Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Holidays & a touch of Dutch.


Mrs. Kinch really did an excellent job didn't she?

On the 20th, I handed in my last two essays and began two weeks of glorious time off from school. I will be working over Christmas, but to be honest, only working one job is going to be a wonderful relief. All the better, on the 21st we had the annual gathering of friends of the Kinchs. Mrs. Kinch did a wonderful job making sure everything was ready and it was great to see everyone.  It was just a wonderful convivial time and the company were in such good spirits. It was the best. 


A picture stolen from the Internet. Much like my bicycle.

I indulged in some unmanly winging in my last blog post - something of which I am too often guilty, but I was well and truly browned off having had my debit card and my bicycle stolen.  I managed to cancel the card, though whoever ended up with it attempted to use it some hours later. Just goes to show that there is no harm in taking that sort of action quickly. 

I was particularly miffed about my bike, mainly as I'd had some work done on it the week before and had some parts replaced. But lo and behold, I was in the library the following day polishing off my Constitutional Law essay when I saw a young fellow pushing a bike down the street. I looked a second time and then realised that it was very familiar. 

I think he realised he was for it when I let out a roar of anger and he took to his heels, dropping the bike, I'm lucky he didn't mount it or he'd have smoked me completely. So one escaped miscreant, but I got my bicycle back which was a huge relief. Cost me the price of a new lock, but on the whole, I count myself very lucky. 





You may remember this fellow from 2012, when I warned Alan that he would progress with glacial slowness. I was not wrong it would appear. This is a 17th century Dutch musketeer and a very fine fellow he is.  I despaired of ever finishing him and when Krisztian offered the services of a friend of his with an interest in large scale figures, I jumped at the chance. 




I must say Krisztian's pal has done a bang up job, really fantastic and certainly miles better than I would have done. Harry Pearson in "Achtung Schwinehundt" makes an argument that toy soldier collectors are a different breed to wargamers and he is no doubt right.  I am definitely a wargamer, but every so often I have a hankering for a beautiful thing for it's own sake and this Dutchman is the fruits of the hankering. 



The builder, I'm ashamed to say I don't know his name, has altered the model somewhat, but I think it makes it all the better. The animation of the face and the naturalness of the pose are just breath taking. 

 It is a bit silly that a material thing can bring me so much pleasure, but that it does so is inarguable. I'm still debating where I shall put him when I finally take delivery, but he really is fine. His brother, a trooper of the Lifeguards, sits on my desk and is very pleasant to look at. 







I think he may live on my desk as well or possibly the mantle piece in the War Room, but we shall see. Though going back to my previous blog entry on him - I realise that I never did finish "With Pike and Dyke" by GA Henty.  I must go back to that. 



Just look at that face and the delicate blending on the fabric.  There's a character to give King Phillip a sleepness night or two and no mistake. 



One of having a little time with nothing more strenuous then some desultory Christmas shopping was I had the chance to do a spot of reading. This presented itself by chance more than anything and I really enjoyed it. Christie is really more Mrs. Kinch's thing than mine - but this is probably the least Christie-ish of her books that I've read. 

The novel is a short one, more of a collection of short stories really.  The protagonist is an Englishman called Satterthwaite who meets a mysterious character, named Quin, who inveigles him into solving mysteries and righting wrongs. The stories have a strange almost dreamlike quality to them. There is a good deal of contrivance, but the thrust of the storytelling carries the stories along without you wondering too much about it. 

In many ways, the stories are reminiscent of the best of GK Chesterton. They have a curious fairytale logic about them that I found quite enchanting.  I had not suspected that Christie would be able to carry off that sort of thing, but she did and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I shan't write more, so as not to spoil them, but they are well worth reading and quite short. 


32 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Kinch old chap!

    All's well that ends well re. the bike, though it would have been satisfying to apprehend the blighter.

    That musketeer-wallah looks like he's about to step off the pedestal at any moment!

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    1. And the same to you Rosbif.

      Ah - it would and it wouldn't. He was a juvenile, so very little would have come of it. Just glad to have my bike back to be honest.

