End of Month, Start Anew

Last week, I had the fun of my first consultancy moment. Just me and a client wanting to know a bit about likely trade issues in a non-EU domain. I considered it went well, but I’ll only know more if I get any feedback with the payment. But it was certainly a pleasant alternative to the way I used to do my old workstuff.

I also now have new IT in the homestead, and it’s great using new powerful kit properly set up to how I had it back in my old office. And there’s a new A3 printer/copier sitting alongside the desk, ready to use for all the gaming and mapping ideas I’ve had.

And so hopefully, with all that set-up sorted, plus some building work completed on the house, and other issues resolved, I now have the clear-path ahead to do more of what I want. The re-enactment season is closed too, after a great year with a handful of events we really enjoyed, so it will be great to pack all that stuff away until spring.

First up, I want to get back to the Martians I plan to complete for the Space 1889 project with TMWWBK rules. As I said before, there’s plenty of Elves of various designs awaiting some conversion work.  It will be good practice for getting back into figure-painting. I have a few other units I want completed, but those I intend to entrust to one of the best painters I know. And then there’s that table-cloth idea for a pseudo-Martian surface, and some various terrain items to go on it.

Once that project gets back underway, I need to finish reading some recent book acquisitions that are all about the Italian Wars, Renaissance military aspects, and other era-related material. Hopefully then I’d have re-discovered my own painting techniques and abilities in order to do a decent job on some of the Renaissance 28mm I have also amassed from various purchases.

Meantime, to satiate actual gaming fixes, I now have plenty of fantasy 28mm to be able to put on a variety of encounters using the Dragon Rampant rules. DR remains for my personal choice as the best and quickest ‘go-to‘ set in order to have a game laid out and underway with the minimum amount of fuss and time spent. It might all have a pseudo-LotR flavour to it, but that just saves me time from generating background content and context.

So a new phase to move towards. Looking forward to it too.

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Away to Pinkie

Having spent most of this year planning to attend the first ever Pinkie 1547 battle, the time has finally come to pack the supplies in the hired transport and head off.

Anniversary events of historical occasions are something I like to support. Getting into close proximity in both date and location has a degree of resonance with me. It provides a continuity between that event and today, and permits a moment of invaluable retrospection. What if events had not turned out as they did? Where would that alternate timeline deliver us? What crowns and nations would have fallen, who would have the commanding presence today?

Hopefully all will go to plan, as there has been much work done by several hard-working individuals in the run-up to this weekend, and I want to see this event succeed for the future.

 

New approaches for new work ideas

I’ve spent a few weeks defusing or debriefing myself from the old work ethics admittedly, but in that time, I’ve also set down some ideas on what I want to pick up on in the future.

I have an appreciation that I’m in a potentially interesting and even exciting situation at this moment in time. I have the opportunity to go it alone in setting up a company to cover any consultation work, especially in relation to international trade. And this is very timely when you consider the ‘Brexit‘ negotiations. No – I’m still adhering to my cardinal rule of ‘no politics‘, so the objective stance remains. What is important is that some UK entities will sink or fold without some assistance come the UK’s departure from the EU, and I may be in a good position to provide some help to them.

So it’s worthwhile sorting out what I would need to do to cater for this. Company name, company set-up and registration, tax obligations and proper accounting, using social media platforms to make a footprint, and whatever else is out there for a new singleton business start-up. I was always told my work was ‘pretty niche‘. So then, perhaps that permits me to know my limitations and boundaries early on, and will help target my attention properly to particular sectors. I know it’s unlikely that many others would know as much as I do, or have an appreciation of the impact Brexit will have, on those entities I know so that is an advantage in my favour.

And there’s no harm lost in trying this approach. I’m in a new situation (to me anyway) that I no longer have to have the singular career, the one profession I must follow as it’s my sole source of income. It’s quite a dynamic change to know that instead of that, I have simultaneous potential earning opportunities as a landlord, a games designer and publisher, a writer, an historical reenactor, and now potentially as a consultant too.

Scroll back to four years ago and I never thought I’d be in this situation. Interesting prospects indeed.

 

Walking out with old mates

We’ve happily played host to an old friend these past few days, who we’ve re-connected with after a break of several years. All the more important in that he tragically lost his daughter – a lovely girl – just before the New Year. It has been a fine few days of talking, drinking, eating and walking, and in laughing together at memories of shared experiences. It’s been cathartic for me personally, as it’s rekindled that aspect of camaraderie you develop when you do reenactment. You make good solid friendships that usually endure despite time rolling on, so that after several years apart you can simply and easily pick up on conversations as if you had seen them the day before. It can be squandered like other things within relationships, so an enjoyable reminder serves a useful purpose to tell yourself that some retrospection and applying some effort into re-establishing links can be worthwhile.

