Thursday, September 29, 2011

Old Man's Update

As you can see from my previous posts I've been reorganising and basing my ancient armies to meet the DBA genre.  This was a can of worms once opened.  I couldn't stop.  I've just finished my Gallic, Nubian and New Kingdom Egyptian, which I'll post pictures of in due course.

This also had me locate my Dwarves I painted for initially Here Be Dragons a DBF set of rules, more in line with DBM style armies.  I will however be making them HoTT armies, although what I'm going to do with 8 artillery pieces and 3 gyrocopters is something I'll have to work on.

Next week sees me at the hospital to have some BCC extracted from me.  Can't say I'm keen on this, but thanks to me dear mothers insistence of "you have to be a bronzed Australian" I now have a price to pay for her dogma.

Next year will be a year of change for me.  I have a number of hospital visits lined up and I will be taking things in a more relaxed manner.  I am reducing my commitments, and as such won't be going to AUSCON or other such events.  I am finding that I fatigue easily these days, and need to rest a lot.  I will still run some events for the Blind Pig, namely my signature event the Uncharted Seas tournament and the Dystopian Wars.

So what have I planned for next year.  Games.  I will be trying to have as many games in as possible for systems that haven't been played in ages.  EPIC will be a priority.  I intend to dust of my WarGods and heaven knows what else.  I also want to get back into playing Malifaux.

I have some figures of Adam S which have to be painted.  After this I will not be taking any more commissions as I really have lost the plot these days.  Yes I love the money, but I'm just not in the spirit of getting the jobs done. 

My day to day existence is difficult.  Teenage children are a challenge.  Just trying to make ends meet on a pension is not easy.  Slowly, little by little I am selling off pieces of my collection just so I can pay the car registration or children's school fees.  This world is not the world I was born into.  It has changed, and in my opinion, not for the better.  I don't deal with change well (unless I am the instigator).

I was watching a Time Team episode the other day and was struck by the words one of the cast made.  Some of the team were rubbishing the recording techniques of the then antiquarians.  He commented that in say 100-150 years from now, will the archaeologists be rubbishing what we do today.  With everything recorded by GPS in electronic format, will the people in the future be able to read the findings.  After all I can't even restore data I had recorded ten years ago because of the changes in electronic storage.  Books and written word will always be the focus.  It doesn't need electricity to run, doesn't need to be stored in electronic format.  Is always as available as picking up a book.  Yes I do use electronic books, but I still prefer mine to be real paper versions.

In my dark and brooding moments I reflect on my life.  In my reflection I see great sadness.  I look at the people I have know who have left my circle of (and perhaps I use this word loosely) friends.  I have outlived a few.  I find that like with change in my life, the change in my age and my ability to connect with people has left me a rather lonely old man.  I am surrounded by my "conquests" or 40 years.  My memories are attached to some of these.  Some remind me of the fun times I had as a youth with my peers.  Mostly all it does is reinforce the loneliness, as I have no one to share them with anymore.  It is this growing loneliness the preys on my mind more than anything else these days.

It was on a whim that I went and looked up the word friend in the dictionary.  This dictionary is the one my children use.  In this edition it describes a friend as "person one likes and chooses to spend time with".  It is an interesting description as it only refers to a one way view.  I like a lot of people, I desire their company, but it does not mean that the individual returns the friendship.  I wonder whether people just tolerate me, and is this why I have become known as "Mad Jack".  It makes me brood. (My mood has improved since I wrote this.  I was going to edit and delete the section but I think that people need to see me as the eratic individual I am.  My dark moods filter my perception such that I can't see the good.  After running the Uncharted Seas tournament I feel the friendship that people gave me.  I'm in a happy place and I see happiness.  Thank you, my friends at the Blind Pig.)

Mind you I don't make matters easy for people.  I don't do evenings as I am usually exhausted by late afternoon and by the descent of night I'm about ready to return to my coffin to sleep.  I'm like a reversed vampire.  I hate travelling to far from home.  It also takes me ages to find any connection with people that doesn't leave long periods of silence or awkwardness.  I find that I need to fill this silence in with babble.  Some people have referred to me as a snob.  I guess I am on a certain level.  It's all I have left, my nobility, my family name.  The lesser son of greater sires.

Another interesting phenomenon is the concept of family friends.  My wife and I are very much alone, we have no peers with which to socialise with.  While my children were growing up we never once had the opportunity to go out for a nights entertainment.  Even while my mother was alive, she never once offered to look after my children to allow Chelle and I the opportunity to have fun.  Mind you if my sister wanted her children looked after it wasn't a problem.  So the social stigma continued.  Schooling was worse.  My health excluded me from work.  Parents of other children just weren't interested in knowing you unless you were a somebody.  At church this was even more pronounced.  So my loving wife of 26 years and I are all there is.  I think we are better off because we look at so many other parents and they are on the whole divorced.  Old values do have a place when compared to the selfish and vain society that now dominates the social landscape.

Why am I writing this here on a blog?  Well I think it's part of having to speak out about how I feel.  I don't have any close friends, and my therapists are, after all, paid to listen to me.  No one asks, and I don't talk unless the right questions are asked.  Even then it's easier to hide behind the banality of "Mad Jack" than actually let people see who I really am.  I think it would frighten them.  It sure as hell frightens me,

So enough philosophy from me.  I'm going to do my usual, and fall back on my only working coping mechanism - withdrawal.  I will post some nice pictures soon, hopefully in enough quantity to hide this meandering post.

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