Monday, September 15, 2008


Saint Peter denies Christ.
Etching by Gustav Dore.

I spent a very pleasant weekend mainly in the company of my wife. Mrs. Kinch is back in employment again, after a quietness in the theatrical line, and blessed be the day. Mrs. Kinch is a great deal more tractable when she has an occupation. Not much painting was done over the weekend, but I did make a decent fist of the remainder of my first Charge! regiment. All bar the Chef de Brigade are finished. Considering how fond I am of the mounted arm, you would think that I would enjoy painting horses, but sadly it is not so.

I've been doing my first piece of writing for a span and finally had the break that I needed on Saturday. Send out for the shopping, I dawdled for half an hour on my way back reading Kipling online in a cyber cafe and trying to eavesdrop on the Indian proprietor. I think I am beginning to get a whiff of English as it is spoken on the sub-continent. There seem to be a lot of short sentences, but long multi-syllabic words. Hearing an Irish policeman hailed by an Indian businessman with, "Ah Pascal, what is the story"* in the tones of Dublin by way of Bombay says more about the changes in Irish society in the last ten years than any amount of news print.
Still I got what I needed and the first draft is done. I'll put it up here when it's done.

While I was writing the story, I came across some notes for Ruritania. I've been neglecting Ruritania. I should do some more work on it or at least type up those notes. I've been thinking about changing the name. When I was writing it at first Ruritania was a useful handle, but I think its begun to outgrow it. I have a very strong idea of who the Ruritanians are, a proud, churchy, musical people; poor but respectable, parochial, but not overly chauvinistic.

Keonig und Kirk und Kinder. The K and K and K of Ruritanian life, King, Church and Family. It probably doesn't work in German, but I know what I mean.

Georgia was on my mind, so I thought about renaming Ruritania after a Saint.

Pretoria has a nice ring to it, but it has unpleasant associations. I always hear it in the voice of Rhodesian friend of mine, the purring R and the soft T of his not quite English, not quite South African accent. He was a Rhodesian; he was NOT from Zimbabwe. Despite his support for an appalling regime, he was by most measures a sterling fellow and an excellent dinner companion. He came to Ireland immediately after the end of the Smith government and worked as a hydrologist. I always imagined him dying here and being buried in a lonely way, like the White Russians in the Non Catholic cemetary in Rome, but he moved to South Africa last year. However much he said he hated majority rule, I think he missed Africa more.

What other Saints are an option? Boniface? Hippolytus? Michael?

It's got to sound good with -ania, -ovia or a similar suffix.

*(Aahh PAS-cal WHAT izz the STOR-ey)


  1. Why Patrick of course... Patrickovia - almost sounds like Praetoria doesn't it? Well suit yourself...... :o))

  2. What about Georgia, precisely? Too 'easy'? Peter can give Petrovia, but too close to Pretroria and sounding Russian, while Paulania sounds too much like 'Poland'. In French we have several villages named 'Saint Merd' but I can guarantee 'Merdovia' would be a *very* bad pun in French!
    Your Ruritanians seem more similar to Reformed, German-speaking Swiss à la "Swiss family Robinson", so maybe the Saint's name would be in German, for a start? Ruedgania?

    Anyway I'll edit the 'title' of the link on my blog (currently 'FIW & Ruritania') to reflect the change as soon as your choice is fixed!

  3. There is already a country called Georgia, so I thought it might be confusing and muddle my focus.

    Petrovia might have legs though. I'll try rolling that around in my head for a couple of days to see if it fits. A name is important and not a decision to be taken lightly.

    I'll ask Mrs. Kinch for German saint's names as she is well versed in thattongue.

  4. How about:

  5. Patrick
    I have just discovered your blog and have really enjoyed my first visit. I will certainly return again.
    best wishes
    p.s Who are the gentlemen with swords forming your guard of honour- I am afraid the organisation name means nothing to me.Pray explain if you don't mind doing so.
    p.p.s belated congratulations on your recent wedding - i did indeed enjoy the photos

  6. >p.s Who are the gentlemen with >swords forming your guard of honour- >I am afraid the organisation name >means nothing to me.Pray explain if >you don't mind doing so.

    The John Buford Memorial Society & Gentlemen's Supper Club is a drinking society with something of a gaming problem. We play a variety of games and generally use the name to refer to the association whenever we need to describe our loose circle of friends to an outsider.

  7. Conrad
    Is your good self that wrote the History of Ruritania I read with immense pleasure in the OSW files of recent days?

  8. Ruritania.doc
    is a tremendous 'para-academic' work by "poros326" - who, I believe, is indeed an university historian.

  9. And, yes, there is a timeline -as far as I remember, from the Dark Ages to WWII?
    Of course, you have to be a member of the Old_SChool_Wargaming Yahoo group to have access to the group files...
    PS: "poros326", under another name, was among the first members of the 'Society of Ancients' (Ancient / Medieval history amateurs & wargamers) some... 30? years ago, in the good old time when Tony Bath published excerpts from his famous 'Hyboria' campaign in 'Slingshot'...