      Delete
  2. First, congratulations on taking the police work on yourself and getting a satisfactory result. Well done!

    Second, the musketeer is really drop dead gorgeous! What a beauty and a fine work of art. I am very envious of your acquisition.

    Merry Christmas and enjoy the relaxation that your holiday brings and you deserve.

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    1. Thank you Jon. Bit of a busmans holiday, but there you are :)

      He is fantastic - isn't he? I'm already looking around for places to put him.

      Mrs. Kinch and I intend to make very Merry indeed!

      Delete
  3. Good to hear you got your bike back. Hopefully the scum bag who thieved it gets nothing but coal this year... Merry Christmas to all the Kinchs!

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    1. My thanks on both counts.

      And a very Merry Christmas to the Millsesses? Mill-sii?

      Delete
  4. Did you get your bike fingerprinted?


    -- Jeff

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    1. Not much point to be honest Jeff. But it was a score for the home team still.

      A very Merry Christmas to you!

      Delete
  5. Splendid tree,enjoy some time off school and Merry Christmas from all of us in the Duchy of Tradgardland.
    Alan et al

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  6. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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    1. A very Merry Christmas to you too Sir and your family.

      Delete
  7. All the best for the Season, Conrad. It looks as though Mrs Kinch has created a convivial sort of atmos for the festivs. I recall reading 'The Mysterious Mr Quin' a zillion years ago. I think it was Ms Christie's venture into genres of the uncanny - rather in the mould of Edgar Allen Poe (The Purloined Letter) or Ambrose Bierce, or, in more modern times, Ray Bradbury.

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  8. Oh, I forgot to add: that is a fine musketeer model - definitely a show piece.

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    1. Isn't he wonderful ?

      The uncanny isn't a bad word for it - it would certainly different from her usual stuff. Merry Christmas to you Archduke.

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  9. It was a nice event indeed. Thank you again for the invitation.

    Just as a side note: the third photo did not post (a book?)

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    1. I'm delighted you enjoyed it.

      The third photo was a book cover for the
      "The Mysterious Quin".

      Delete
  10. Pleased to hear your bike wasn't completely made off with, unlike your Debit Card. The interior decorations are very cheerful!

    Joyeux Noël!

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    1. They are rather. Merry Christmas to you Sir!

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  11. A Merry Christmas to you and yours , Tony

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  12. I'm glad your bike was returned (by the by a very similar thing happened when my daughters bike was stolen - she ended up manhandling a cove in Chichester who she saw with her bike!).. The very best wishes for a goof Christmas to you and the current Mrs Kinch - trust it's relaxing and enjoyable.. PS. Agatha Christie?? Which book? Image seems to be broken.....

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    1. "The Mysterious Mr. Quin" which I think I've fixed now.

      Glad to hear that your daughter got her bike back.

      Delete
    2. Mrs. Kinch has asked me to politely, but firmly remind you that she is the final Mrs Kinch, one might say "The Ultimate Mrs. Kinch".

      I believe the words, "...the bloody cheek..." may have been used.

      Delete
    3. LOL(as the young people are want to say)...

      Delete
  13. A most tranquil and festive scene. Wishing you both peace and joy this Christmas, and health and happiness in the year to come. Glad you got your bike back without having to draw cold steel.

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    1. It was the best possible outcome certainly Padre.

      Wishing you and yours all good things.

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  14. She did beautifully despite only rating 1 picture by the blogger:) May the recovery of your bike be a good omen for the year ahead. Merry Christmas to the 5 of you.

    Ross

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  15. She did beautifully despite only rating 1 picture by the blogger:) May the recovery of your bike be a good omen for the year ahead. Merry Christmas to the 5 of you.

    Ross

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    1. Thank you very much Ross. Well it wouldn't do to give her a big head.

      Merry Christmas to you, Mrs Ross and all of the animals.

      Delete
  16. Marry Christmas, Conrad, to you and the family. Jolly good news about the bike....well recovered!

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  17. Marry Christmas to you too Sidney! Very happy to get my bike back.

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