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Showing posts from November, 2013

Happy (American) Thanksgiving!!!

Strangely (for a guy), I really like old-fashioned Victorian and Edwardian greeting cards.  Long-time visitors to the GDofS blog might recall that rather odd bit of personal information.  Look what I found online this morning!
A day early, yes, but I've got a few moments to myself for another mug of coffee before pie preparation (pumpkin and raspberry) begins in earnest along with a few other dishes for tomorrow and running the vacuum cleaner around the first floor to assist the Grand Duchess.  Wait!  I'm the one who usually swiffers and vacuums anyway.  You know.  One of those emasculated modern males.  No matter.  It gets the job done when it needs doing, so who cares which one of us wears the pants when it comes to domestic duties?  Not me.

In any case, please allow me to wish all American visitors to The Grand Duchy of Stollen blog, wherever in the world you might find yourselves, a very. . .  Happy Thanksgiving!  May your day tomorrow be filled with family, friends…

Bang! Pssssssssss. . .

I'm afraid that my lack of painting opportunities the past few months are to the far right here!
Sooner, or later, I suppose it happens to everyone in the miniatures painting and (war-)gaming hobby.  Real life gets in the way early on and will not budge and get out of the blasted way.  You know?  Kind of like when you are racing to make a connecting flight across a large airport in another terminal building, and you get stuck behind someone with lots of carry-on baggage and numerous drifting children on one of those moving sidewalk thingies.  But the people who are walking over to your right or left, those smart souls who chose the old-fashioned method of simply walking on the non-conveyered tiled floor, are zipping by at a much faster rate.  It's simply maddening when you think about it too much.  Know what I mean?

Anyway, that is what has happened during the last few months, as the autumn term has worn on, here at Stollen Central.  The sheer number of student drafts and final …

The General von Terreplein Arrives. . .

An Adolf Menzel illustration of a Prussian horse artillery officer, who bares a striking resemblance to General von Terreplein.
A carriage drawn by six grey horses pulled up early this dark November afternoon in front of The Residenz, a.k.a. Krankenstadt Palace.  The long-suffering English manservant Hives rushed to the second floor to roust the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II from his feather bed.  Meanwhile, Herr General von Terreplein, a former Prussian artillery officer and veteran of the First and Second Silesian Wars, now a newly appointed consultant to the Grand Duchy of Stollen, stepped out of the carriage and onto the front steps of the palace.  He was then ushered inside at the quick step.  What new game might be afoot? What plans might be hatched?  What unintentional alliteration might result? What kinds of unintended Rococo zaniness might come to the fore? What military and regional aims might remain maddeningly out of reach?  Who among us can say with any degree of certainty? …

Armistice Day. . .

A fitting image for November 11th.
Time to take a few moments to pause quietly and remember those who either serve now, or those who served in previous wars, the fallen as well as the survivors.  I always think of my maternal grandfather and various great uncles, all gone now, who fought during the Second World War.  All really young North Carolina, Georgia, and Massachusetts boys, who were drafted or enlisted during 1942, in the months following Pearl Harbor, and reported without fanfare or protest.  My family was extremely fortunate in that all of them came home more or less intact.  Many others were not so lucky. 

While brightly colored toy soldiers, miniature planes, ships, tanks, and military history are fun and fascinating things, it's worth remembering on a day like today how utterly and indescribably awful real war actually must be for the men and women who experience it firsthand.  My maternal grandmother told me once about a family in Asheville, North Carolina that lo…