A snowy day in Bloomington, Illinois? Nope. It's my old stomping ground Trondheim, Norway. If this is where I think it is in the city, it's on Merchants' Street (note the renovated warehouses at right), along the river on the way to the Old Town Bridge. This was the way to my favorite cafe, Cafe Stradivari, which was located just across the Nidaro River in the Bakklandet section of the city, just down the hill from the main campus of the university -- The Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Don't ask why a language and literature person was sent to study and do research there, but that's the way it was for yours truly, during the 1999-2000 academic year. A strange blip indeed on my biographic radar screen, but I always become nostalgic for the country, its musical language, and outdoor way of life, during the winters and the mid-summers.
Uniformology. The study of uniforms. Is that really an honest to goodness word? Anyway, the study of military uniforms is one of the reasons behind why many of us got into wargaming in the first place. Now, some of you might not know about the digital Vinkhuijzen collection of uniforms that the New York Public Library made available online sometime ago. Not only is this resource invaluable for those of you who paint your troops in historic uniforms, but for those of us who opt for fictitious armies, the Vinkhuijzen collection is terribly inspirational. And here it is: New York Public Library Vinkhuijzen Uniform Collection. Enjoy!
On the painting front, things have slowed a bit here at Stollen Central due to extreme cold in the American Midwest, which has made even the normally cozy Stollenkeller a bit chilly for painting, even with a nice DeLonghi space heater plugged in down here. My guess is that those of you in Britain or somewhere on the European continent are experiencing similar challenges right now too. It's a shame since the Outlaws are here for another few days, and there has been extra (and yes, much needed) time to sneak away for painting, but there you are.
We also have all kinds of fluffy, powdery snow on the ground outside, perfect for breaking trail in one of our nearby state parks on cross-country (Nordic) skis. But, with windchills below zero (and that's Fahrenheit, mind you, not Celsius), it's even a bit too cold for that. Maybe early Saturday morning before band practice? I suppose there's always my bicycle set up on a trainer for indoor riding, but that's not exactly an exciting prospect now though, is it? Sigh. Well, I have several interesting wargaming and uniform books on the way from various places, so there is that to look forward to, and I can always bundle up in one of my Norwegian sweaters and warm pants for some painting later today. As Marty Feldman said to Gene Wilder in the delightfully wacky film Young Frankenstein (1975), "It could be worse." ;-)
Later. . .
Volume 1 of The Wargamers' Annual with Charles S. Grant and Phil Olley appeared in our mailbox earlier this afternoon, courtesy of On Military Matters. Hurrah! The Grand Duchess, Young Master Paul, and the Outlaws are joining friends of the latter this evening for dinner. So, your truly has begged off, to get some much needed personal time, which will include a little painting of course. Aterwards, I plan to retire to bed with a nice glass of scotch whisky (NOT single malt, sadly) and T.W.A. All sorts of fascinating articles and lovely photographs games, scenery, etc. to peruse. The piece on how to build houses and other structures for the tabletop has already given me a new idea, and I haven't even read the article yet. And as an added bonus, there are even a couple of pieces that have been contributed to the annual by Stuart Asquith. Ah, just what the wargimang and painting doctor ordered!