bargain is possibly to be had if you go down to your local toy store, if you're in the US. In the UK Ebay is probably the best way to get them. Obviously when Napoleon the ferret is a little bigger he can have them to play with.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
I LOVE the John Ford cavalry movies - which includes Fort Apache and Rio Grande - written originally as short stories by James Warner Bellah an ex-army officer. I can't say why I love them - they are as corny as White Christmas but they are pure cinema magic - the supporting cast is a treat - Victor Maclagen in particular with his characterisation of an Irish pugilist fond of whisky is usually hilarious and there is usually other familiar faces like Ward Bond and Ben Johnson. If you're lucky you might get a turn from Hank Worden. I particularly love the choral songs so often raucously sang in the background, and the familiarity of a lot of the scenes. I find them a great escape and find them more enjoyable every time I watch them. So why not bask in the glory of mythic storytelling and some great visual delights and get this movie. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon IMdb wiki on the same
Propaganda and American Values in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon by Laurel Westbrook
James Warner Bellah filmography