Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Looking backward ... and forward

The end of one year and the beginning of a new one is a good time to take stock ... and that is what I intend to do.

Last January I was employed as an educational consultant/teacher in a Sixth Form, my father had just been admitted into a care home after suffering a sudden decline into dementia, my father-in-law was in rude (if somewhat cantankerous) good health ... and I had just discovered the chessboard in our conservatory needed to be either repaired or thrown away.

It is amazing to see how things have changed in a year!

Firstly my contract was not renewed at the end of the academic year, and at the age of 61 I decided to retire from full-time work. I had hoped to pick up some part-time work during the autumn, but this came to nothing.

My father's health has continued to decline and his dementia has progressively got worse. My brother and I finally agreed that it was no longer likely that he would ever return to his home, and the family home was sold to ensure that there would be sufficient funds to pay for my father's ongoing care for the foreseeable future.

My father-in-law's long-term partner had been quite ill by the end of 2010, and she died during the Spring. On the day of her funeral he fell over and cracked his pelvis ... and my wife and I can trace his gradual physical decline from that date. This is not to say that he gave up on life ... far from it! In fact only five days before he died we all visited the flat my wife and I were about to buy for him, and he was talking very animatedly about how much he was looking forward to moving in.

My discovery of the broken chessboard led to the development of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules ... and much enjoyment they have given me (and others) over the past year. Writing these rules led me – indirectly – to create my Imagi-world of 1891, something that I immensely enjoyed doing.

So what does the future hold? To be honest, I don't know ... but I do have some vague plans as to what I do want to achieve over the next year!

My objectives are:
  • To fight at least one battle per fortnight during 2012.
  • To paint some toy soldiers ... probably beginning with my Spencer Smith Miniatures!
  • To continue to develop my Imagi-world of 1891 project ... probably by fighting a campaign or two set in it
  • To begin preparations to fight a bath-tub campaign set on the Eastern Front, possibly starting with Operation Barbarossa and just seeing where things go from there.
  • To do some serious writing for THE NUGGET ... and possibly to produce a book of grid-based wargames rules
  • To help to organise COW2012 so that attendees will remember it as being one of the best ever!
Not a bad set of ambitions. All I have to do now it to try to achieve them!


  1. Welcome back Bob - let's hope you get more gaming in this year!

  2. Sounds like you have a busy year lined up Bob!

    Here's wishing you and your loved ones a great 2012.

    All the best,

  3. If you get the first one on the list going I think the inspiration for the rest will follow ;)

  4. Hi Bob,

    That is a good plan and for me the big attraction is that you have probably covered much of the groundwork for most of it already so aside from the as yet undisclosed Nugget ideas and some painting it looks very achievable.

    As much of this spadework appeared to have tackled against a backdrop of a very trying year hopefully this one will be a lot less wearing!

    As ever I am looking forward to seeing and enjoying the fruits of your labours in due course.

    All the best best and here is to a vintage year for you,


  5. Looking forward to seeing your plans coming to fruition. All the best for 2012 to you and yours.



  6. Bob,

    All the best for the New Year. A full book of gridded wargames sounds intriguing - any thoughts about what you might like to include in that?



  7. Bathtub Barbarossa is a must! I bet your Soviets beat mine to Berlin by several years :O)

  8. Welcome back and Happy New Year, Bob. I was intrigues by your use of the phrase 'bathtub campaign' and I have been busy googling it. I now have a whole host of new ideas, thanks to your single use of a throwaway phrase! :-)



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