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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.'

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

End times...

One of the good things about this blogging thingy is that like-minded chaps alert each other to good toy soldiers, interesting rules, handy tips, and jolly good books, like this one:

This was, of course, mentioned by His Grace, the Duke of Tradgardland, in his blog a while ago, and a good read it is too. To my mind, we live in a sort of 5th Century ourselves, here in Britain (and, particularly in England). The changes are, for some of us, almost too great to bear. I think of Robert Graves' poem, 'The Cuirassiers of the Frontier', which contains these lines:

'In Peter's Church there is no faith nor truth,
Nor justice anywhere in palace and court.
That we continue watchful on the rampart
Concerns no priest. 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.'

On a more toy soldierly front, Paul Elliott's book has, of course, led to the little chaps - 15mm from Donningtons, the first, below, of a DBA army:

And, finally, joy of joys, I had a day off work, and put together a new bit of staging for my 6' x 4' greenhouse:

Alpines will adorn it.

'A gaping silken dragon/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God.'


  1. Sounds like an interesting book, I may have to look into that one, thanks.

    1. Definitely worth a look - I got my copy from ABE. The author has done a very neat job of combining scholarship with the imagined story of a late Romano-British legionary, plus his own living history experiments. Sound fellow!

  2. Left a comment earlier but lost it to Blogger!
    staging and troops look great,I will enjoy seeing these projects develop.
    I am glad you enjoyed the book.The poem is new to me and I will look it up later today

    1. Yes, thanks again, Alan, for the tip on the book - good job you choose your holidays sensibly, i.e., within Britannia, not abroad - as a chap once said 'Abroad is hell and foreigners are fiends' !

  3. Found the poem-excellent it is.
    I forgot to mention that I have been swithering how to depict Elliot's battles .I bought Dux Belorum rules on Saturday but we will see...

    1. Glad you liked it. Strange fellow, Graves, but not as strange as his second muse - Laura Riding-Roughshod, as she was nicknamed. He wasn't popular amongst old comrades when he wrote Goodbye to All That - but it bought him a nice little place in Spain. Still, there are plenty of his poems I like.

  4. That does sound like a very interesting book there

    1. Indeedy! Well worth the price of (or less than!) a pint of English ale. But, be warned, you'll want to buy late Romans ...!