The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 16)

Welcome to this week’s Musings!

“Because we’re here, lad.  Nobody Else.  Just Us” (Zulu 1964).

With the Plymouth model show looming ever closer I’ve been looking at my models trying to see what I might take along in addition to my WW1 and RAF models which I produced for the club display.  One of the models I unearthed was this little number that I did some time ago, a 54mm vignette of Rourke’s Drift.


Whenever I look at this model I’m not only remind of one of my favourite films but also of a true incident which took place at work.  I shall explain further as those of you who may occupy a staff management position during these busy times might find this useful!

At the time I was responsible for a reasonably large administration department when one of my junior managers asked if he could speak to me.  The conversation went something like this.

Me: – “So Mike, what do you want to speak to me about?”

Mike: – “Well I’m more than a little fed up that I’m out there working my bollocks off when we’re up to our eyes in it, the others aren’t doing anywhere enough and to top it all off I don’t get any thanks for it!”

Me: – “Tell me Mike have you ever seen the film Zulu?”

Mike: – “Yes” (looks mystified)

Me: – “Well you may recall that the brave Welsh soldiers were out numbered in the region of twenty to one.  Now if every soldier managed to kill his alloted twenty Zulus then there wouldn’t have been a problem.  Unfortunately some of the soldiers were killed, some weren’t able to reload and fire quickly under increasing pressure and some were just fucking useless at shooting accurately.  Now answer this question for me.  If you were one of those soldiers and you’d killed your twenty would you A) go and sit down and let everyone know that you had done your bit, or B) knowing the zulus are still intent on kicking the shit out of you that it might not be a bad idea to kill a few more before they kill you?”

Mike: – “Option B”

Me: – “That’s the right answer Mike and that’s the same situation we are facing out in the office at the moment.  The work is coming in at a rate that some people are struggling to deal with more than others so as a consequence it’s all hands to the pump.  When things settle down, just like it did at Rourke’s Drift, then it will be time for tea and medals.  So be a good lad and go back to your desk and we will pick up on this later”.

Mike: – “Thanks Boss, I get it now.”

Me: – “I never doubted it Mike, you’re a clever lad”.

Neglected Miniatures

Now if you had asked me a year ago to enter a challenge by completing a neglected model I would have turned it down for one simple reason, I wouldn’t really have had one to do.  I might have had a few bits here and there but I would have classified them as no longer needed and as things that would never be done.  Simple victim figures of a set purchase.  But that was a year ago when I bought one figure at a time and duly completed it.  That’s all changed.

Looking at my desk I can see that even at a glance I am working on seven completely different things.  None finished but in various stages of completion.  When I look about elsewhere I can also see an ever-increasing pile of figures I have recently bought.  This pile is growing at an alarming rate and does not include the items I am waiting for the postman to deliver in the next day or so either.  Worse than that I have a list of things that I have seen that I aim to buy which must run to at least another fifty to sixty items and to top it all the list is growing!

Is this just me or is this normal?

Fathers Day

On Sunday it was Father’s Day in the UK.

It doesn’t always pay to plan ahead.  My son is 21 and my daughter is 15.  Excluding the early years when She Who Must Be Obeyed would buy something herself and tell me it was from the kids, almost every year without fail I have been asked, directly or indirectly “what would you like for Father’s Day?

Anticipating a similar situation this year I planned ahead and ordered some modelling bits that I could give to SWMBO who could then give them to the kids who could give them back to me.  It’s a bazaar arrangement I agree but surely I can’t be the only one who does this can I?

Well, as you have probably already guessed, this year I was not asked the question.  For the first time in a long time the kids did their own thing.  As a consequence I got double presents, mine and theirs!  A win, win situation.  Now things like this don’t happen very often but a lesson learnt is a lesson learnt and I have learnt mine.

I’ve  learnt is it’s better to have two presents rather than one so for my birthday and for Christmas I intend to hedge my bets by buying stuff that I want just in case the kids ask SWMBO what they can get me or better still, in case they don’t!


Until next time.



