Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Grand Old Duke of York.

Prince Frederick, I sympathise.

I'm feeling something of a kinship with the Duke of York and Albany at present. My big development may or may not be in the immediate future. It's currently stuck in the sort of limbo that would, when I was in the Army Reserve, result in us spending a great deal of time getting on and off trucks or sitting in trucks with nothing to do beyond singing "The Grand Old Duke of York" or the company song "Yogi Bear."

I should know by Monday for definate, but I'm packing in the expectation of going. Mrs. Kinch is bearing all of this with amazing good grace and a calm that is usually associated with women who are rolling bandages and loading muskets in Residencies surrounded by the angry Pathan. I've been told that a single bookcase will have to do me for a year and I'm spending my spare hours, packing and assembling the few books that will be sustaining me for the year.

At present there is a great deal of Napoleonic history, a selection of books relating to my gaming projects, some books on the Risorgimento, the complete Annotated Sherlock Holmes, the complete Brigadier Gerard, a smattering of C.S. Lewis, a complete set of Allan Mallinson and Patrick O'Brian and a little poetry. I'm taking the opportunity to ditch those books that have just become an encumberance, but in a strange way the experience is liberating.

I know that I will get my other books back, but picking a years worth of reading in one go is very interesting, much like deciding on travelling companions for a long journey.


  1. Where might you be off to? And to what purpose?

    -- Jeff

  2. Patrick O'Brien, and A. Conan Doyle...kindred spirits are we..!

  3. You must take the OBrien and the C S Lewis - both vital in diverse ways...
    Take something for all moods and eventualities.
    I look forward to hearing that all has come together for you next week.
    best wishes
    p.s have never read Brig Gerard - can you shre your thoughts upon him with us
    p.p.s Mallinson is a most interesting author does a bit for the cav what OBrien did for the navy - but O'b is way ,way ahead in style etc etc

  4. If I might add a suggestion, leave a portion of a shelf unfilled in what you take with you, for that inevitable moment when you decide you want a new book, yet don't wish to have to discard one of your precious selections to make room for it.

  5. I'm afraid Jeff that I'd rather not say until I'm certain that I'm wanted. I'll know by Monday. Because of the shortness of time and the dislocation of hearth and home, I have to prepare for success while steeling my heart for the worst.

  6. Good luck, whichever way things go.

    If you are a fatalist, then it will happen if it is supposed to happen; if not ... well another opportunity may come along another day.

    As to your books ... Conan Doyle is a must; you can re-read them time and time again. I know; I have!