26 December 2012

Es ist Zweite Weihnachtstag!!!

The photo debut of the Young Master's collection of Britains, featuring the two newest additions front and center, a French Voluntaire Etranger from Louisberg 1758 and a 71st Highlander firing at Yorktown, 1781. 

Since this purports to be a blog about models soldier painting and wargaming, it seems like high time to get back to our raison d'etre here at the GD of S blog.  So, lets kick things off today with a photograph of the Young Master Paul's collection of 54mm figres by Wm. S. Britain above.  The Young Master has received two figures each Christmas since his arrival at Stollen Central in the fall of 2009. 
His figures all have something to do with either the French and Indian War aka The SYW) and the War of American Independence.  As of yet, the Young Master does not show a whole lot of interest in them, and he describes the soldiers as men with musical instruments of all things.  But I hope one day he might appreciate having an interesting small collection of military miniatures started by dear, old, weird, misanthropic Dad.  Whether the Young Master takes to wargaming, or not.

Here's one of yours truly and Prince Onyx early on Christmas Night as the Grand Duchess and I enjoyed yet more eggnog and treats -- before Christmas Day Dinner, mind you -- as the Young Master played nearby.

So to Christmas Day.  Yesterday was a delightfully quiet, fun-filled  family day of presents, music, telephone conversations, good food, and the joy of watching the Young Master entertain himself all day with his new vehicles, dinosaurs, and so forth.  Christmas 2012 will be long remembered, I suspect, as the Christmas of Wheeled Conveyances.  Everything from the trucks I made, to Tonka trucks, to a Fisher Price  parking garage, to Matchbox cars.  When I left him a little while ago, the Young Master had brought his four hand-made trucks one at a time back downstairs from his room and was playing happily with them in the middle of the kitchen floor.

For all of the excitement leading up to Christmas Day itself, Christmas Week is equally nice in my book.  Quiet, laid back, still lots of treats and good food filling up the stockings, dining table, and kitchen, with lots of time for conversation with the Grand Duchess, quiet reflection on the year ending, and the approach of the new year.   I enjoy the post-Christmas Day lull as much as Advent and the run up to Christmas.  A huge, contented internal sigh.  Life is good and worth living.

The Christmas candy table here at Stollen Central, set up by yours truly a couple of days before Christmas.  All attempts not to consume sugary items are off for the next week or so! 

This year, the relaxing week between Christmas and New Year's is especially nice for the Grand Duchess because she finally heard from and returned paperwork to a publisher in Great Britain earlier in December.  An anthology on world science fiction (her second book) that she is editing and contributing to is officially a go now and should appear by early 2014.  She was also elected to the governing board of a national body of foreign language departments, which is pretty high profile and brings with it a variety of interesting new duties and commitments, which the Grand Duchess is excited about.  So, as she remarked to me a few days before Christmas Eve, she feels like she can really put her feet up this year and enjoy the Christmas period.  A huge, contented sigh for her as well.

The Grand Ducal Christmas Pies, cherry and pumpkin, all ready for Christmas Dinner under the ever watchful eye of the Grand Ducal French Press.

In other new, Christmas week is also a time to consider and daydream about what yours truly might do with the generous funds transferred to the Grand Duchy of Stollen coffers by the Grand Ducal Parents and the Grand Ducal In-laws.  Both have very kindly subsidized large parts of the GD of S collection  over the last few years, and this year is no different.  Since the basic Sittangbad-sized forces were completed a year or so ago,  however, I'm not in a huge rush to purchase any more figures just yet, and I have a small pile of lead and plastic Spencer Smiths here already that will keep my busy for the foreseeable future, but it is still nice to think ahead.  More on this when I do my New Year's post in a week. 

But what of any other wargaming related gifts?  Well, the Grand Duchess came through once again, this time with Charles Grant's recent title Wargaming in History, Volume 5: Minden, Kunersdorf, Torgan, and Maxen.  I haven't really had a chance to look closely at the book yet since we collapsed into bed late last night and fell asleep almost immediately, but it looks like a fascinating read and a worthy addition to the collection of wargaming titles here at Stollen Central.

The Young Master on Christmas Eve, just before we sat down to begin Christmas Dinner, which the Grand Duchess, when she was a girl at home, always had with her family on Christmas Eve.

Finally, while the Grand Duchess has offered to take the Young Master and I out for hot chocolate at a local cafe later this afternoon (an idea actually suggested yesterday by the Young Master), this evening will see me return to painting those Minden, RSM, and Fife & Drum staff vignettes.  Tomorrow, the Grand Duchess will go a calling, so I will use the afternoon hours to set up Neu Sittangbad once again and maybe General de Latte and I can resume and complete our  game early in the year.

The Young Master on Christmas Morning, playing with the four hand-made and painted trucks that were left for him by Santa Claus/Father Christmas.

All that remains, then, for today's long-winded, rambling post, is for me to wish you the compliments of the season and  Merry Christmas yet again.  Be sure to find the time to sit down, catch your breath, enjoy a drink of something seasonal and/or "medicinal" (I'm enjoying a bit of single malt Scots whisky at the moment), and just soak up all of the good things that life drops in our laps.  And there are many, something that is easy to forget given all of the apparent unpleasant and bad things that seem to happen all of the timeWhatever trials life might throw our way, it can also be pretty darn nice when we take the time to slow down and notice it.  Certainly, I need to do a better job of remembering that in the coming year


Fitz-Badger said...

Looks like good food and pies and sweets in a convivial setting. And a nice bit of relaxation with the cat, and recreation with the toy trucks.

Yes, the post-Christmas lull is nice.

Happy new year to you and yours!

Corporal_Trim said...

A beautiful Christmas, sir. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Great figure that Louisbourg voluntaire. While not a fighting pose, a very natural one.


Grimsby Mariner said...

Sounds like grand time was had by all. Seasons greetings and warm wishes for the future.

Archduke Piccolo said...

You do set yourself up for a great time at Christmas! Wonderful!


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