Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The sound of silence.

One hand clapping. A tree falling in the wood (but only if no-one is ther to hear it). Soapy's workshop.

All of these things are quiet. And for two minutes each day, silent.

I've finished off the wedding toppers and the happy couple are, well, happy with them (at least the groom is, the bride is being kept in the dark). The Saxons are coming along quite nicely thank you but as I am working on all seventy odd at once getting a finished pack to show you is some way off. As far as I am aware these chaps are going to be a splash release when they are all finished, apaprently to dramatic effect. I'm doing all of them tiny stage by tiny stage otherwise there would be packs finished here and there which I would be tempted, cajouled and finally bullied into sending to the Beasty Boys who would end up trickling them out in dribs and drabs. Not there fault really. Due to my eratic progress, caused by distraction by shiny things etc, the last few releases have been : chunk, chunk, dribble when the effect we want is CHUNK!

I'm sure you followed that...

All that being said it's final exams for the wife this week and so I'm keeping my head down and staying out of her way. It would seem that the sound of little bits of brass rod pingging off the walls as they escape from my clippers and my constant clicking and clacking of sculpting tools is driving her potty and preventing her from correctly assimilating the location and function of the facial nerves (among other things). Add to that the fact that I have finally managed to set up our home network and my frequent cheers as I manage to get my antique laptop to print out some inane message on the living room PC or discover another long forgotten techno gadget to install/connect or network has finally got to her as well. The fact that I can now wake up and go online without crawling out of bed appears not to impress her much and I'm sure that when she practices her clinical skills on me (no sniggering at the back) she hits me much harder than neccessary with that damn reflex hammer. Due to this understandable ( I am told) sense of humourn failure I am reduced to sneaking in a cheeky sculpt whenever shes out or, as now, in the wee small hours.

Apart from the saxons I'm back on the horses and do you know I think I've got it this time. No promises but I may even have something I'd be willing to admit to to show you soon.

So thats my working situation at the minute. Luckily I will be reducing my risk of piles if nothing else {Cheers Dave ;>) }

In other news I've been doing a lot of reading on the Falklands these last few weeks. Now I've always been 'into' the Falklands in a kind of fuzzy, general way. I even went so far as to sculpt a range of figures a few years back and with the 25th anniversary commemorations this last month or so I been drawn back to it.

The Falklands was the war I grew up with. I was seven when it happened and it was the first time I remember watching the news. I can't say I really knew what was going on and all the political stuff when well over my head but all the stuff with soldiers was, to my mind back then, really cool. There was always stuff on the telly about Afganistan and Iran-Iraq not to mention Northern Ireland but they seemed to have always been there and didn't capture my diddy kiddy brain like the Falklands did. I remember all the stuff with Hanrahan and 'counting them all out and counting them back in again' and being sad and angry when the guards were bombed. Names like Goose Green, Tumbledown, Wireless Ridge, Two Sister and Port Stanley were bunred onto my memory.

Most of all though I remember my dad. Back in those days he was in the TA. Not a proper soldier to lots of people but to me he was. I loved it when he came back from weekends, trecking across the green in front of our house, still in his combats and covered in cam-creme. So did all the other kids. I'd rush in and go rummagging through his Bergen to find his 24 hour ration packs and see if he'd saved me some sticky boiled sweets, bicuits AB or even better, AB-fruit. During the Falklands was the first time I saw my dad cry. Not in a girly way but in that proud, comradely way of a man who is sharing the pain of a coleague. I couldn't understand it really. We'd won and my dad was crying. For me, outside playing with my mates, when someone got shot they fell down (with all appropriate drama) counted to ten to give the others a chance to get away, and then get up and start shooting again. War was fun, soldiers were cool and my dad was crying.

I think I get it now.

The Falklands has also, I think, shaped the way I like to wargame. There were never any tanks about and I'm really not that into armour. There was lots of stuff with planes and boats but they were far away, shaky pictures. What you saw lots of was soldiers. Infantrymen, like my dad, marching miles and miles in the cold. Fighting for hours and liberating the islanders. It was an infantrymans war (for the most part), the only war I really acknowledged growing up and the way my mind has told me wars are fought ever since. Add to that that I could never grow up to be a tank or a plane but I could grow up to be an infantryman. I didn't obviously. I became a lazy bum who makes toy soldiers for a living and reads books about infantrymen. And sometimes regrets the things I didn't do...

So in this week of rememberance I'll set aside a few moments each day to think about the infantrymen and the job they did. Well done chaps, well done.



meadows boy said...

Very well said!


WABit said...

Funnily enough I was talking to a Faklands vet in the pub the other day. I boruoght up the subject that I thought that there was a distinct lack of coverage of the 25th anniversary of the war before he told me he was a vet. Tears welled up in his eyes and I was speachless. I felt quite hopeless, but in a funny sort of way very proud of this stranger.

Well said Soaps.


Bill T said...

Growing up at the same time as you Soaps (I think I was 11 at the time), the images of the troops yomping over the hills of the Falklands was probably the reason I ended up in the army. It made a big impression on most people at the time I think, and I don't think we will see that sort of war again where we are alone in the fight.

Living in the Welsh valley's there are a fair few veterans about. We have one guy who lost an arm who I used to see picking up his kid at school. I also fixed Simon Weston's alarm system at his house in Cardiff a couple of years back. My RSM at my last posting was a Falkland Vet too. He told a very funny story about getting strafed by a Puccara while in his BV vehicle. The air warning came over the net and everyone jumped out of the vehicles and into a ditch at the side of the track. He jumped from one of the windows and got stuck, hanging upside down, cursing his mate for leaving him, while this Puccara made a pass. It didn't hit anything and buggered off, but when all his mate emerged from the ditch they were all covered in foul smelling slime and he was the only one left dry. Best time of his life he told me.

Anyway, well said.