Christmas has passed and summer is heating up. The relentless war to maintain the garden is escalating as I try to thwart the airborne assaults by birds and the ground assault by various bugs and slugs in the vegetable garden. Fire and sword (or, less poetically, flame gun and weeder) are brutally being used to suppress the great uprisings of weeds that have surged forth due to the warmer weather. Heavy hangs the head that wears the broad-brimmed hat because that is the gardener’s lot during these hot months.
However, for those times when I am not out endeavouring to hold back the untamed wilderness and keep order, I have yet more books. I suppose one can never have enough books, even if one simply can’t get around to reading them all. My latest purchases were prompted by a passing fancy to know a bit more about “The Anarchy” of the 12th Century when King Stephen fought Empress Matilda for the throne of England.
So, to that end, I went looking online for a suitable book on the topic and came across the Naval & Military Press online bookshop. I fortuitously found the website during its summer (UK) sale, with many books heavily marked down, and that, of course, led to me buying more books than I had originally intended. To keep postage costs down, I chose surface mail, as I wasn’t in any hurry for the books. They arrived a few weeks ago, well packaged and enclosed in a Royal Mail bag, something I had not come across before, and included with my order was a newspaper-style illustrated book list with plenty more potential purchases.
Thus, “King Stephen and the Anarchy: civil war and military tactics in twelfth-century Britain” by Chris Peers was my initial choice. The title tells you everything you need to know about the book. My next two purchases concerned English Civil War topics. They were “A Rabble of Gentility” by John Barratt about the royalist northern horse during 1644–45 and “The Last Army”, also by Barratt, about the battle of Stow on the Wold in 1646 that saw the defeat of the last royalist field army by Parliament. They’ll be added to my extensive collection of ECW books, a period in which I’m very interested but haven’t played much.
My last pick was a hardcover tome of “Britain in the Age of Arthur: a military history” by Ilkka Syvanne. I had seen this book before, and it had raised my interest, but it was too expensive. However, during the sale, it was a fifth of its usual advertised price, so I took the opportunity to purchase it. Thus, my pile of reading materials grows ever larger.
As far as other stuff goes, due to the dust and dirt of having our bathroom renovated for what took a month, I packed away my paints and probably won’t get them out again before autumn. Before the builders started, I finished varnishing the fantasy miniatures and had them ready to glue to bases. I had almost finished the ECW Musketeers but had to set them aside once renovations began. However, while I may not resume painting for the time being, I am very likely to mess around with something, and the summer campaign will certainly keep me occupied.