Thursday, 14 September 2017

HMS Tartar 4th Commission 1970 14

Mid way through September now and back at sea, our only visit apart from Bahrain after Karachi was Sharjah one of the United Arab Emirates and where we had an Army and RAF base. We had a very raucous run ashore at the local NAAFI bar where our resident Tartar 'pop group' played, two of the members were from the RO's mess or at least Chris Short was, the drummer if I recall. There was nothing else of interest in Sharjah and the trip was quickly over and forgotten.

Next we visited Doha in the state of Qatar, Doha was very much on the way up back in 1970, a new airport was being built along with a road programme and the ruler was considered 'progressive', or as much as such a ruler can be. This visit was much quieter than Sharjah, there was no alcohol to be had at all, so with only sporting activities to be had we RO's had a pretty boring visit. The place is very much different now of course and I visited it some years back when my son lived there, who would have thought.

Doha 1970
 A quick weekend in Bahrain and back to sea, this time with two American ships, USS Noa and USS Power, both these ships were Gearing class destroyers built during and after WWII. The Yanks had one more ship in Bahrain, I cannot remember its name but it was quite often tied up alongside us, it was some kind of patrol ship and was ancient, it reminded me of the vessel from the film 'The Sand Pebbles'. It also had an open quadruple AA gun on the front and stencilled in big letters along the shield was 'MAN KILLER', I always had the urge to add 'eventually.'

I had a personal encounter with our Allies while in Bahrain. Coming out of a restaurant we frequented, a more down market establishment than the Moons Plaza but nearer and cheaper, my oppos Keith Wilman and Mick D’Cruz tried to enlighten a drunk Yank that he was paying too much for his taxi back to base, the Yank took offense and a yelling match started. It was too much for me and the Yanks companion, a very large black man and we both held back resignedly. Keith ignored my advice that he let the guy pay over the odds and wanted to help him despite himself, a bit of shoving now ensued and I heard the fatal words uttered by Mick "I'm with you Keith." In the time it took me to roll my eyes, turn around and look back, both my mates were on the deck bleeding profusely from their noses, the very large black American standing over them, he came at me as I stood transfixed and in shock and I thought my time had come. He raised his arm, looked into my eyes, shrugged, dragged his drunken mate into the taxi and left. I could only pick my mates up, cart them into a taxi, pay the proper fare, and get them back onboard, one clean white shirt and two red ones.

Anyway we exercised all over the place with the two destroyers, popping back to Bahrain for the evening then out again to meet the RAF and a couple of Hawker Hunters doing fake strafing runs on us, it may be an old aircraft but they were pretty sharp when attacking us. We will be returning to Bahrain on the 18th for several weeks for a maintenance period. Pretty much a nice break for us RO's, maybe a bit of work on the flagdeck helping out the Buntings but you can't do very much maintenance on radios when all you do is use them, not fix them. I pity the poor stokers and seamen, no, I don't.
Mucking about on the flagdeck, me, Lofty, Mick (glasses to hide black eye) and Dave.
 Note: Mick became an officer and a gentleman and had a successful career, Dave a meat inspector in New Zealand, looks after posh peoples houses now and no idea where Lofty is.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Fulminata Victrix

Despite the dire warnings given out with glee by the weather people about 'Storm' Aileen I braved the rain to take the Twelfth to the club for my last game before the holiday, I was fighting Ryan's Successors with longer sharp sticks than Kevin's hoplites. They are not painted yet as he is a busy young man and not an old lag with more time than he knows what to do with, however he does have all the troops in his plastic mountain. Hence the maps as his army resembles the Unsullied at the moment.

I actually got a fairly well balanced army for 2,000 points, Early Imperial Romans have some great choices for troop types and it is a tough army. I knew Ryan had cavalry this time so did not feel guilty about bringing some cataphracts, I also took bolt shooters and massed archers in fear of his elephant. It may be boring but it is about the only valid tactic for fighting a phalanx army so I again went for the flanks, I was helped in this as Ryan threw his Elephant and Companions straight at my line. The Lanciarii dodged and my cataphracts countercharged, the Companions narrowly missed a lovely hit by a Scorpio, they saved them all, but they were no match for my cavalry and were soon dispersed.

As the cataphracts positioned for a roll up of the Successor flank the elephant on the other side started to receive a hail of fire from javelins, arrows and bolts, it screamed in pain and went amuk, luckily for both of us away from our lines, the beast therefore crashed out of the battle. My missile troops now turned their attention on the advancing phalanxes.

