Wednesday, April 27, 2011

and I would like to thank

Yes, thanks to Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein fame and Peter the Single Handed Admiral, I am now the blushing recipient of a ....

A little googling about what this is and where it came from came up with a few million hits and little useful information so I left off research and have decided to accept in the spirit intended. The rules seem to vary slightly (how appropriate for me) but are essentially:

  • Thank the nominating blog and provide a link back
  • Share seven things about myself
  • Nominate more blogs you deem worthy to share your honor
  • Let those bloggers know you nominated them!

So thank you to Jeff & Peter,  both of whom I have had the pleasure of gaming with, only once so far in Jeff's case but I hope to repeat the experience, many times in Peter's case though the last occasion was more than 10 years ago now.

Now 7 things, the rules don't seem to specify what sorts of things so

1. I have always had a penchant for stories fictional or real with self sacrificing heroes who come to a bad end, 1st and foremost King Arthur,  Sir Isaac Brock, Tale of 2 Cities, Last of the Mohicans,  Sir William Wallace, you get the picture.  Doubtless says something about me or my life.

2. Since Hector who stars in my header attracts alot of attention, I've probably mentioned this but I share this house and its immediate vicinity with wife, mother-in-law, 1 Quaker parakeet, 5 cats, some of them the working sort, a Whippet and 8 Italian Greyhounds, however,  these are heavily outnumbered by toy soldiers of various sizes.

3. My favorite reading when young included several Classic Comics, particularly Caesar's Conquests, With Fire & Sword, the Black Arrow, Pontiac's Rebellion,  Tale of 2 Cities, Last of the Mohicans, The Scottish Chieftans  (I know, only the last 3 seem to agree with the first point but while I am nothing if not inconsistent, things work out for Pan Shetuski but there is the sacrifice of Pan Longinus, Dick Shelton is betrayed by the only family he has known and ends up sacrificing worldly advancement, Caesar survives his first book but is assassinated before long and both Pontiac and Robert Rogers  come to sad ends. )  More importantly, I have wargamed all of these conflicts at some time.

4.  When my older brother was off at school, I used to sneak his castle out from under his bed and play with it and the accompanying Crescent, Herald and Lido knights. I don't do that anymore. (because they are upstairs in my war room, not under his bed...)

5. My father received a commendation signed by Montgomery, it hangs on my wall. He didn't like to talk about the war but when I was a young serving officer he did share some experiences. This particular one occurred in Holland during a German counter attack that reached the Divisional HQ of which he was part. He was a corporal in the signal corps, responsible for keeping the telephone lines open and he and a fellow signalman did, all night. Everytime they patched one cut the line would go dead somewhere else. (the next morning it turned out they were splicing and $#Q$#@ing few yards from a German MG nest who presumably didn't want to give their position away by shooting).  Anyway, near dawn they drove the jeep back in to town which was crawling with German soldiers, went into a cellar and had a good sleep, missing the order to pull back. The next morning when the Canadians counter attacked and retook the town, it was being "held" by 2 signalmen.....  Apparently the after affect of Canadian flamethrower tanks was nauseating.

6. I joined the Black Watch Cadets in Montreal at the earliest possible age and served for 5 years ending up as Corps Sergeant Major and was rewarded with an inscribed Sgean Dhu  and was allowed to keep my kilt. It fits me better now than it did then and I still where both whenever a tie and jacket are called for.

7. When growing up I was very proud of my Scottish heritage but eventually figured out that I am only 1/4 Scottish (and at that, apparently the Macfarlanes are old British stock, not those 7th Century immigrant types). Of the rest 1/4 is Irish, 1/4 Anglo-Saxon English (The Wright stuff so to speak) and the rest, well, one of my Portugese Jewish de Solla ancestors served as a Dutch General in South Africa at one point and it was from my Grandfather de Solla, that I got my love of Toy Soldiers and military hstory. (and he had been in the regular army, was called back and served in the RHA during the Great War and tried to enlist in the Canadian army for the 2nd but had to settle for the Corps of Commissionaires, keeping an eye out for sabateurs. so he knew somewhat of what he was talking about.) Another de Solla, my late cousin John,  was an officer in the Queen's Own Rifles and when I was in military college suggested that being in the infantry was fun when you were 20 but not so much at 40, one of the factors that led me to sea.)

 So, on to 7 nominees. Can't really nominate all the blogs I enjoy even though I only follow a tiny fraction of the ones that are out there. I also don't have any firm criteria but if I may have the envelope please, in no particular order:

Bob Corderey's Wargaming Miscellany  which has amused, informed and inspired me. I know that Jeff has nominated him as well, so hopefully this is in time so that Bob can combine his response should he accept.

Tim Gow's  because I enjoy reading it and because he builds the toys trucks and tanks and things so I don't have to,

Little John's Lead Garden's  classic wargaming interspersed with some 40mm stuff.

Tiddler's for the same reasons.

Pauly Wauley's wargame blog because I enjoy it and his gaming style.

Tony's  because its different,  and sometimes thought provoking as well as interesting.

Matt's  for his Airfix ACW project if nothing else though sometimes it is nice to see the 19thC take precedence  over tricornes or tanks.

Apologies to those missed, apologies to those nominated for having to either ignore the "honour" or respond and thanks to all those who tune in here.

Now to go let those 7 know what's been done.




  1. Ross,

    My Dad was also in the Signal Corps during WWII . . . albeit the US variety. He entered the war as a private and had been promoted to Captain by the time the war was over. He spent most of his time all over Central and South America and had many fascinating tales to tell.

    -- Jeff

  2. A richly deserved award, and interesting to see more of your history. Oh, and thanks for the mention.

  3. Lots of people out there don't know the fancy nmames for dirks.....what kilt do you wear? us MacFarlanes (OK, grandmother was a McFarlane) have a choice of 3 ourselves - personally alwauys liked the black-and-white Ancient one.


  4. Good enough for me Rob, your a `cousin`from now on. I have one of the red based Macfarlane kilts, custom made, but like my heavy miltary weight Black Watch kilt best. My brother had an interesting conversation about 18thC vegetable dyes with someone who specialized in such and who has compelling evidence for brightness in colours.

  5. Thank you Tim and you're welcome.

  6. Jeff, A much under rated branch of the service.

  7. If the Parakeet is a Quaker, what is the confessional status of the other pets?

  8. No need to do it again, but I just thought I'd let you know that I would like to second your nomination.

  9. Conrad, The cats are agnostic anarchists I'm afraid while the unruly hounds worship their mom".

    Thank you for the nod

  10. Umm... you might find this informative:

  11. Thanks Mike, about what I thought.