TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 100)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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I’ve just realised this is my 100th Miniatures & Musings post.  Some how it has just crept up on me, if I had been more with it I would have tried to present a better figure to mark the occasion.  As it is this week, and I think I will be saying this for some considerable time to come, we have the next figure in my army.

This Baron’s War figure is one of the four figures which appears in the “Foot Knights Pack 2”.  As much as possible I want to paint the shields with authentic heraldry, something which I have done here.  The chap in question is one Henry de Percy.

More on the project below.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Knights On TIM’s Modelling Table

The feedback I received when I announced my army project gave me much food for thought and over the last week or so I have made some decisions.  Of course these will inevitably change!

First up my intention is to just let this army evolve naturally.  As some have said, let it grow organically.  I shall work my way through the 90 or more figures that I have flitting from pack to pack as takes my fancy and if more figures are released purchase those as I please.

Secondly, I want my knights and figures to be authentic for the period.  For the knights this particularly applies to the shields where the heraldry needs to align to a true knight.  I don’t know how easy that will be but I will do more research and see where we go from there.

Thirdly I have consider how big I want this army to be.  From a gaming perspective you have given me some great numbers and should I ever sell this lot then such information will be valuable but I am not a gamer … yet!  I say not yet only because one day I will be to old to paint so may be that’s when I’ll look at taking up that side of the hobby.  My aim for a 100 figures is ambitious I know which is why my new target of 200 or more is even more crazy.  I want the end result to blow my mind and any one else’s if that’s possible.  For all the bravado I’ll probably call it a day after 25 or so but for now it is a very serious intention.  This after all is a long term project.  Well not that long, I’m getting to old for it to take that long and besides I have other stuff to do as well!

Fourthly I have settled on how the bases will be which is just as well as I have done two figures now.  There might be some slight variation but generally what you see above is pretty much what you will see most of the time.  My OCD will not allow me to deviate otherwise before I know it I will have two armies on the go!

I still need to think about the idea of a story line, an idea which I like but is somewhat alien to me.  I also need to think how I am going to present these figures on mass in a display.  A mat isn’t good enough and with the figures being individually based it wont be a diorama.  The idea of tiles is something I think I shall start looking at and they will be easier to store.

All in all plenty to do and plenty more to think about as this evolves and takes over.  The good news is I haven’t got bored yet!

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Give Me Five

This week I thought I would consider my top 5 sports films.  I thought this would be easy but I have left some truly excellent films out.  In no particular order:

  1. Rocky (Boxing)
  2. The Natural (Baseball)
  3. The Damned United (Football/Soccer)
  4. Chariots of Fire (Athletics)
  5. Rudy (American College Football)

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Brown Sugar” by the Rolling Stones.  Call me naive by all means but when I sing along to a song (I can already hear SWMBO saying “please don’t!”) and even when I get the lyrics right, I barely take much notice of them.  It’s all about the music, the beat, the tempo – the lyrics are just there almost in the background.  I never analyse them and of course when I was a lad we didn’t have YouTube so we sung the wrong words for years!.  This was very much the case for me with this track, one of my favorite tracks as well I might add.  I don’t listen to the radio a great deal, only when I am in the car and due to lockdown it has been a while since I’ve been any distance of note so, given the lyrics of this song, I wonder if it is even played anymore.  The track was never banned that’s for sure.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair”.  I read the book a good while back and loved it.  Very well written and very different too.  Twist and turns along the way made it hard to put down.  Then I discovered the book had been made into a mini series so it became a must watch bit of TV.  On balance it was a good series and kept true to the book as best I could recall but as you do when you read a book you form a mental image of the main characters and the actors cast, as good as they were, just didn’t align to my image.  Still enjoyable though.

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Remember …

If you sneeze and fart at the same time your body takes a screen shot.

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TIM

Diorama Lite – “Frazetta Death Dealer” (Part 1)

I very nearly didn’t post this article but then I realised I had nothing else to put up so then decided what the hell.  Part of the problem is flitting between various projects, not least of all my Knights Army one.

So, how do I make a dull post even slightly interesting?  Well my only shot of doing that is by telling you that the figure which will go on this base when painted is very, very cool indeed and it wouldn’t surprise me if one or two of you were keen to buy one of your own in due course. 

