So, I was distracted yesterday by this damned bronchial problem, so I was painting, listening to documentaries and mulling over a few things simultaneously to keep my mind off just how rough I feel at present.
You will recall that yesterday I blamed an old, old friend by the name of Roger for my return to the Renaissance? Well, I stand by that, but it also occurred to me just why...
I will point out from the start that I received a rather indignant mail from Roger this very morning as I turned on my Mac, decrying my position and claiming falsely that he could not have the blame laid at his door. Well Roger, yes you can, and I am doing.
I realised yesterday that my favourite periods are actually driven by more than just academic or aesthetic reasons. It's about who I gamed those periods with and moreover the memories that are stirred when I look at a particular type or make of figure.
I think that Roger and I, along with a couple of other people, were closer than the Famous Five 'back in the day'. I mean we literally lived in each other's homes during the school holidays, we gamed and we gamed hard (It was Roger who justified a common bond between a Polish and a Gaelic speaking character in Twilight 2000 based on their inability to be understood by the rest of the party, and he did it convincingly).
It was Roger who first turned me on to Connoisseur Miniatures because I am sure that Roger had a shrine to the late Peter Gilder somewhere under his bed. The renaissance range was stunning for the time and Duncan MacFarlane published some great shots of the Wargames Holiday Centre with massive pike blocks which just 'sang' to me.
Look, when you listen to prog rock and you have bands like Jethro Tull and Marillion (and as I type I am listening to 'Walk Into Light' by Tull front man Ian Anderson because it makes me think of those days gaming Roger or talking gaming whilst he strummed away following his latest guitar lesson) you are exposed to codpieces and motley a lot, which, inevitably leads to unwholesome thoughts of Landsknecht pike blocks, OK?
This, along with Q.T Models range of multi-part renaissance models and Roger's shelves full of them, in particular one Landsknecht in white and green with a deep vermillion beret - which is the first model I think of when I get the Renaissance bug - draw me back time and time again. I then think of the good times we had - and still may have - and in fact today I made a conscious decision to erase the odd 'bad' memory once and for all as I stood drying my hair after the morning shower, because quite frankly, life is too bloody short, isn't it? and I am at the wrong end of half a century now.
The idea of spending a day, just shooting the breeze with Roger, moving a few toy soldiers and exchanging dry and sarcastic observations is a priceless one. Maybe it will happen, maybe not, but this kind of thing is exactly what I mean when I say that there's more to a period than the period. It really is for me, one of the driving reasons I am still so in love with my hobby. I and others, although from the same city would never have met had it not been for wargaming and role playing. That makes it a very special hobby indeed. It challenged us all intellectually and socially . It opened us all up to a much wider world, and I think that we all realised that we could be more than just carbon copied youths destined for the factory floor.
So, yes my dear friend, it is your fault - yours and that Gilder fellow - and I thank you and the Powers That Preserve for drawing me down that parti-coloured path to perdition.
Now, I just have to resist the urge to buy unpainted Q.T Models rather than trying to find a ready painted army...