My cavalry now drove into the flank of one of the phalanxes, while a cohort moved up to support, the writing was on the wall and Ryan conceded. Ryan was rushed into this game and if he had turned up earlier he may have thought more about his deployment, having fought with the Thunderbolts now for several weeks I am very comfortable with them.

Elsewhere we had two boardgames and some of the lads having a run through with Bolt Action. That's it now for about three weeks wargaming wise, the last part of the year promises more action as Kevin sorts out his Republican Romans and Carthaginians while Ryan is determined to grab a paintbrush and work on tactics. As for the Twelfth, bring it on!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Revenge and Disappointment

I went to Stewart's this Sunday for some wargaming, we take it in turns and it is a drive of about 75 mins so not too strenuous on the nerves. We wargame in the conference room of his workplace in the rather posh surroundings of the Zetland estate, he should, now that he has moved be able to eventually have a table somewhere in his new home.

His Carolingians beat the Saxons the last time we played and I brought them along for revenge, it is usually an even handed battle between these two armies and he would just whinge if I turned up with the Romans (walking tanks according to him). I had taken a fairly typical Saxon army, a couple of elite units, some average and some not so average commands, a small amount of skirmishers and a small cavalry reserve. Stewart had brought two very large cavalry units, some elite foot and a bunch of average cannon fodder, he had more firepower than me as he had a unit of massed archers.

I deployed refusing my right while intending to throw my left forward and outfight and outflank him. Things went well for me and I got one of my Gedriht units up swiftly and in to combat with his right most unit, he saw the danger as some of my Duguth were getting ready to outflank the line and marched some brave peasants forward to help. I suffered a lot less from the massed archers than I anticipated. As the lines clashed my Gedriht did not destroy their opponents as I had hoped, but neither did they run as they suffered horrendous casualties, this only marginally made me feel better. I threw SIPs at them to help their morale and ensure they stood their ground. I was just about to smash into the enemy flank when the peasants turned up and put an end to that plan.

Carolingians at the top, Saxons at the bottom.

Meanwhile the Carolingian battle line had advanced and threw caution to the winds and charged with abandon, there was to be no finesse in this engagement. Shieldwall's clashed and men fell, but as the dust settled all my units had held, one managed to actually win. As the huge melee continued for a second turn and my Duguth slammed into the peasants the Carolingians lost faith, units fled for the rear while their mates thought better of continuing and also fled. Apart from the cavalry and the men struggling with my Gedriht the enemy army had ceased to be a fighting force. A spectacular and unexpected revenge for the Saxons.

We had time for a second game, so we changed the scenery and set up again. this time I refused my left and put all my good troops on my right, again the plan was for a quick attack while hoping the left would hold. The Carolingians had squeezed most of their army on my far left, I was not unduly worried at this stage.

Carolingians on the left, Saxons on the right.

I advanced quickly and my two Gedriht units plowed into the enemy, vanquishing them tout suite, now things began to fall apart, I did not manage to catch the routers. One routed off table and made its morale check which meant they were coming back, this forced me to keep one of my victorious units out of the battle to handle them instead of pushing forward. The Carolingians recovered and I found myself getting outflanked as I had not pushed my line forward enough, ever watchful of the large number of enemy streaming toward my weak left.

Last of the Saxons.
Several times I thought I had recovered only to have my hopes dashed as my troops seemed to have lost their appetite for victory, the original routers now came back and this time destroyed their tormentors. Meanwhile my left collapsed, leaving me with only two average units to stave off the entire Carolingian force, I accepted defeat.

Two good battles both with large amounts of fighting, Stewart's morale in the first was shocking, when he managed to halt the Gedriht I thought I was in trouble, but as he failed to break them my line was not tested, however his was and it failed spectacularly. The second game started very well for me but again because I could not destroy my opponents and they got away it caused problems for me, the battle was a big mess with units all over throwing themselves into combat, I tried several times to catch flanks but didn't manage to hit home. So with a result of 1-1 we could both be happy, or happyish?

The conference room at Stewart's work had some beautiful hand drawn and written prints relating to all the ships in the RN from 1400 ish to 1900, they were lovely, they had been given to the boss by a friend, I think the very man who put them together.

So that is it, I am a bit WAC'ed out for the moment, I have one small battle to put my tired boys through tomorrow night at the club then that is it until after the hols, I would like to do some ACW when I get back and when Stewart has the time for another clash.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

View from the Window

Well the weather is all over the place again, several different types all in one day, but it is certainly cool. Washington House remains for sale, not a soul near it, it has had a bit of a spring clean and the garden tidied yet again but all to no avail. It will pretty much have to go for a song.

