It's a curiously liberating experience.
I received some parcels over the last few weeks, which deserve their own entries really as there are some cracking figures within - but suffice to say that I have been a very lucky chap of late and have reason to be grateful to those in the fraternity. Pictures to follow. I would have taken some, but I was busy basing those very same nice figures and generally luxuriating in an intoxicating idleness.
I also spent some time reading "On His Majesty's Service", Allan Mallinson's latest book. I have learned that Mallinson like O'Brian is a pleasure to be sipped rather than gulped and I am taking my time with this one. Mallinson's writing still has that wondrous quality of historical ventriloquism - his diction is perfect and has the ability to transport me to the early 19th century in a way that few writers are capable of. Given that I am happier there at least in imagination*, I particularly prize this skill. The book progresses relatively slowly and much attention is given to the relationship between Hervey and his new friend Fairbrother. If the observation of the friendship between the two men is not as well polished as it could be, it is likely because Mallinson has not explored this theme before and is competing with O'Brian, who wrote possibly the greatest 4000 page long novel on male friendship ever crafted by the hand of mortal man.
I'm about half way through it at present and will continue to read slowly to make it last. Thus far though, recommended; though I would certainly pick up the earlier books first. A new reader will be very confused - not surprising when picking up book eleven in a series.
* I am not such a fat head as to think that I would have been happier in reality, death in childhood would have most likely have been my lot, but it does make for pleasant fantasy.