Fear not! Dear Reader, I arise once more from the other side of the Christmas death march and have survived the dread beast of New Years. I have not (as one anxious correspondent enquired, bless you for asking) come to any harm - quite the opposite in fact. Here at Chateau Kinch, Mrs Kinch and I, Cousin Basil, Sir Harry and Sissi have been having a wonderful time and I only regret it's left precious little time for blogging, though to be fair very little of it has been wargame related.
Sadly, my desk is rarely so tidy
Mrs Kinch scored yet another stunning coup of the presents front - she has taken the palm so often at this stage that it is becoming almost monotonous. I have a long been an enthusiastic reader of a collection called "Great Battles of the 19th Century". This was a set of seven volumes written by such luminaries as Archibald Forbes, GA Henty and A. Hilliard Atteridge chronicling various set to's during the 19th century. The writing is varied and interesting, the plates and etching are wonderful and the whole effort is just top notch. It's history by men who've seen the elephant and who wear their partiality on their sleeve - something I find a refreshing contrast to the weaselly habits of contemporary writers.
A complete contrast to the writerly habits of contemporary weasels
There was quite a haul of wargames related loot this year, not least the before mentioned British armour and some wonderful books from Mrs Kinch, specifically Rory Muir's Salamanca and W.E. Fairbairn's Shooting to Live and some other gems from my chum, Mr Target, but more on those later. I haven't done a tap of course, but I have finally based the Plastic Soldier Russian guns that I painted in November.
Plastic Soldier Russian guns on curiously wintery bases
I think I've manage to do everything wrong - there is a strange white smudging around the points of contact where I've applied superglue, I think I've used the wrong shells for the 76mm gun and I'm not convinced that I'll be able to paint all the base. We shall see. I can only hope that suitably fortified with brandy, I shall have the courage to slop sufficient brown paint around to do the base and then cover my mistakes with some of those new fangled pigments the Padre has been mucking about with. I shall have to get some turpentine first of course, thought I'd seen the last of it when I laid away my enamels.
In other news - Cousin Basil and I made a discovery. We had been given a bottle of distinctly sub-par brandy by a female admirer. Mrs Kinch made game attempts to cook with it - but not much in her repertoire calls for brandy in the quantities we had available. Also it wouldn't it do to have her raiding the drinks cabinet for my Hennessey after we've disposed of the other stuff.
So Cousin Basil and I set our great minds to this problem and so was born "The Cousin Basil", a simple mixed drink within the reach of even the most inexperienced mixologist.
The Cousin Basil
1/3 Gill of Cooking Brandy
Add the juice of half a freshly squeezed lime
Serve in a brandy glass, no ice.
On occasion, a lady has requested something slightly sweeter - add a teaspoon of sugar syrup and stir.