Organisation, Dog issues and wargaming

Yesterday I spent a lot of time installing shelving units to my shed, during which I dropped my best screwdriver into an inaccessible position.

After eventually detaching the magnet elements from an LED work light, I was able to attach them to a line of linen thread and retrieve the driver,

I then set to to mow the front grass area, during which Sparky managed to sprain his front right ankle.  One trip to the vet, a pain killer injection, a dose of pills for the next week, and a fifty quid bill later, he is jumping about like a young puppy, while I am supposed to keep him on bed rest.

And so back to the wargaming:  I started a confused solo tabletop urban battle this morning between elements of 1st and 4th Parachute Brigades of the British 1st Airborne Division and elements of 2nd SS Panzer Division and local forces in the Arnhem area.

The result, after 30 minutes game time and a morning’s gaming and documentation, hangs in the balance.

A weekend caravanning

We have just spent 5 days at the Blenheim Palace Horse Trials event.

This is Chrissy’s annual “chill-out”, away from work, watching horses and spending money on horsey stuff.

We take the caravan and pay an arm and a leg for “mains” electricity – the one time in the year when we do not have to monitor the battery and gas levels.

I do all the cooking and general housekeeping, including water supply, waste water and other effluent disposal.

The caravan toilet flushing system packed up on day 2, deciding to spread the required water across the washroom floor rather than into the toilet bowl, so we went back to “manual bucket flush” methodology for the weekend and used on-site facilities instead when practicable.

The weather was as usual.  Whatever you decide to wear in the morning is wrong by lunchtime when you are about 3 miles from “home”.

Our campsite organisers set a 1,000,000 steps challenge in aid of the event charity: “Dogs for Good”.  The charity representatives apparently did not know this.  25 campers took part and managed 1,003,500 steps as at 9:00 this morning.  

My personal total equated to around 22 miles walking about over the 4 days of the event, and I had one afternoon asleep!  Sparky, even if on a lead most of the time, probably did 25-30 miles.  He is exhausted, but happy to be home.

Overall, a pleasant weekend, but visitor numbers were well down on previous years, possible because so many “top name” riders were in America at the World Equestrian Games.  Many retailers were in dire straits due to lack of passing trade.

And I do wish that the concurrent attractions of the Royal Berks Show and “Colours” wargame show, both in Newbury, about 30 miles south of Blenheim Palace, would revert to their original dates so that I could enjoy them too.

Sparky’s life

This is the first of the blog postings by my dog, Sparky.  He is a labrador/collie crossbreed and around three years old.  Since February, when we acquired him from the Dog’s Trust rehoming centre, he has been contributing his view of life on Facebook (under the guise of his master, Paul Wisken).

He has now asked me to include his posts in my blog.

“Sparky says:

HE is a rotter. Not a Rottweiler, but a simply a rotter.

HE hid My Ball.  HE said a lot of blah blah blah and then got out the noisy grass-chomping toy.  HE said “No Ball blah blah” and started to play with HIS toy.  I could smell My Ball but could not get to it.  I jumped up on the box where HE hid it, but it was all shut.

I tried and tried and HE made a “ha-ha-ha” noise.

After ever such a long time [reality check: about ten minutes] HE put away the noisy toy and found My Ball.

It was nice to have the Ball back but I want to tell the “Not-Just-For-Christmas” people that HE HID MY BALL and that is not what We agreed.  HE does not love Me.

Later HE took me out in the car and We went to a shop and bought tasty treats.  Maybe HE loves me again now.”

More from Sparky in the future.