Hurricane Irma is emptying the shelves in supermarkets all along its path, everything is in short supply, but there is good news. If you are a vegan you can leave that dash for a day or so as those particular shelves are still full.

That'll put you back on your feet.

Do you remember my brush with the PO last week, well I have had the old man in asking if things have been sorted, he still does not have his pension from last week and nothing this week, I have no doubt the letter containing his new PIN number is either in the bin or sitting unopened. I have a good mind to phone 'Abby' up and let him know what a mess he has left an old man in due to his unhelpful attitude.

Talking about unhelpful, normally when you go on holiday from a PO you have to let the Police and the Security (Alarm) people know and leave a contact number. I phoned the Police and all I got was "Hello", no "Lancaster Police can I help you", by the tone of the voice I could envision him sighing and taking his legs off the desk while he pulled himself nearer the phone. "We don't do that any more" says he, unsurprised I put the phone down, I have not seen a policeman, or woman, or even a plastic one in months, there is a cardboard cut out in a shop in Lancaster but he doesn't count. Next I tired to phone the Alarm people who have carefully left off all contact numbers from their paperwork, so it was back to the Hellline. No, they don't do it either any more I am told, but I was assured that if it goes off the non-existent not bothered Police will turn up and the Alarm people will be right on it, yeah right.

Which one would you call?

Will we lose government in the future and it will all be done on mobile phones, it would seem, sadly and frighteningly that the Twittersphere and such are having a far too large influence on our lives whether you want it to or not. Every show and newspaper now almost always reads out Tweets from t**ts venting their opinion, Ayesha from Tower Hamlets thinks ...... , Freddy from Glasgow warns .....? At one end of the scale you have politicians tweeting and back peddling if the great unwashed disagree with them, and at the bottom you have a gay woman on Strictly Come Dancing having to defend dancing with a man!

The pandering to the Green gods has at last done for me, not only do they take extra money off me as a businessman to build things I do not agree with they have done for the Batmobile, it is simply too expensive now for the road tax, not that I couldn't pay it but I don't see why I should be hit while the Fiat or Honda whatever up the road does not. All cars damage the road surface no matter what their emissions are, and the road tax is just that, for the road, not that you would think it if you drive in the UK, the simple question of course is what would our leaders do if everyone turned to green buggies and no road tax was collected? The motor car gave Joe Public a freedom of movement which only the rich and famous could afford for most of history, now that freedom is being attacked at every turn, once again if you have oodles of dosh it is no problem, if you are nearing your pension you have to do the sums, freedom or the bus.

Yesterday one of the workshy came in, youngish, tall, fit, best of walking gear, rucksack etc. 70cl bottle of whisky in side pocket, checked his account, money in, informs me he has been drunk, checks out and off he goes, I actually earned some of that money in his pocket, a thank you would have been nice.

The so called government of Northern Ireland cannot agree to run the place together, but somehow their prosecution service, led by a republican, can get their act together to continue to hound British soldiers who served during the 'Troubles,' without ever batting an eyelid to IRA murderers walking around in their midst courtesy of Tony Blair. I fail to understand why our government simply cannot say NO, and to paraphrase Admiral Farrugut "Damn the legal niceties".

In the same vein we have the murderer of Lee Rigby and Injury Lawyers For U or some such despicable mob trying to get £10,000 for having two teeth knocked out while fighting prison officers.

I ventured back to the cinema to watch Dunkirk, I am not a regular goer as I cannot stand noise, popcorn, mobile phones, people etc. I now learn that Apple are working on a phone you can use in a cinema, why would you do that other than to annoy people like me? Seemingly it has a less bright light and muted sound, but you cannot mute the idiot using it Apple. Why would you want to ruin your and other peoples enjoyment with a phonecall, what is that important? It is like Bobby Smith when I was offshore, you couldn't smoke in the cinema, Bobby would have a smoke in the radio room while waiting for the film, then he would go and grab a seat, five minutes later he was back out having a cig!