OK, exciting bit over, onto the dull bit.  No matter how good the figure is it needs a base.  The problem with this base is it needs to be very basic and very dark and dead looking and as a consequence the end result will be dead and dull looking!

First up we have a couple of images of small pieces of plaster board being stuck to a 40mm x 40mm base.  The pieces were then trimmed back and carved a bit hear and there to make things look a little more rock like.

In the back ground of this next image you can see that I have added some slate chippings from my garden and mounted the MDF base onto a 40mm x 40mm oak cube.  In front you can see various pieces of twig.  In actual fact they are bits of root from an unknown plant but they have a great texture and so I thought I would try using them to make a very basic bit of dead tree.  The only problem I had was none of the various bits and pieces were any good in their own right.

To get round this I decided to combine different twig pieces by drilling and pinning a couple together.  If I can find the right plant roots in future I think I might prefer this approach to making trees rather than using wire.  Thinking about it further a combination of the two approaches might be the ideal.  I’ll file that idea away for the future.

A little while later and things began to take shape.

 

 

Another piece to add and it will be done and then I can add some Milliput to fill the gaps and mount it in the base ready for priming an d painting.

For some dead looking flora I thought I’d try painting some tufts black.  The image below shows I have started.

Unfortunately due to incompetence, the excitement of painting the figure which will go on this base and the distraction (a welcome one, I’m not complaining) of wanting to paint my Baron’s War figures I made little more by way of progress and failed to take any more photographs!  I am beginning to realise I will need more discipline when it comes future posts of this kind.  Either that or I will have to put all my efforts into one project at a time.  We will see what gives in the course of the next few weeks .

TIM

 

 

 

 

Borin Ironbrow – 28mm Reaper Dwarf Fighter

For the first time in quite a while I came close to missing a blog post.  Having been fully absorbed by my army project I became completely side tracked and suddenly Saturday was almost upon me and I had nothing to offer.  Fortunately I remembered that I had an almost completely painted dwarf which I had set aside and the day (well post in this case) was saved.  Ho-ray for dwarfs!

The figure in question, Borin Ironbrow by Reaper, was originally bought for my recent Diorama Lite post but in the end I decided to go with a different figure.  Although I liked the figure I didn’t think he was the right fit for my little diorama.  Now he has been lovingly given a little base of his own.

The figure is from the Reaper Dungeon Dweller range and is a very crisp and clean casting. Compared to some Reaper figures the level of detail is relatively plain but it was none the less a nice little one to do.

The biggest challenge was getting him completed in time for this post, a problem I think I will continue to experience with other figures which aren’t part of my army project. In an ideal world I would like to produce something each week for Diorama Lite on Monday, a mid-week figure for my medieval Knight army and a figure from another genre for my Saturday post. It is clear that balancing this through the spring and summer is going to be a challenge.  What this week has taught me though is that modelling and painting time is becoming stretched, mainly due to the time of the year and my release back into the wild following Covid lockdown.  Add into the mix my desire to do more and more on my army project and it is becoming clear that three posts a week is going to prove a significant challenge, at least until the return of the winter months.  For now I will continue as I am doing, if only to clear some of the lead pile, but I suspect blog changes are a foot.

Images of Borin below.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 99)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is the first in what is sure to become a very, very recurring feature of my Wednesday posts and maybe some Saturday ones too, a figure painted and based which goes towards my medieval army project.  All the figures are from the Footsore Barons War range and this is one of the four figures which comprises the pack titled “Foot Knights 1”.

The paint job was pretty straight forward and as I have no plans to use decals and have never had success with masking tape all my work on shields will be freehand.  The aim will be to try and get more adventurous but I will be driven by heraldry as I learn a bit more about it.  As much as possible I want my knights to be authentic.  As far as basing goes, whilst there may be some slight variation this will be the standard.

More on the project below but in terms of completed minis we’re up and running.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Knights On TIM’s Modelling Table

As headings go it’s not a great play on “The Knights of the Round Table” but it was the best I could come up with.  So, an update on the project.

Firstly a big thank you to those of you who very kindly provided encouragement for this project along with words of advice and valuable details on figures and numbers for an army.  I have taken it all on board but for now I thought I would focus just on painting, specifically for now foot figures.  I have every intention of doing mounted Knights but that will come later.  Whether I do the whole Baron’s War range of mounted figures remains to be seen.  I’ll see how the range grows because it appears to be expanding quite fast, by which I mean quicker than I can paint.  For now though and with Footsore offering a 20% discount when you spend over a hundred pounds I thought I would take advantage of the offer while it it lasted.  After almost no deliberation whatsoever I piled straight in and pretty much bought the lot.

