Short version: muster at Upnor Castle, in Medway, Kent. Actually an Anglo-Dutch Wars rather than Civil War event but nonetheless, had great fun blazing away with a musket.
Had some funny looks from my team at work when we were discussing weekend plans over lunch on Friday but these guys run lab setups of routers and firewalls at home and talk about swapping routers...
Anyway, picked up Kate and hacked through South London to get to Upnor. Pretty grim traffic but probably still not as bad as the M25. Just Kate, Simon, Pat and myself from Norfolkes this time - most of the others were at another event closer to them near Exeter. Did mean I ended up mixing a lot more with people from other regiments though.
All in all, a very enjoyable and well-organised bash - even the public drill display was fun due to a good tongue-in-cheek commentary. Rather dodgy wigs though... Guess I should have read the warning order more carefully as I didn't realise till we got there that this was an Anglo-Dutch Wars event, rather than Civil War, commemorating the Dutch fleet sailing up the Thames, capturing the Royal Charles etc
Still, after the first day, there was some discussion at the pub about how the attackers didn't seem very, well, Dutch (they're normally Essex's!). We ended coming up with suggestions for the commanding officer's name, either ex-colleagues (in my case) or footballers (everyone else). Guess Colonel Denis Bergkamp it is then... On the battlecry side, the first phrase I could recall ended up being adopted - "Let Op! Drempels!" or "Caution! Speedbumps!" as I recall... I will also confess to making the odd stereotypical Scottish comment (the garrison was apparently a Scottish regiment).
As pretty much everyone present and fighting from Norfolkes was doing musket, I opted to do so too. Good choice - got to fire off powder left over after the battles from the bastion over the Thames. Marvellous rolling echoes. Also got to try out Simon's flintlock too.
The only real downer was getting bitten by some insect which caused my right hand to swell up like a balloon but, fortunately, not so much that I couldn't still handle a musket. I did have one incident, however, where because my grip wasn't a good as it could have been, I accidentally sent the ramrod over the rampart when withdrawing it. Fortunately, it was low tide or Simon would most likely have been highly displeased!
Key takeaway, I so need to get myself a musket. Still not totally sure about matchlock versus flintlock though. The latter is far more efficient and reliable and, just because it's the 17th century doesn't mean I'm not still a techhead ;-) OTOH, a matchlock is more typical of the period, the approved weapon as far as ECWS is concerned and, well, just more of a challenge.
Nonetheless, next muster, I must do at least one day of pike!
Well, apart from musters and cons, pretty much business as usual. Actually, in some ways, cons and musters *are* business as usual.
- Who: Really enjoyed Blink. Very clever story and the Weeping Angels are a wonderfully scary enemy. And this following on from Human Nature/Family of Blood - Who does seem to be picking up at last.
- Met aeshna_uk for a drink on Monday and managed to avoid any major football matches this time