 I will leave you with one more, why were the gender identity fascists of cash strapped Shropshire Health Trust not sacked immediately for refusing £2,500 of charity money and putting their gender lunacy before patients needs. Why was it refused, well a bunch of men who dressed as comedy nurses for a laugh upset the PC morons, this has been going on for twenty years, they used to push a bed as well but of course that was against 'elf and safety. Seemingly it was demeaning, outdated and highly sexualised. The Trust do have enough money though to have a full time 'officer' for such issues as gender, diversity etc. which if you are suffering should make you feel better. The most popular operation at NHS Shropshire, removal of funny bone.

If you find these guys sexy, you need treatment.
That's it for a couple of weeks, I am going dark for the hols.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

X Marks the Spot

I have completed several interesting map projects recently and have enjoyed a slight break over the last few weeks, however as always just as you get used to putting your feet up in comes more work. I am working closely with Charles Singleton the author of Warlord Games' new supplement for the English Civil War, Charles is also the editor for Helion's Century of the Soldier series concentrating on the years 1618-1721 and is adding several new books to the series. These deal with the Battle of Sheriffmuir from the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, Peter the Great and the Northern Horse during the English Civil War. I have also been contacted to draw an atlas of the American War of Independence for Andrew Bamford, another of Helion's Century of the Soldier editors who covers the years 1721-1815. In between these I receive other projects and help out with the odd redraw of a map which, once at the typesetters is found to be unusable.

Here are a few of my recent jobs. The first is "The Great Northern War," this was obviously a large series of campaigns as this is only the map which covers the western part.

This from a book about Apache leader Vitorio's 1879 campaign, "I Will Not Surrender a Hair of a Horses Tail."

"The Battle of Majuba Hill"  the Transvaal campaign which gave the Boers the confidence to take on the British Empire in a later war.

This is a siege map from "Recollections from the Ranks" the Russian/Prussian attack on the French occupied city in 1813.

The next is a work in progress for "Crucible of the Jacobite '15: The Battle of Sheriffmuir" this is my rendering of a preliminary sketch from the author, it still has to meet his approval and possible corrections or amendments.

So, once the hols are over a busy schedule ahead, but an enjoyable one, the atlas should be 120 maps and is due to be ready for early 2019, so I am looking forward to that one.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Desperate Struggle for Athens

Kevin and I fought our third battle for mastery of the Western world today outside the walls of Athens, the Greeks having been pushed back to their capital (yes I know Athens was not the only capital but play along). Having been beaten in the two previous battles the shape of the Greek army has changed, the temples have been looted and the rich forced to cough up to bring a mostly professional mercenary force to the field. As the Twelfth mustered for battle under their Legate they noted the daunting task before them.

Kevin turned up with an impressive force of elite mercenaries shielded by four skirmish units, most of the units were smaller than before as he wanted manoeuvrability and steel to crush my line of battle. I once again had left my heavy cavalry in camp but began to think I had made a mistake. I took three legionary cohorts and two auxiliary cohorts along with archers, some horse archers and my Lanciarii, I felt a little outclassed.

The deployment allowed me to form in the middle of the table, Kevin formed on the left of his side, I weighted my right hoping to chase away his skirmishers and get around the flank but the solid line of hoplites caught me unawares I thought I could at least get rid of the enemy and pin one or two units with missile fire which they couldn't ignore, the best laid plans etc. My left was going to try and outflank the Greek line and I put my best men there. The battlefield had two patches of uneven ground which I hoped would prove a bottleneck for the Greeks.

My right ended up in a real mess, my horse archers failed a charge and my Lanciarii were also routed while my massed archers only ever managed one kill, and on one occasion shot 24 arrows for no kills. I managed to get my routers back but Kevin's skirmishers had the best of me and soon both units had again run and this time did not come back. He also cottoned on fairly quick to start moving his phalanxes from the left to the centre. As per the plan my left advanced swiftly and Cohors II charged while Auxiliary Cohors I sneaked around the flank, I held the rest of the centre back. The mercenaries began to deal out some heavy casualties to Cohors II but the boys held out as men dropped in the ranks, I couldn't get the auxiliaries in due to opening up my ranks but as my men fell it opened up an opportunity and the hoplites were hit in the flank, this came none too soon and this. along with their dogged resistance, ensured the first hoplite rout.

Kevin had now managed to get his line in a position to hit my centre, I really did think I was going to lose it, I had one unit of line legionaries, one of recruits and another auxiliary cohort holding the line, they were outmatched by their opposition. However as the lines clashed my men drew all the combats, I breathed a slight sigh of relief, but numbers would begin to tell in the next rounds.

