I believe my apologies are in order, as yet again it's been a while between posts. Things have been very busy indeed!
First off - i've applied a new format to the blog! Let me know if there are any problems with legibility etc, but I feel it looks a lot better. The background image is one I took back in 2008 looking west along Nan White sector of Juno Beach from St Aubin-sur-Mer, the site of Wiederstandnest 28.
Five full time subjects this semester, including the self-directed study, was very nearly almost too much to take on. I've now completed four of the subjects, and am 2000ish words into my 8000 word mini-thesis on the French colonisation of North Africa for my self directed study.
In between the uni work, I finally finished paying off an engagement ring and, after very nearly 6 years, I asked Laura to marry me and she said yes! The wedding is a while off, as we'll need to finish uni and get an income before we have enough to pay for one. But in the meantime, we're both very happy.
Laura and I are also going to study at the University of Leeds for a semester in 2012, which is all very exciting. The paperwork and bureaucracy of dealing with two university administrations has been a bit of a nightmare at times, but it's all now approved and we've purchased tickets and qare trying to sort out accomodation in Leeds. Thanks to those of you who sent through emails with advice and links, it's all very, very much appreciated.
We'll be in Europe from January to July, but as the uni semester finishes in May, and there is a month long holiday in March, we're planning on doing quite a bit of traveling. So far we're spending a week each in Sweden (Stockholm then 17hrs north to see the Aurora Borealis), Berlin, Hungary, Paris and Rome. We're also planning on traveling down the Danube from Bavaria to Austria, spending a bit of time in Italy, and heading to Turkey. Laur and I will be using http://benlauraeurope.blogspot.com/, a blog which is going to be dedicated to our travels. I'll still keep updating this blog in the meantime. We're planning on visiting heaps of museums, castles, ruins, even the odd battlefield and will be taking loads of photos.
But wait, that's not all. Along with the craziness outlined above, i'm also being sent for a week to Noumea in Nouvelle-Caledonié for an intensive 5 day French language course. When studying to become a high school teacher, you have to choose a major and minor - not unlike a regular Bachelor of Arts degree. History is, obviously, my major. However, just to be a little different i've chosen to do French language as my minor. I figure not only will this stand me out from my colleagues, most of whom are going the History/English or History/Drama route, but will also help me to further my ultimate goal of doing my PhD and specialising in French History. So, the uni has decided that all students doing secondary French Language teaching should be sent to sunny Noumea for a week for a language course. It's a home stay, and looks to be pretty full on, but I'm looking forward to getting a chance to parler en français avec les habitants de Nouméa. So, I'm leaving for that this coming Sunday.
But enough rambling, on to the subject at hand. These are the first lot of pics of the long promised Late Roman commission. The figs are the fantastic sculpts from Musketeer Bill, and i've painted them as Alemanni up for a client who is building up a force for the Battle of Strasbourg, 357CE. I've got another two units of Germans, both of archers, which are currently on the painting table and pics should follow soon.
I'll endeavor to update this more regularly, as i've got the better part of a Normandy British army which i've gaming with for a while but have yet to post pictures of. I've posted a 'teaser' for an upcoming post below, of some of my 20mm armour. In the pic are two Sherman Vs and a Firefly VC of B Squadron, 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, and a Crusader AA tank from regimental HQ. 3RTR was a part of 11th Armoured Division, which fought alongside the 15th Scottish Division in Operations Epsom and Bluecoat. Lots more to come.