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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.'

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Nut shells...

... small things...and nuts...of different types.

I'm currently in a nautical mood - a result of reading an obituary in The Daily Telegraph.It is of one of those lives that stand out because of its sheer exuberant decency. As you'll see if you follow the link, it was of a woman called Rozelle Raynes, whose abiding passion was small boats and the sea. So, having read the obit, I ordered a copy of her account of a three month coastal journey from Dover to Bergen (some 1,500 miles) in her 25' sailing boat, Martha McGilda, in the early 1960s.  It's entitled North in a Nutshell, and it's a marvellous tale, charming, funny, pleasant, and full of daring. I don't own a boat myself, although I once owned a home-made canoe, but I sometimes dream of a small, gentleman's cabin cruiser that I might pilot around estuaries and coastal waters. Until then, the Hobbit Bunker is flying this old style (pre-1704) naval ensign:

My own adventures are firmly land bound. I live as far from the sea as you can in England (the waves are around 75 miles away), and summer is really focused on growing food, rather than catching it from the sea. Here's my allotment plot at 8.30pm yesterday:

Broad beans, sweet corn, parsnips, carrots, potatoes (of two varieties), dwarf French beans, climbing French beans, turnips, swedes, and brambles are all in this photograph, mostly small, but growing.
For Father's Day, my son and grandson bought me this:

I think it was originally the work of another company, but is now boxed by Airfix. It is a very sharp, easy to build little kit, and apart from a bit of filler in sink marks around the coupla, went together easily:

But it is small! As my grandson said on seeing it built, 'It's so tiny! Did it come out of that box?'
It is tiny in 1/76, just look at it here next to an Indian Pattern carrier:

Like the carrier, the Vickers Light is headed for wargame North Africa, as I am a long time devotee of John Sanders' classic Airfix Magazine series from the 1970s. Who can forget his 1/32 (?) Light tank made of cardboard with shirt buttons for wheels!

Here in the UK, yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the 7th July bombings, when four "British" rag head jihadi suicide murderers with links to the now superseded al-Qaeda, slaughtered 52 people in London. As we are coming to expect in these times, there was a national minute's silence, the value of which I'm not sure about. However, the tenth anniversary brought back the then Labour Prime Minister (and war monger in chief) Tony Blair's insistence that the killings had 'nothing to do with UK foreign policy'. Oddly, in their farewell videos, the raghead nuts made it quite clear that, as far as they were concernd, it had a lot to do with UK foreign policy. These days, our Prime Minister and his followers keep on insisting that such terrorism (most recently the ISIL-linked, racist and religious killings in Tunisia) have 'nothing to do with Islam'. Blair was wrong ten years ago, Cameron is wrong now.


  1. Tank is a splendid little chappie indeed and your allotment looks excellent. My veg are a tad behind but Jan has worked wonders to get the garden looking as great as it is here.
    I am very taken with interwar vehicles of late and am looking for pictures/plans of them to make semi flat tanks to match the one on my recent blog post.I may have to resort to L'Attaque type peiecs if my modelling skills let me down...

    1. Hello Alan. Compared with the (retired) super-plot holders, my plot is pretty far behind too. It will be touch and go whether some of the stuff, like the sweet corn, actually get to the end and can be harvested. But, in any case, it's just good to see them growing. Yes, I know what you mean about inter-war stuff - like the rather odd Bilbao tank!

  2. I am currently a third of the way through "Millions Like Us. Women's Lives In War and Peace 1939-1949" by Virginia Nicholson - I have yet to come across Rozelle, but a quick check of the index and she is definitely in there.

    Your allotment looks fantastic- I am currently waiting for a new replacement one from the Local Council. The story of the loss of the original is too boring to be told!

    The original Vickers kit was by JB Models - I have a number of the original M113s but have never made the Vickers.

    I will not start on my views on politicians...

    1. JB Models - that's it! I just couldn't remember - and I didn't even wake up at 3 in the morning and remember! Is a long waiting list. The last heard, there are over 200 people on our town waiting list, yet no idea of actually creating a new set of plots. A bit like the housing shortage!

  3. I am currently waiting for a new replacement one from the Local Council.