As the crises approached I had one spare unit on my right, the massed archers, I could try and chase the Greek skirmishers or I could throw them into battle to help the auxiliaries, I chose the latter, this sealed the fate of another hoplite unit which dispersed. The archers were now free to turn on their tormentors while the auxiliaries now careened into the open flank of another Greek unit sealing it's fate. On my left Cohors II had rallied and found themselves faced with an open flank as a mercenary unit chased away some Roman skirmishers and overextended itself, the opportunity was too good to miss despite my troops having suffered severe casualties, in they went and another Greek unit ran from the battlefield. Kevin had one unit desperately trying to conquer Cohors I who refused to run and one on its own to the rear with three Roman units now free to attack it.

A great game and a tough slog for all, neither side gave quarter nor asked for it. At the beginning of the battle I went into whinge mode about the Phalanx rule but in the end it is part of the rules and I had to live with it. I fight with too many different people to start tinkering. Despite my moaning only one phalanx looked like winning and my boys held out for so long that the result would not have made any difference to the end game. Apart from my lousy shooting and the loss of most of my skirmish troops the Thunderbolts fought magnificently, legionaries and auxiliaries. By the time I get back from my hols Kevin will have Republican Romans and Carthaginians ready, I am looking forward to that.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Wallace fails again

Another shot at Hammer of the Scots last night, once again due to cultural stereotyping I was playing William Wallace and Simon Edward I. Lessons had been learned in the last game and it showed it this one, we got into the swing of things fairly quickly but took more time to deliberate our moves, especially during the all important winter phase when you can see whole swathes of your army disappear or change sides.

It was Simon's turn to suffer the slings and arrows of the Dice Gods, he twice tried to knock out the Bruce stronghold of Annan but was twice sent back over the border, he did manage on a third expedition to take my hero out. This left the Lowlands pretty much under English domination. Meanwhile Wallace in the North was advancing the cause of Scottish Independence, slowly but surely taking over and showing the northern lords the error of their ways.

The Rebellion begins.
Bruce holds out.
The North rises.

We again only managed to get halfway through the campaign but as the midpoint approached the Scots had almost attained the North and held the environs of Stirling, having won a battle which would go down in history almost as famous as Bannockburn. We both had the same number of Nobles so the game was actually a draw, but I felt the English tooth had been pulled.

I enjoyed the game, Simon less so as his die rolling was really that bad. I also due to some luck with the cards managed to spring a Truce on him during the last turn  two years in succession, which meant his carefully built up armies could not attack and as I had slipped into undefended areas just before the truce they fell to me. You had to be there, I was chuffed. It is not an easy game to win for either side, they both have problems and these mainly come as you struggle keep your men in the field during the winter phase then build up their strength so that you can take a large army on campaign. The Scots have the option to crown a king but that is not an easy thing to achieve, neither is getting enough Nobles to ensure the French turn up.

Elsewhere we had two more boardgames and a Chain of Command early war desert clash between the British and Italians, the terrain pieces were very nice as was the Rolls Royce armoured car used, in fact it all looked very good. I did notice though that there didn't seem to be much in the way of movement, I could be wrong as I am biased against CoC in that respect.

Ryan is back from his hols and came bearing gifts, Simon got a bunch of Total War games free gratis and I became the proud owner of what I believe must be an English Civil War cannonball, dug up by Ryan's grandfather. He also organised a game against the Twelfth with his Successors for next week, the Thunderbolts may be getting combat fatigue as they are on campaign in Greece again tomorrow afternoon. I also have an away game on Sunday against my son, the Saxons this time as he is scared of the Patricians and calls them 'walking tanks' which of course they are not.

There will be a lull after that for two to three weeks as I go on my hols and then recover, providing I don't glow in the dark having been within close range of North Korean missiles or fallout.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

View From The Window

It is cool but dry, no idea what the rest of the day will bring, rain is forecast obviously but we might get lucky. Summer is over the nights are drawing in and the kids go back to school tomorrow, not that it has been much of a summer. We got a chiminea to while away the sultry evenings, the latest must have fad or was, well I didn't, the boss did, not only have we had hardly any sultry evenings an hour or so in front of the fire tube and we smelt like Arbroath Smokies. It has now been moved to a position more conducive to not giving us smoke asphyxiation as per instructions on Google, will it work, I don't know as next 'summer' is a long way away.

An interesting week in the PO, I had one old dear come in desperate to pay her council tax, she had missed a week or so thinking she had paid it as she always does, the council promised to put a debt collector on to her and destroy her credit rating if she continued to transgress. Wouldn't a simple reminder have done, and if you dare to phone up about one of these letters they just tell you not to worry, it's normal practice, well it shouldn't be.

