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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Eastern skies...

... not as in some terrible central European sense, or even as in 'There's an east wind coming, Watson', but as in Alf's holiday. Alf, Mrs Alf, and grandson Alf are not long back from a week of warm sea, open sands, big skies, beer, bookshops and churches, all under the eastern skies of the north folk in, of course, Norfolk, East Anglia, England. One of the great things about having a four year old ('I'll soon be five') boy with you on holiday is that he has to be in bed reasonably early, which gives some time for holiday toy soldier painting:

Rgt Nr 2, 'The Fur Hats', of the current late 19th Century/early 20th Century imagi-war. Nicely rendered, but the rifles are a tad delicate, so it will be interesting to see how long it takes before it becomes a regiment of sawn-offs.

And (below), what may be Regt Nr 1 of the oppo, and my favourite 42s from Irregular so far:

They are intended to be Serbs, but as this is an imagi-war project, they have no fixed identity - wait a minute...that sounds like something from the future, not the past...

Anyway, fine figures, well cast, bags of style, and resolute under fire, as you can see below:

But I did more than simply splash paint and varnish around. We had lots of time on the sand (complete with much admired pirate flag on a bean pole), much swimming and splashing in the sea, playing all sorts of games, and visiting places dear to the heart. This house:

is, in fact, a pub in Burnham Thorpe. So you will realise its importance - it is the very pub where Lord Nelson drank his English ale, though slightly enlarged since his time. Oh bliss, oh joy, to drink ale where our English hero, the Norfolk Hero, drank ale.


The church, Burnham Thorpe All Saints, where Nelson's father was vicar, and where Nelson worshipped as a Christian.  As far as Norfolk churches go, All Saints is a young 'un, dating only to the 13th Century (it replaced a previous parish church, St. Peter's), but it has some nice features - particularly the east chancel wall of a chequered pattern in  black and white flints. Inside, there is, of course:

 some notice of Nelson, with White Ensigns hanging, and busts and memorials to the Nelson family. It was here that Nelson had wished to be buried, but he was, alas, taken to St Paul's, London.  The church has few other glories, but my wife (a medievalist by education ) was looking forward to seeing the brass of Sir William Calthorpe (d.1420), a Lancastrian knight who lies there under a fine, seven foot long stone - but it is so fine that it is covered, and we will have to wait to see it another day.

In the church yard is this memorial:

Frank Futter
Edward Futter
Walter Futter
William Johnson
William Mason
Edward Ward
Frederick Barnes



  1. Glad you had a good hol & an interesting post too.Figures progressing very well.Does your grandson start school after the hols?
    BTW any thoughts on a name for the imagination- perhaps open it up to us for suggestions?
    Best wishes

    1. Thanks, Alan. I hope the long Michaelmas term isn't too draining, and I'm sorry you had such a messed up holiday. The little fellow is a child of our times, and has already done two years in a nursery, and one in pre-Prep. He is due to go into Prep proper in September, and he is looking forward to it, as it will make him 'a big boy'.
      At the moment, I'm not sure how the imagi business is shaping up - I can't decide how much it is mittel Europa and how much it is Balkans. So, let us see.