Thursday: after fencing at the pub - pleasant surprise when one of the new fencers asked if I'd been wearing a Men The Couldn't They Couldn't Hang t-shirt earlier. I had. Turned out he'd been at the 100 Club for the St Patrick's Day gig too so he, Kate and I had a good chat about TMTCH and upcoming performances.
's Birthday bash. Wow. Never realised there were quite so many Angus steakhouses in the vicinity of Leicester Square! Pigged out on steak but what sort of steakhouse doesn't do cocktails?! Still, fun fannish meal followed by a drink afterwards - discovered the Hogs Head is now the Crooked Surgeon.
Headed down to ExCel for Salute. When I got off at Custom House station, I thought there seemed to be a remarkably large number of children and women about. Then I realised that London Marathon registration was also happening at ExCel! Ironically, the wargamers had the furthest to walk ;-)
Met Nick at the entrance, bumped into jmswallow
and Mike too and started our sweep of the hall. Never been a big miniatures wargaming guy but it's always fun to see all the weird and wonderful demo games: highlights this year would have to be the Finnish-Soviet Continuation War aerial warfare game and Turkish "Army of Islam"-British-Bolshevik Transcaspian ones!
One very interesting thing: picked up a Megagame flyer - seems they're running a Warlord period China game in September 2008 (!). After chatting to the organisers, it seems the facy that I could name any of the Warlords means I am pretty much guaranteed my choice of Warlord. Right now, the Feng Yuxiang, the Christian General, or Zhang Zongchang the Dogmeat General are sounding most entertaining...
Also bumped into lots of other people, including the LOTNA guys and Steve and Lea. Looks like Steve's corrupted Lea and turned her into a wargamer already!
Must be a sign I'm getting old that almost all my purchases were books rather than games.
Two not so good things:
1. Bar was shite. Event full of wargamers and they had no ale or functioning lager pumps for that matter and, on top of that, most of the time *one* member of staff serving.
2. Way too many SS re-enactors: the 2nd Battlegroup had a stand there. The only other people in uniform we saw were a couple of WWII British. Otherwise, it was Waffen SS all the way. Must say I found it all very disturbing especially as, yet again, they had kids dressed in Hitler Youth uniforms. One random guy we chatted with summed it up best: "Some of them dress as Nazis, some of them *are* Nazis"
Anyway, afterwards, over to Tottenham Court Road to meet up with Simon and then on to colonel_maxim
's Birthday bash for a bit, then over to Marble Arch for Jo's where we managed to sort out some details about Malta and a debate about the merits of durians (!) before heading back to the good Colonel's for one last drink. One handy thing: lapinenoireuk
introduced me to Jane who, it appears, may be able to make me an ARVN or Kuomintang uniform. This could be very good news indeed!
Shame I couldn't make it to twistedanimator
's and gaspode
's too. This is one scarily large clusters of Birthdays!
Sunday: After Simon headed off home, tried (and failed) to find someone to fit the hobs to my boots for Lulworth, started tackling the garden.