As things currently stand I have purchased packs of Levy’s, Crossbowmen, Spearmen, Bannermen and Musicians, Bowmen, numerous Knights and various Character figures giving around 90 figures to paint.  Whether they all make it in to my army remains to be seen.  Although I will make the effort to clean and prime all the figures in one hit the painting will not be in batches.  I don’t enjoy production line painting, regardless of time efficiency, so I fully expect to adopt a random approach.

Here’s a quick look at some of the figures on parade.

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Give Me Five

Not sure what inspired me this week, nothing I can recall watching or listening to for sure, but I decided to try listing my top five movie villains.  Not an easy choice but after some deliberation I settled, in no particular order, on the following:

  1. Darth Vader (Star Wars Franchise)
  2. The Joker (Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight)
  3. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins, Silence of the Lambs)
  4. Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes, Schindlers List)
  5. Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes, Harry Potter Franchise)

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Voodoo Child” by Jimi Hendrix.  In response to my Give Me Five music intros in TIM’s Miniatures & Musings No: 97 my brother kindly emailed a couple of links to some classic tracks of which this was one.  Well worth a listen to on a high volume and after a few beers.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Red Joan” starring Judi Dench.  A good film “based” on a true story with an interesting justification for being a spy and giving away official secrets.

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Remember …

If you are having a bad day things could always be worse.  You could be a Siamese twin attached to a gay brother whose on a date and you’re the only one with an arse.

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TIM

Diorama Lite – Reaper “Cheiton, Dwarf Hero” (Part 2 – Final)

This week was an easy week in the sense that I really only needed to paint the figure.  He’s a nice little 28mm Reaper mini with quite a lot of detail and he had a pretty good pose for a chap standing outside his doorway before he goes off to hit some poor unfortunate over the head.  Dwarfs I am given to understand can be a bit like that.

I had already left a suitable whole in the base for positioning the figure so other than some minor adjustments and a few touch ups there was very little else to do.  Overall I am pleased with the outcome but I hope over time my imagination will inspire greater things but you have to start somewhere.  For me identifying nice figures holds the key and I have a few already lined up so we will see where we end up.  For now though the journey has begun.

Images below.

TIM

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“Ulfred” – 28mm Hasslefree Miniature

I mentioned in last Saturday’s post that I am attracted to figures which I consider have a nice pose.  Of course this is a personal thing but this is another figure which ticks the box as far as I am concerned.  I like the casual stance of Ulfred.  It’s simple but effective and he has a “don’t mess with me” feel about him, he exudes calmness and complete control.

I went mostly for muted colours as theses seemed appropriate.  The wolf head on his tunic was embossed so no claims to freehand on this one.  Base wise I went for a simple bit of landscape comprising of a a couple of slate chippings, a bit of a twig to form a small broken tree and some Milliput and plaster board dust to complete the groundwork.  Bits of grass tufts were added to the 25mm base to provide some much needed colour.

Images below.

TIM 

TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 98)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is again from Hasslefree and goes by the name of Dakota.  Originally I bought her to go with a zombie theme I had running around in my head but then I lost my way.  Just to many ideas right now which in some ways is a nice problem but on the downside I find myself losing focus.  I’ll put it down  to age.  In the end I settled for a quick and simple base job with an old rusty barrel hopefully conveying a bit of an industrial and post apocalyptic feel.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Time To Build An Army?

After much deliberation I have decided to do something I have never done before, I’m going to paint an army.  I’ve never been against the idea but I couldn’t settle on an historical period.  I had other concerns too.  Would I get bored?  What would I do with the army once complete?  How would I store it?  How would I display it?  In truth I don’t have the answers to all those questions but have decided to build one none the less and I’ll figure things out as I go along.

So what has changed my mind?  You may well ask.  The answer is several things.  Nostalgia, Table Top World, freehand painting and Ebay.

Nostalgia — some of you may recall from past posts that I have mentioned Britain’s Swoppet Cowboys and how they played a part in getting me into modelling and dioramas when I was a kid.  Well Britain’s also did Swoppet Knights but these were much more expensive (they sell for a small fortune on Ebay as collectors pieces these days) so I never had any.   As much as I loved the cowboys I would have loved a castle full of battling knights.  An army of cowboys isn’t really a thing but an army of knights is.