On top of that, we took a stride around the village, just to point out the quaint bits and the historical stuff, sit for a bit with a coffee and a bacon roll, before resuming a tour of the very local Roman remains. And once the workmen finished up with attending to the stone surfaces of the house, we were free then to explore further. So we trogged off along the Wall, via the neighbour’s farm, down the steps to the bridge, then onwards and upwards to ‘Banna‘.  We didn’t quite venture inside, so instead retraced our steps back down to the Irthing to listen to it bubbling along, topped up by some recent rainfall up here, then homewards to plan evening meals. That involved a delicious re-visit to the Howard Arms in Brampton for some excellent mixed grills which I will admit, after the time spent tramping grass and path that day, was consumed very promptly.

Even the weather today has improved. It has been a long, sometimes strange, and dreary summer – not just because of the wet weather – as many changes have been going on for us in 2017. But bit-by-bit, some aspects are settling nicely into place, some are certainly improving the outlook for our future. We hopefully have other friends coming to stay this next weekend too, who we’ve not seen for several years, so looking forward to more opportunities for catching up with some laughter thrown in.

Good times with good friends. Here’s hoping it leads to more good memories.

 

Long weekend at home

In the end, it was the preferred choice. I had the option to attend another event, but this ancient carcass is still recovering really from Bosworth. And I have commitments to the Pinkie event in a few weeks time. So balancing out current abilities, potential issues and likely additional damage, the sensible side of the brain overruled the giddier side.

It would have been nice to support – and to also get to at least one event this season to then justify the membership paid out – but I’m quite assured all can survive without me. I remain happily on the fringe of all that, an old acquaintance who may one day put in another appearance. I have no need to re-establish commitments and ‘reputation’, or to sidle in and take over roles. This aspect will remain a sideshow, as the new focus is on the Medieval interests.

Talking of which, I’ve invested in some books to further the knowledge. I may well post up some thoughts and comments once I’ve read them. That too is a pleasant return to old habits of historical research in order to gain a better familiarity.

 

Bosworth 2017

I had an excellent weekend away at the Bosworth Battle-fest, getting involved in ensuring Tricky Dickie’s short reign was quickly concluded. First time I’ve been there on camp for the entire weekend, and successfully managed to do three of the four battles. But I did come away with a tactful jabbing reminder that I need to source better all-round armour protection now.

I’ve spent the past five years (that long already?) in acquiring bits and pieces that have provided me the basic level of ability as a common ranker. But I now know I need either a brigandine or a coat-of-plates for better body protection. The latter of those will be suitable if I want to continue as a humble billman and despite having to have it made by someone, it’s crude construction will be cheaper. The former will take longer to make and cost more, but it then has the potential to denote a higher status individual. It’s potentially useful too for use in other periods. And I do have the money to afford it.

We’ve also obtained a lot more kit for LH use on the camp. I’ve been exceptionally fortunate in successfully purchasing unwanted or spare kit from others, at a lot lower price to purchasing brand new items. So that has meant we have a sizeable ‘footprint’ of our own for ourselves and anyone who would want to ‘guest’ alongside us at future events.

So there’s one more Medieval event left, plus the Tudor event we promised to support, and potentially there’s the usual August Bank Holiday event too. I’m not sure about this one. It’s this coming weekend, but while I considered going to support my old friends, I still feel tired (and just a bit battered) from Bosworth, plus there’s a few aspects I’ve now learnt about that just put me off in committing to attend. I loathe pointless waiting around and time-wasting. And the Sunday timetable reeks of all that. As I was only interested in the Sunday & Monday anyway, I’m still weighing it up on whether to go. On the one hand I want to support the aspiration and ambition – but I don’t have the patience for all the crap that may well happen. Indeed it is a ‘maybe’ – but it’s an outcome so true to form, so expected from all the past experiences, it does put the potential positives into the shade for me. So why go when you expect disappointment? It does demonstrate to myself I still don’t have the right mindset yet.

I have a few days yet to decide one way of t’other, but for now, I’m quite content with the excellent weekend I just had.

 

Unstructured time scheduling

I find it quite strange that now there’s no work schedule to keep too – no Monday to Friday, no 8 to 5, no planning of any travelling for work – my days actually zip by. Take this thing for example. Only a few entries this month so far? Why? Not like I don’t seem to have the opportunity, so where are my days going exactly?

I think most of it is down to the simple fact I’m still getting used to not having to follow an imposed schedule. Like the recent Sunday evening returning from Chirk Castle, wondering whether there would be adequate time left after unpacking for sorting out things for work. Until I reminded myself somehow, fret not, there is no ‘work’ to worry about.

It’s a slightly strange adjustment. And it’s an ongoing work-in-progress. But there’s no regrets, none at all.