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The Book of the Howlings of Ming, Seeker After Arcane and Esoteric Truths
Overdue post 2: Let op! Drempels! 
15th-Jun-2007 09:56 am
Norfolke Trayned Bandes
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.

Long version:
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
15th-Jun-2007 08:44 am (UTC)
It's interesting, looking at Stephen Moffat written episodes because there are very definite things in there which work for me.

Time travel is important to the plot, not just a means of getting them to a place/event, and is often non-linear. The enemy is scary and *alien*, but not evil or cruel for entertainment. Even the Weeping Angels were predators, rather than sadists. There is usually a strong female character who is competent and capable and not generally dependent on the Doctor.

I've really enjoyed all hids episodes because they get so many of the things that I love about Doctor Who, that I like seeing there. They're clever, but not cold (emotional connections are important in them), they're freaky, they love the whole set-up of Doctor Who, and they have great non-regulars as well as giving good Doctor.
24th-Jun-2007 05:05 pm (UTC)
Just out of interest, which other ones did he write?
24th-Jun-2007 06:56 pm (UTC)
He wrote the Empty Child/Doctor Dances episodes ("Are you my mummy?") and the Girl In The Fireplace (Madam du Pompadour, the clockwork robots), as well as Weeping Angels.

One per series, it looks like.
24th-Jun-2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
Yep, that's a pretty impressive track record!
15th-Jun-2007 11:57 am (UTC) - Medway

The Medway ? My part of the world ! Did you visit the armoury shops in Rochester ?

Bloody ancient Dutch - 2nd hand Vikings ! If I recall my History, that was why Rochester Castle was built.
24th-Jun-2007 05:08 pm (UTC) - Re: Medway
Alas, no. As is usual with these things, we pretty much kept to the camp site, event site (ie the castle) and pubs in the area. I gather various NTB members have been talking about visiting the actual Naseby battlefield site while we're at Kelmarsh for years but not actually done it. Shall have to attempt this this year then!

So, what is in the armoury shops?
24th-Jun-2007 05:14 pm (UTC) - Re: Medway
Armour ! (:

Seriously tho - one of them has been selling off armour & swords etc quite cheap recently & the other has some reasonable swords, repro flintlocks, knives, armour & other stuff, plus an army surplus shop has opened up - all along the High St.
24th-Jun-2007 10:34 pm (UTC) - Re: Medway
Heh. Guess we should have got out of the pub more!
15th-Jun-2007 12:59 pm (UTC)
"Let Op! Drempels!"

Hehe I did wonder why the subject of your post was speed bumps!! Its also the name of a fantastic piece of software for making the windows desktop look much better, if possibly epilepsy inducing ;)
24th-Jun-2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
It was on these signs between the hotel and the office when we were working in Utrecht so one day we asked the guys in the office what it meant!

Not sure which it's a more random choice for: a battle cry or the name of a piece of software...
24th-Jun-2007 02:39 pm (UTC) - aw man!
I'm sorry I missed this re-enactment, it's in my neck of the woods.

But we don't talk about the Dutch invasion here much. When I say much, I actually mean ever.

You enjoy the quiz last night? xD
24th-Jun-2007 05:14 pm (UTC) - Re: aw man!
I'm sorry I missed this re-enactment, it's in my neck of the woods.

Did you hear us? ;-)

But we don't talk about the Dutch invasion here much. When I say much, I actually mean ever.

All I knew was vague recollections from primary school history lessons and a brief conversation with a Dutch colleague when I was working in Amsterdam after I'd seen artwork in the Rijksmuseum.
Him: There were four wars. We won two, the English won two.
Me: So it was a draw?
Him: No. The English won the last one.

You enjoy the quiz last night? xD

Apart from being as much use as a chocolate fireguard in the last round due to nearly non-existent Trek knowledge. Really must pull my finger out and do that military SF quiz I've been talking about...
24th-Jun-2007 08:41 pm (UTC) - Re: aw man!
Did I hear you....? Too busy running away from the big scary sounds. xD

Your quiz idea sounds fun. Why not give it a go?
24th-Jun-2007 08:42 pm (UTC) - Sci-fi Quiz
Did I hear you....? Too busy running away from the big scary sounds. xD

Your quiz idea sounds fun. Why not give it a go?
24th-Jun-2007 10:24 pm (UTC) - Re: Sci-fi Quiz
Heehee. I shall inform the other musketeers. I am sure it will please them ;-)

Re: the quiz - just a matter of sitting down and getting on with it. Have scribbled various notes on questions and categories, now need to pull it all together.
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