Table Top World – If you haven’t seen it they do an amazing Castle.  It costs a fortune, it’s huge and being modular can be made as big as you like.  How cool would that be?  In truth I will probably never find out because I have nowhere to put it but I am going with the Field of Dreams approach, “If you build it they will come”.  I’ll build the army first and see where I go from there.

Freehand – Heraldry provides a great opportunity for some freehand and I would like to see what I can do on that front from time to time.  There is also a great deal of freedom when it comes to the use of colours too.  I’m not sure I could ever paint a modern army, I think I would find it far to dull and repetitive.

Ebay – I see this as my escape clause.  If all else fails and I never finish the project or have no idea what to do with it when it’s done I can sell it.  In short what is there to lose?

Obviously you will have gathered my army will be one of Knights but it will also feature Archers, Levy’s, Crossbowmen, Spearmen and whatever else exists now and in future releases in the Footsore Barons War range.  Those of you who liked the knights I had previously done have a lot to answer for.  If you get bored with this project before I do you only have yourselves to blame!

So, does this signal the end of painting Knuckleduster Cowboys, Reaper, Hasslefree and other figures?  Not at all.  My army is just another project to dip into but one I am looking forward to doing.

I do however have one question for you and would welcome your wargaming thoughts.  How many figures would I need to paint and base before I could claim it’s an army?  In my head I have settled on a nice round figure of 100 but do I need more or less?

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Give Me Five

In keeping with the tone established above I thought I would select my top 5 films within the broadly speaking medieval genre.   Not quite so tough this week but for me all now essential viewing and research.  As usual in no particular order:

  1. Excalibur
  2. Kingdom of Heaven
  3. Braveheart
  4. King Arthur
  5. The Name of the Rose

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“She’s Got The Look” by Roxette.  There’s a lot to like about this track and video but I was particularly drawn in by the lyrics. 😉

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Keeping Faith”.  A thriller series set in Wales (that’s Wales the country just to be clear!).  Having binge watched series one and two I am now on to the final series.  Not the best of some of the great TV shows currently available but well worth a watch in my opinion.

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Remember …

Even if you are useless you can be used as a bad example.

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TIM

Diorama Lite No:1 – Reaper “Cheiton, Dwarf Hero” (Part 1)

Welcome to the first Diorama Lite post.  The concept of this series is to feature based figures which offer a little bit more than a typical wargaming style base, a micro diorama if you will.  Whilst the work involved isn’t in the same league as a larger diorama churning these little models out on a daily or weekly basis simply isn’t going to happen.  I anticipate each one taking a couple of weeks to do on average.  Slower in the spring and summer perhaps and maybe quicker in the winter when more time is spent indoors may become a factor in the fullness of time.  Without further a do let’s get under way.

The featured figure for this model is as the title indicates a Dwarf.  All being well you will get to see him next week in part 2.  The concept for the base is a simple affair.  Our hero dwarf is simply standing outside his front door.  Now that’s got you excited hasn’t it?

First up there was a need to make a door.  Wooden coffee stirrers, a bit of polystyrene, lead foil and pin heads for the hinges and wire for the door handle were all used.

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Slate chippings from the garden were used to create steps leading to the door.  The model is being built on a 40mm x 40mm MDF base which will then be mounted on a 40mm oak cube plinth.

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A piece of plant root was used to make a small tree.

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I made a couple of giant toadstools using Milliput mounted on top of pin heads.

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Thereafter it was pretty much all about adding some filler to the polystyrene and once it was dry painting and weathering everything followed by a little bit of assembly.  A mixture of paint colours and paints were used – acrylics and oils.  Finally some plant life was added.

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Some touching up here and there will be needed once the figure has been positioned but for now the scene is pretty much set.

TIM

“Fall of Bel” – Ziggurat Miniatures

This figure came from North Star Miniatures and features under the Lucid Eye heading and is produced by Ziggurat.  The title for the figure is given as “LI-BEL – Fall of Bell”, make of that what you want.  The figure itself is 28mm and in my opinion is  a stunning sculpt and one which is most unusual.

Why unusual TIM I hear you cry.

