To see or not to see, part two

Well, I had the operation on Tuesday under sedation. Despite my fears, sedation was fine. I could hear the surgical team talking, but felt almost nothing. During the operation I had the sensation of looking into a kaleidoscope of red, green and purple patterns.

Just after the operation

I now have a gas bubble in my eye which will dissipate over about 4 weeks, during which time my vision will be blurred, and then we shall see how much I can see.

Meanwhile I had to spend the rest of Tuesday looking downwards at the floor, and for the next five days must spend 50 minutes of each hour lying on my right side. I have my Kindle set at large print, which is OK at arm’s length, and several books to catch up on

When I am upright for 10 minutes the eye gives the sort of pain you get after taking a large bite of ice cream. I have 3 bottles of eye drops to use 4 times a day. I will need to go back to Southampton for a progress review in a couple of weeks.

My dog is wondering what’s wrong and why he can’t have the sofa?

General WordPress information

I have recently discovered that when posting photographs to wordpress the storage usage can be enormous.

It may be noticeable on this site that photographs have recently become smaller. This is because I am now posting pictures with a maximum height/width of 1080 pixels.

A larger view of the photograph can be seen by clicking on the photo’.

Apparently if a photograph is posted at the maximum resolution WordPress saves it at that and several smaller alternatives, thus taking up more storage space.

I do not have time or knowledge to re-edit my previous posts, but will use the 1080px limit in future.

Model tank review

I have recently become aware of a company called, and subscribed to their mailing list.

A few days ago a new item was posted. 1/72 tanks. I decided to give them a try, for use for my WW2 skirmish games or more likely my Imagi-nation games of the Belgican civil war, set around 1950-60ish.

Thus I could use WW2 surplus and new models with my collection of old Airfix polythene tanks.

The offer was for 1/72 models, randomly supplied. I ordered five models at £1 each and £2.99 postage for a trial. Here is what I rteceived.

Random selection received

So I had three WW2 German armoured vehicles and two more modern models that might be pressed into use. Not bad for £8.

I unboxed the Tiger tank. It consists of a simple instruction sheet, upper hull, lower hull, rear hull, two complete wheel sections, rubber tracks, turret, barrel, hatch cover and a couple of vague pieces that look like they should go between the rear hull and main hull.


Assembly: The kit snaps together without any need for glue.

The rubber-ish tracks fitted neatly over the wheel sections.

The next step was to clip the gun and gun mantle into the front of the turret. It needed a bit of trimming. Next step was to clip the wheel sections to the lower hull, which needed a bit of juggling.

Next the turret is clipped to the upper hull and that assembly is pushed onto the lower hull/track assembly.

At this point I ran into a problem. There are two small parts (D6) that apparently should fit between the rear hull plate and the main hull, but I could not work out where they fitted.* And while attaching the rear hull the left track fell off. I managed to re-attach it but decided to use some polystyrene cement to reinforce the connection.

The final part to attach is the turret hatch, which can be clipped or glued into the open or closed position.

The final model

*I never found out where the two “D6” parts should be fitted.

On the whole, a useful pre-painted wargame model at a very cheap price. I would buy it again. For reference, it is “AtoZ” “Build & Play” No. 6215. Barcode reference 5 012866 062158. Made/Supplied by Padgett Bros.,WF5 9NJ, UK.

Peninsular diversion

I felt that I needed a wargame over the weekend. I am isolating between my Covid-19 test on Saturday and my eye operation tomorrow. I had quite a lot else to do at home so it needed to be a quick set up and play game.

With the inspiration of Military History Matters magazine I decided to revisit the Battle of Corunna, last played with Airfix soldiers in about 1970. I remembered that this was a scenario included with the Commands and Colors Napoleonics base game, so I dug it out of the loft and set to.

The French view at the start of the game.

I had to relearn the rules, which are quite a bit different from the American Civil War version played with friends over the August bank holiday weekend.

After a shaky start the British force drew some lucky cards enabling them to advance to the village of Elviña in the centre and set up a stout defence which repulsed every French attack across the stream to their front.

Towards the end of the game the French managed a cavalry charge on their left flank, forcing the British into square. A nice touch in the rules is that for every infantry unit which forms square you temporarily lose one randomly selected command card from your hand.

The French cavalry did seem to be gaining the upper hand, but the British, using their superior firepower, destroyed the last two French units attacking in the centre and won the game.

The British view at the end of the game.

To see or not to see?

I have been given details of my eye operation. They will attempt to fix the retina in place, but believe the loss of sight in that eye cannot be rectified. How this will affect my sight in future remains to be seen, but currently the partial vision in the left eye blurs the overall picture.

I have found it clearer if I wear this, which I knocked up a couple of days ago.

Anyway, tomorrow I have to drive to Southampton for a Covid PCR test. Then I must isolate myself until Tuesday, when I need to be at Southampton hospital by 07:30, which means leaving home around 05:30. A friend is caring for our dog from Monday night.

The operation will be carried out under sedation, and I don’t mind admitting that I am terrified of the prospect of being even partially awake while folks poke about in my eyes. All being well, it should be over by about 12:30.

Meanwhile I hope to try my good eye at painting a few soldiers while in isolation. I bet there will be other tasks found for me instead!

At last – an excuse!

I finally have the perfect excuse for my poor model painting.

During a scheduled eye test it was discovered that I have a detached retina, meaning that I only have about 20% field of vision in my left eye. I need surgery, but it cannot be repaired, merely “fixed as is”.

I now have blurred vision when using both eyes, and will have to rely on my right eye to do all the work. Fortunately that still has a reasonable degree of competence.

A grand day out

With apologies to Wallace and Grommit

On Monday I drove with my dog to Hove to meet, and collect some toys from, the inestimable Henry Hyde.

After showing me round the “Loftwaffe” – his wargaming and podcasting hobby HQ – we went for a walk to the beach where, after observing a few by-laws, we found a place where I could let Sparky run free to chase a ball.

We had a mug of tea and a bacon sandwich with a chat for about half an hour before making it back by another historically interesting route to Henry’s.

On the way home I spotted on the grass verge a dilapidated Matador gun tractor lorry with a four-wheel WW2 caravan in tow.

A long drive, a literally “breath-taking” walk, a good chat and an obedient dog. What more could one want from a day?

Except of course a visit to stables to feed, water and check on two horses, which took place later.

On Tuesday I awoke exhausted. Neither of my legs would work properly. I went to the stables and fed the horses, but afterwards came home and slept half the morning and half the afternoon, then went to bed at 8:20 pm.

I had walked about 12 miles in the previous two days, and it seems that I am no longer up to that level of exercise.