Saturday, 24 December 2011

We take two steps forward, and two steps back

Things were just starting to settle down on the "Family Duty" front.  I'd even booked a day off between Xmas and New Year to try and organise a game of some sort.  Then two days ago my mother had another fall, this time in the bathroom where she hit her head on the way down.  Given the hard floor surface and her existing spinal damage this could have been very serious.

I'm not going to give you the blow-by-blow battle report of that day.  But credit to all the NHS staff who took great care of Mum that day, from the paramedic and ambulance crew who worked for an hour to get her safely out of the awkward position in which she'd fallen, to the A&E nurses who helped a frail and at times uncooperative patient get through five hours of tests and waiting.  Special credit has to go to the Macmillan community nurse who by a stroke of fate arrived unexpectedly for an routine visit to check up on how my parents were doing.  She jumped straight into the unexpected situation and took great care of Mum till the paramedic arrived, then split her time between helping there and keeping my distressed father distracted and calm.  She truly did a spectacular job, fully upholding the Macmillan nurses' well deserved reputation.

So now my mother is in hospital for Christmas, having been judged too frail to discharge.  I've spent the last two days campaigning heavily for her to receive full-time hospice care, speaking to anyone and everyone with a potential stake in the issue.  Needless to say, I've had no time for wargaming or any associated crafting, and all upcoming leave has necessarily been cancelled while I deal with the matter of Mum's ongoing care.

Which is not to say that I'm pushing Wargaming completely off the radar.  I've made the point on various other people's blogs that it's at times like these when we most need our hobbies in order to distract us from our troubles and help us to unwind a little.  I'm still sweeping through the usual round of wargaming blogs each day.  I'm looking at the newly stocked storage room and all the accumulated Stuff(tm) and working out how best to get some some of the unpainted lead mountain into use.  The painting table is still sitting here ready for when the urge to paint strikes again.  And since it's a still, relatively dry day, after finishing this blog entry I think I might go outside and spray some Sarissa Precision window pieces for the Victorian city project.  

If you're going through troubled times, don't feel that you have to "put away childish things"  in order to face your troubles with suitably dour and grown-up expression.  Truthfully that's absolutely the worst thing you can do.  Instead, pick up that paintbrush.  Pick up those dice.  Give yourself an hour or so to switch off from mundane matters and focus on the important question of whether to paint that unit's facings in blue or green.  Delve into that cupboard... you know the one where you shove all the odd Stuff(tm) and open up some boxes to see what you have.  Allow yourself to imagine the games you could have with those figures when you get around to painting them.  Trust me.  It'll help.

I'm going to try to post one final review of 2011, but apart from that I don't expect to have anything worth blogging about until the current family situation settles down.  Don't go away though.  The Axis of Naughtiness will rise again in 2012 with more battle reports, thoughts on ways to keep the hobby alive against all the odds and of course, most importantly of all, hats.

If it be your custom, then have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
If your faith leans otherwise, or if the very thought of a Big Beard in the Sky sends you into spasms of atheistic nerdrage, then accept my best wishes for you and yours to be safe and well over this winter solstice season.

Dr Vesuvius


  1. Sorry for your mom's troubles. I agree that at times like these we need a little escape. Happy Holidays to you and yours as well.

  2. You and yours are in all my thoughts- from all at the Duchy of Tradgardland!

  3. I sympathise with your situation, and hope your mother makes a full recovery. Everything you say about using our hobby as a distraction from our troubles is spot-on. At the moment I'm dealing with a much-loved mother-in-law suffering from cancer, and a spectacularly truculent stepdaughter. It's at times like this browsing wargames blogs and contemplating new gaming ideas has a value beyond measure. Happy holidays, and may your dice roll the way you want 'em to.

  4. I second what the others said, best wishes to you parents and a happy solstice and new year to you and yours!
    I definitely agree about keeping involved in one's hobbies as far as one can at times like these.

  5. I'm sorry for your mother. I think the world would be a safer and happier place if more people did "childish things".

    Best wishes.


  6. All the best to you, and looking foward to your blog posts in 2012.

  7. Thanks to everyone for your kind thoughts. I don't like to post too much here about the really personal family stuff, but the blog's about trying to get back into the wargaming hobby and, well to be brutally frank, caring for my parents has been one of the biggest obstacles to that.