I've never really been that materialistic beyond my lust for books and all things a bit nerdy and figure related.
But, of late that does seem to have changed. You remember I laid out my 'everything stops at 50' plan a few weeks ago? Well...
The bathroom at the Dark Tower needed overhauling and so we put plans into place last year to get it done. Alas, the kitchen also needed some work, despite being 11 years old and bloody expensive. The kitchen staff and even an insolent scullery maid had been somewhat rowdy and outspoken to both myself and the lady of the house, despite being flogged with a handy shoehorn and the dogs set upon them (the scullery maid will be out of hospital next week).
And so, we called in our faithful and favoured builders and in the end, it was decided that the Dark Tower would be brought into the Century Of The Fruitbat with the following work:
Replacement of bathroom suite
Full tiling of walls and floor of same
New fittings and fixtures
New ceiling and spotlights
Removal of wall between the kitchen and great hall (all the better to ensure that the staff refrain from spitting in the sauce Bernaise)
Bricking up of the kitchen door and addition of a window in it's place. (that should fox those damned tinkers who are always bothering Cook and our footman with their wares)
New main kitchen window
Removal of no less than 3 previous layers of ceiling over the kitchen (what did the last incumbent Dark Lord think he was doing?)
Replacement of the entire kitchen with a 50% extension of space utilising the darker corners of the great hall.
Tiling of the floor s of the great hall and kitchen
Replacing the great hall ceiling
Replacing the kitchen ceiling
Re-plastering of the grand staircase, study and great hall
Re-carpeting of the grand staircase and study
New cabinetry in the great hall to display the fine glassware collected by the lady of the house, in our 3 decades together.
All in all, we were looking at around £20,000.00 of work and although we were able to enlist the assistance of Robin Shylock the local approved money lender at the temple of Humdingah, at rather favourable rates, we still had to raise some more funds when we extended the scope of the restoration work.
The lady of the house used some of the funds earmarked for her passion of collecting fine silverware and undead wargames figures, and I had to forego 3 rather wonderful 15mm armies which I had planned to purchase from the Duke Of Scarborough (late of this parish, but defending the coast against the barbarian hordes for several years now) as well as somewhat reluctantly also sell one of my recent acquisitions of WH40K Space Marines which was admittedly an impulse buy based on volume and value over a need or aesthetic consideration.
The hardest thing to come to terms with is that I am now actually getting excited at the prospect of the Dark Tower being brought up to standard, despite the loss of 4 armies, and I think it is a clear indication that I am becoming rather mundane in my middle years.
The Dark Tower is a mass of rubble, plaster dust and ancient spider webs, we have had no sink in the bathroom since Monday, the bath was installed in a somewhat rudimentary manner last night...
...and the toilet is temporarily plumbed in, with the disconcerting addition of being sat on floorboards, under which no ceiling exists, meaning that every set of 'maneuvers' can be clearly heard by the kitchen staff (mind you, if they look upwards in mirth, you can be pretty certain that you can piss in their eye through the cracks in the floorboards, so it does have some entertainment value).
I have a pile of game related reading material to get stuck into, but there's nowhere really suitable to indulge in that little peccadillo quite yet.
I have however also decided that I will be doing a lot of 6mm gaming, as i am arguably a fine painter in that scale (in every scale, come to mention it) thus it would seem to make sense that 6mm is a way forward. I love that feeling of being god of all you survey with the hundreds of, tiny troops able to roam over a far greater area than their larger counterparts.
It's my hope that I will have some eye candy of this sort to show to you in the coming months, but right now, I am very hard at work, creating things of beauty for my clients every day (even today as it happens).
That's about it for now, and if I am remiss in my reportage, please forgive me, but quiet moments in which I can sit and indulge myself at the keyboard are few and far between.