Well, as you asked, it is a sculpt posed in a way which to my mind is far more 54mm scale or bigger and not a typical 28mm one.  By this what I mean is the sculpt is a miniature figure painters dream not a wargamers style of figure.  As I primarily consider myself a figure painter the pose of a miniature is what often attracts me the most and in 28mm figures the poses are far more often than not sculpted in an action stance.  Nothing wrong with that at all but any figure which isn’t is bound to catch my eye when it crosses my path.  Such was the situation here.  Unfortunately for me the Ziggurat figure range is pretty small and only a few of them have an appeal to me.  I do, however, have my eye on a couple of others including a variant of this figure which I will also purchase in due course.

I’m not entirely sure if this female figure is intended to be a Greek Hoplite but I have based my painting around the idea that she is.  Not a great deal to say about the paint job itself other than that the horse on the shield was embossed rather than freehand but the edging on the shield was freehand and took a while to do.  Every time I looked at it the pattern wasn’t as evenly spaced as I wanted so I was touching up constantly.  I’m sure it is still out in places but I eventually called it a day because I knew I would never ever be 100% satisfied with it.  That’s not to say I am not pleased with it because I am.

I went for a straight forward little bit of base work with just a splash of colour in the red flowers.  I think there is scope to set this figure on a really nice bit of base work so I may well do something with the variant when I purchase it.  I wont rule out doing this figure again at some point either.  The quality of it is superb (as are so many others I might add) and it is hard to believe that it is only 28mm so to prove it is I have included a perspective image too.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 97)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is one I have posted before but there are a couple of reasons for posting it again.  Firstly I simply ran out of time to get a figure done this week.  All my energy was been spent elsewhere leaving me with less time than I would have liked on modelling and painting with what time I did have spent finalising the Wizard’s Tower.  There was therefore nothing for it but to go back through my backlog and pull out images of a past figure, something I might have to do more often now that spring and summer has hit the UK and the outdoor jobs are mounting up.  The question of course then became what figure?

Much to my surprise my first Miniatures and Musings post was published back on the 22nd May 2019 and featured a Crooked Dice 28mm figure of James Bond.  By coincidence Mark Morin invited me to observe an international online wargame involving him and some of his global buddies a couple of weeks ago which was based upon the exploits of James Bond in the film The Spy Who Loved Me.  The game was called Nobody Does It Better with the name taken I presume from the films title song.  It therefore seemed highly appropriate to go with this figure as a thank you to Mark for the invite.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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The Wednesday Whinge

I did say last week that my Wednesday Whinge posted then would most likely be my last and that was indeed my intention.  Time to get away from politics and back to something a little more in keeping with the overall theme and environment of this blog now that lockdown restrictions have been eased somewhat and I can vent my spleen to my mate John over a beer.  However, in trying to write this post on my laptop (I usually use my Samsung Tablet) I noticed that WordPress appear to be up to their old tricks of fucking about.  On a sample of one it seems they have changed how you can add and insert photos.  Now it might just be me, I’m not the most PC literate guy and unlike Pat am unable to tap into a Technical Advisor.  I will have to take a closer look at some point and if I am wrong publish an apology to WordPress.

As of now future whinges, if any, will come under the hobby spotlight.  Unless I change my mind of course.

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Give Me Five

This week I thought I would go with song intros.  Here are my top five.  Some are slow burners but each one blows me away every time. I have even gone to the trouble of including the YouTube link so you can have a listen if you are not familiar with any.  I would suggest playing loud!  Of course there are hundreds of potential tracks out there so I may have to go with this theme again at some point.  In the meanwhile I will, as always, be interested to hear what suggestions any of you make.  In no particular order:

  1. Song 2 by Blur 
  2. Money for Nothing by Dire Straits
  3. Layla by Derek and the Dominoes 
  4. Roll Over Beethoven by ELO
  5. Gimme All Your Lovin’ by ZZ Top

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Honky Tonk Women” by the Rolling Stones.  This nearly made it into my Give Me Five above but as it didn’t I thought I would include it hear instead.  You can’t beat a bit of Mick and the boys and at the time of writing I’m led to believe Keith Richard is still alive.  The man is simply indestructible!

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Traces” an excellent six part BBC series.  I do like being able to binge watch a series without having to wait week after week for the next episode.  Knew nothing about this one but took a punt on it and got straight into it.  Apparently a second series is due later this year.

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Remember …

Never in the history of calming down has anyone ever calmed down after being told to calm down.

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TIM