Work's still pretty hectic. So, what's been happening?
Been to a wedding at the Knights Templar with aeshna_uk
- a very enjoyable affair with a large number of familiar faces from Beer & B7 (in fact, a bit weird being at the KT for any other reason!) and Redemption circles.
Went down to Military Odyssey with Norfolkes. Journey went suspiciously well, to the extent of being some 15 minutes early when picking Kate up, an unprecedented event. Inauspicious start at the site though - the marshals were a tad clueless with directions and the ground so muddy I needed the assistance of the Norfolkes pike block twice!
Fortunately, the weather improved enormously. Three days, three battles. Did pike on the Saturday after much flipflopping back and forth as there were shortages of kit due to people holding it not having arrived yet. Main thought: *must* get myself a cartridge bag and/or bandolier. Nonetheless, I'd forgotten how much fun a pike press can be. Battlefield was pretty good too, with buildings set up to fight over, making for a more fluid and maneuver-based battle than usual.
Did musket the other two days, using both a regimental and Simon's matchlocks and fired a couple of shots from Mark's which was surplus to requirement so, yes, I did end up buying it - a lovely weapon, barely used and a bargain at £100.
Shame I couldn't actually use it on the field as its scouring stick was still metal-tipped (ECWS safety measure to ensure we don't accidentally fire them through each other...). Alas, it's still out West and will be till I can get a storage cabinet sorted.
Musket was a lot of fun too, thanks to very generous powder allowances. Back at work, a couple of the guys commented I seemed to be a little sunburned on the face ("Don't think it was all the sun...").
Other silly purchases: set of tiger strip camo for a LLDB (ARVN Special Forces) loadout, a couple of British rat packs, a Chinese Tai-Chi sword and four different vegetarian MREs (for findo
It was also great catching up with people, not just in the NTB - bumped into people from fandom, laser tagging and other re-enactment groups, including Rob the Finnish Winter War/Continuation War re-enactor who invited me to join 2nd Guards Rifle Division for beer and vodka (I ducked out when the Soviet WWII propaganda movies started though) - Alas, he'd also forgotten the copies of the 4 Finnish war movies everyone should see (well, 3 really, as I already owned one...).
Also got asked by L Company Rangers (Vietnam guys) when I was going to join them ("When I can figure out how to fit more weekends into the year!")
Just a shame the Huey wasn't there this year.
At the wedding, Gary had invited aeshna_uk
and I to an airsoft bash he was organising (weirdly, down near Beltring/Paddock Wood!). He correctly surmised I could kit us both out (lucky guess...) but alas, was just me heading down in the end (sunburn has a lot to answer for).
Still, at least the Hong Kong order from RSOV arrived just in time so I had lots of new toys to try out - claymore mine , Thompson (despite being a Chinese clone, it turned out to be the most accurate airsoft out of the box that I've ever purchased), a Mauser pistol (need more magazines and a Kuomintang outfit!) and the Danish camo. Alas, while I got to try out the claymore, I didn't get to use it in anger as I'd failed to realise it wouldn't fit in any of my vest pouches - so need a claymore bag (hello eBay...)! The Danish camo proved to be very nice but really too heavy and hot for the weather - sweated profusely all day.
Even though I prefer urban sites and this was a woodland one, it was pretty damned good, lots of long grass to hide in and crawl through (had a lot of fun popping up and slotting people!), enough emplacements and other features to fight over. Only real downside was the Turdis was a bit of way away from the safe zone...
Oh, in Harry Pearson's Achtung Schweinhund, he talks about how alcoholics (and obsessive model soldier collectors) have a "that guy" as in "I may drink a lot/have a lot of model soldiers but at least I'm not as bad as that guy" Well, I think my "that guy", airsoft-wise, would have to be Gary:
his collection dwarfs mine - he was equipping most of the players! Still, meant we got to have fun trying out each other's weapons. Main conclusion: M-14 and MP-40 are nice but probably still not quite nice enough to tempt me :-)