A regular old gentleman came in for his pension, the machine declined, I warned him about being locked out but he insisted on trying twice more with the wrong number, I even went around and put the number in just in case he was hitting the wrong buttons. No, locked. I told him we could phone HQ and get him a new card but he would have to talk to them, not an easy task, anyway I phoned up. I tried to explain as diplomatically as I could to 'Abby' (a bloke mind?) that he might struggle getting anything out of the customer and handed the phone over on loud speaker so I could help. Sure enough I had to prompt the customer, who was then told in no uncertain terms that he was not to listen to me or talk to me. Abby eventually offered two suggestions, he could unblock the number and the man would get his money now, or he could wait a week and get a new number in the post, as the second option was the last one heard that was the one chosen. Now, Abby does not know my customer, I have been serving him for seventeen years, the PO trusts me to keep thousands of pounds in my safe, run one of their offices and keeps telling me to put the customer first, but I am not trusted enough to help out an old man get his pension from an unthinking, unfeeling automaton. Ten minutes later (I had a rush) my next customer, another old man comes up to the counter, pats his body and says "I think I have lost my card" NOoooooo!

The missus thought it would be a good idea to do some shopping before we go on our holiday, unknown to me I needed some shorts, she pointed out red paint on my thousand milers so fair enough. She had a notion to go to the ancient border city of Carlisle, a leisurely stroll through town, a coffee, watch the world go by then a bite to eat before home, we haven't been to Carlisle for around sixteen years. The city is, like the mansion we visited for our family do, tired, if not downright grubby, many of the shops were empty and the others badly in need of a washdown. I hit lucky and got my shorts, a pair of trousers and casual shoes almost immediately, we should have left then. We looked around in vain for somewhere to eat as we had given lunch a miss, we ended up in Nandos, my first and last visit, I suspect Nandos elsewhere is a pleasant quick meal, but not here. We headed back to the car about 1630, past an increasing number of female groups obviously heading for a night on the town and the odd larger group of raucous men, it was still afternoon. We should have stayed on the road for another hour and went to Glasgow. The only bright spot for me was I found a sweetie shop and got some liquorice and a couple of 'Lucky Tatties' which I last tasted when I was about ten, and no, they weren't the same.

I got an email from my co-author and friend in Canada, always a pleasure as they are more like real letters than a sentence or two. Anyway he mentioned that statue removal is alive and well in the Old Dominion, their first PM Sir John Macdonald was in charge when a school system for Indian, no, Aboriginal, no, First Nations, no, Indigenous children was implemented. The same mindless mob wanted to do the same to a statue of Canada's third VC winner because he got it at Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny, there I go again, Indian Rebellion suppressing natives. This however was silenced and trumped by the fact the brave man was black, ooops, back pedal. Only whitey gets caned. And as for removing Confederate flags, here is one, white cross on blue, look familiar?

As usual I caught Pointless as I relaxed after my traumatic experiences in the PO, a young girl said that she was a journalist, Alexander Armstrong asked which kind, local, world news, what?  Quickly dismissing real journalism she replied Celebrity Gossip with no hint of embarrassment, and where do you get your scoops he went on, oh, social meedja, Facebook, you know. Why should Britain tremble, she was also if I remember correctly doing this as a course at Uni.

If you haven't yet removed your savings and turned them into Kruger Rands and hidden them under the floorboards you better hurry. The odd warning about another crash is seeping out, one worse than the last, why the commentators ask as they shake their heads. Because the greedy sods still give out money to every Tom, Dick and Harriet who want a new car, xbox, latest phone etc. because you can dial money on a night out and get it within minutes for another Tequila Sunrise. They will give you insurance despite you having a terminal disease, no checks here son, want a pen? The non existent money now spent on stuff is just waiting around the corner to bring as all to our knees once again, you have been warned.

If you thought apologies for the sack of Constantinople, the Irish Potato Famine, Slavery and that guy in York who lost fourteen groats down the drain in 857AD were not enough, there is more. The Pagans, specifically the Odinist Fellowship want redress for the way Christianity treated their forebears(?) way back in the mists of time, they have worked out they are owed two churches, which on the face of it seems reasonable, it would at least save them being turned into discos or shelters. The Achbishop of Canterbury wants to give this some thought as the High Gods of Asgarth are not to be trifled with.

The defence rests M'lud.