20 thoughts on “The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 16)

  1. Yeah, we all accrue more potential future projects at a rate higher than we can complete them. You’re not alone TIM! I have forced myself to limit acquisitions (and new casting for that matter) to stuff I need to round out units or for terrain. My friends tell me that when you have run out of lead to paint that you’re done and the Grim Reaper arrives, so like many of us, this will extend your life expectancy at least.

    We had Father’s Day as well here, and your strategy on gifts is solid, will have to try that!

    And Rourke’s Drift! One of my favorite movies is Zulu as well, so great to see the discussion. The book The Washing of the Spears is greater though for me. As an American, I love the story, especially that the commander there was an Engineer officer like I was (though I was not a Royal Engineer).

    Fun writing as always.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Cheers Mark. Zulu is a classic for sure and all this has made me determined to sit down at the weekend and watch it once again. Love the Grim Reaper reference. Sounds like sensible advice to me so in the interest of my health and longevity I’m now going online to buy a few items I’d been pontificating over!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. To date I have 4000 projects on the go, coincidentally, that’s how many Zulus attacked that Irish named rotten stinking middle o nowhere hole called Rourkes Drift. I bloody love that movie. I think I’m going to try and find ways to reference the movie from now on in any situation I come across. Top points. True Fact: Surpridingly I have never won a VC medal… not yet at least.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Well if you’ve got that many projects on the go then you haven’t got time to banter with me! A couple of further quotes which you might find useful – “You mean your only plan is to stand behind a few feet of mealie bags and wait for the attack?” and “The sentries report Zulus to the southwest. Thousands of them.” Time is on your side to get a VC. True Fact: I got a Victoria Cross back in 1975. Nice girl but it just wasn’t meant to be!

      Liked by 4 people

  3. I like the musings! Just in case a Wednesday at work doesn’t make me think hard enough, the musings are guaranteed to achieve that! And because something must be true if it’s written down, Mark’s comment about the Grim Reaper has hardened my resolve to keep buying figures! And, by the same token, since IRO’s comment must also be true, it’d be great if he he could list all 4000 projects that are on the go sometime!
    And a very nice diorama by the way!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes I loved Mark’s Grim Reaper comment too, it would be wrong to ignore what essentially amounts to medical advice so any purchase guilt I may have had has now been consigned to the past! As for IRO it would be just like him to rise to the challenge and list all 4000 Projects! In the best interest of your work life balance stop thinking about work and concentrate on Musings!😉

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Love your rally the troops Zulu story! If only I could have gotten away with that, back when I was a manager! If I had done it though, I’d end up getting called in to the HR office.

    Yea, I think a fair amount of hobbyists have more than they can chew. I like to *think* that I’ve been good about it. I’m only buying stuff for about 3 games, two of them are actually in production and releasing new content about every 3 months. Unfortunately I am a slowwwwww painter, so I doubt I can even keep up with that pace. Junit has pushed me a bit, though this week has been crap for getting stuff done. But hopefully it’s taught me how to get ‘minis done’ a little quicker.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The bank I joined was a far cry from the one I left. Work hard play hard was very much the attitude when I started and most lunch times in the City of London were spent down the pub. The culture was amazing back then. By the time I left people didn’t even take a lunch hour! So little fun to be had these days.

      As for having a pile of miniatures to paint I’m getting used to the idea. I’ve adopted the attitude of painting what I feel like painting which means leaving something’s unfinished. Hopefully I’ll go back to them but life is to short To worry about it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds like you were living the Mad Men life! 😀


        Yea, at a lot of jobs people don’t take lunches and other people will frown if you do. Also, you’re expected to read your company emails at home and while on vacation. My job is a bit more lenient that way, and they are more understanding of employees with families. The downside is the pay, but hey. I worked 60+ hour weeks in the past (getting paid for 40), and it just wasn’t worth my sanity and health. I like to have a life outside of work.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. No point having a family if you never get to see them. Sounds to me like you’ve got your head screwed on the right way. Work life balance with the emphasis on life Is how it should be. Oh, and with a bit of Modelling thrown in!

    Liked by 1 person

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