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Monday, 4 September 2017

Border Reivers Show, Gateshead

Saturday, 2nd Sept. I caught the train from York to Newcastle, then the Metro to Gateshead International Stadium for the Border Reivers Wargaming Show.

This is a small show, about 30 traders and a similar number of demos, but size isn't everything, I could get close to all the stands and chat to the dealers.

A few items were purchased.

From the bring and buy, a bag of Dixon SYW Prussian Grenadiers, 16 grenadiers, two ensigns, a drummer without a drum and a Garrison Prussian Fusilier. For ten pounds, a bargain, I will buy a command group from Dixon.

Fortunately, I really like the Garrison SYW figures

Then a couple of camels for the Ottoman baggage train and a very aggressive looking priest from Footsore; a figure I have wanted for some time.

From Warbases, a couple of buildings for the Ottoman project and some bases.

The buildings are laser cut MDF, so they are very flat, not like any middle eastern building I have seen. Talking to the seller, he suggested PVA glue and sand, the same as I use for figure bases. I will give it a go.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Polish Winged Hussars Demonstration Team

Yesterday, we went to the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds for a display put on by

"The Hussar Banner of the Marshall of Pomorskie Voivodship"

a Polish re-enactment troop of winged hussars. This took place in the museum tiltyard and lasted about 45 minutes. All very exiting. These are the photos I took.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

"Final Portrait"

A trip with B to City Screen in York yesterday afternoon to see this new film "Final Portrait"

An excellent film, beautifully staged, very well acted, beautifully photographed. Not a lot happens, the film is based on a book written by James Lord, the young man sitting for the final  portrait painting by Giacometti, but the interaction between the two main characters, then with Giacometti's wife, his mistress, his brother, these intimate details open up the film, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, always pertinent to the plot.

Stanley Tucci wrote and directed the film after he found a copy of the book, purely by chance. He has produced a wonderful piece for cinema.

Friday, 11 August 2017

"Shin Godzilla"

Something out of the ordinary for us - a midweek evening trip to the cinema Cityscreen in York (preceded by dinner at Carluccio's new restaurant).

We went to watch "Shin Godzilla", a Japanese remake of the 1954 film "Godzilla". The film is in Japanese, with English subtitles, has a lot of CGI and I believe it is on very limited release, we saw it in Cityscreen's smallest screen and it was on for one showing only. We thoroughly enjoyed it, good fun. Fortunately we are used to subtitled films, I know this puts off some people.  I would not recommend this film to everybody but if you like sci-fi monsters, this may be for you.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Spring Trip 2017 - Lille - and finally, Day Three

Day Three - with a midday Eurostar train to catch back to London, I wanted to finish my trip with a walk around Le Vieux-Lille, old Lille, the Lille that Vauban would have seen (but please don't take that too literally).

There were still two gates I had not seen. Here is the first, the Porte de Gand.

The external face of Porte de Gand

The city's Coat of Arms between the portcullis levers

The city side

Vauban added defences to the exterior

I wonder how he got up there - a City council workman trimming the grass

The nice woman in the Tourism Office told me all of the walls had been demolished
Not far away is the other gate, Porte de Roubaix.

Not as well kept as Porte de Gand

Refurbishments underway

Both the gates were built during 1620 - 1625 when Lille was under Spanish control. Originally, both had one centrally located archway and gate. The two outer arches on both gates were added in 1875 to allow the City's new tramway to pass through.

After this, back to the hotel, collect my luggage, pay my bill and catch the train back to London St. Pancras station. Then over the road to Kings Cross station for the train back to York.

Spring Trip 2017 - Lille - day 2

Day 2. The main objective of the day - to see the Plans-Reliefs in the city's art museum, the Palais Beaux-Arts.

Going from the hotel I passed a two interesting statues.

Marshall Foch.

General Faidherbe
General Louis Faidherbe (1818 - 1889) was born in Lille. During the Franco - Prussian War he became Commander in Chief of the Army of the North.

When I got to the Palais I found it was hidden behind scaffolding as major renovations were underway, so here is a photo of the building from Google Search.

The Plans-Reliefs are in the basement. As the majority were made around 1700 - 1720, they are kept in large glass cases under very restricted lighting.

First attempted photo.

After twiddling around with some of the dials on the camera, my second attempt.

The model of Lille citadel

To give you an idea of the size of these plans-reliefs, I found these two images from the Musée des Plans-Reliefs in Paris. The Chief Conservator is supervising the assembling of the model of the town of Besancon.

Lille's collection is of 15 of the forts from the northern region of France and southern Belgium, many formed part of Vauban's Pré Carré. The forts are Lille, Avesnes, Bergues, Bouchain, Gravelines, Maastricht, Aire, Calais, Ath, Namur, Menin, Tournai, Audenarde, Ypres and Charleroi.

Upstairs, there were a number interesting items.

This unattributed bust is believed to be of Vauban

A young Napoleon Bonaparte, by Charles Corbet

I have forgotten the name of this picture.
There is much more, works by Delacroix, Goya and Courbet and others in this very nice museum.

However, sometimes I am perplexed by contemporary art - is this art or design? Or whimsy?