Friday, 23 August 2013

En France

No painting, book reviews, terrain building or rules adaptations in this post, I'm afraid.

This week I've been in France, with my daughter, visiting my sister who's lived in Toulouse since 1991. While my wife is home supervising some building work at Roundwood Towers, I've been left to enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes and aromas of a beautiful French city in great company. 

Here's some of this week's inspiration...








 

For me (and for a few of you, I'm sure), part of our hobby of wargaming is getting inspired.  And by this I mean the process of being somewhere or seeing something which makes you want to get back and keep on hobbying, painting, modelling, gaming, or just doing.  2013 has really been my "Year of the French", and I'd always planned a trip to France as part of it.  While neither my sister nor daughter have any interest in things military, it was great to spend some time in the country I've been reading about all year and try and inflict my hamfisted attempts to speak French on unsuspecting Toulousians. 
 


 
If you're ever in Toulouse, I'd recommend the Musée des Augustins de Toulouse (above) - a good place to spend a couple of hours. 
 
So, no wargaming this post, but a more traditional service will be resumed over this weekend.  I'm intending to make significant progress on the French weapons teams and artillery.  And maybe post a couple of books reviews if I have time left - "German Strategy and the Path to Verdun" and "French Trench Warfare 1917-1918", both interesting reads which I finished while away.
 
 

22 comments:

  1. Ah, man France...love to visit there!

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  2. Greate blogpost! Inspiration are the thing that keps us wargamesrs start up new stunning projects, especialy nice to visit the places of the historical Everts one try to recreatewith the minis.

    I hope you Will have a nice trip back home!

    Best regards Michael

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    1. Thanks Michael. It was a very good break. Toulouse is one of those very fortunate cities to have been physically untouched by recent wars, so there's not much in the way of battlements and battle-sites. But in a place like France, there's inspiration in very many places!

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  3. You got me envious already. Only been in Toulouse once but it's such a great place to visit – and start tours from. Would love to get to France again. If there's time remaining, have a nice stay – and a safe return.

    Souhaite plein de bonnes choses!

    Tilman
    mountainsoflead.com

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    1. Timlan, merci! Toulouse is a great place to visit, and yes, you can use it as a great starting point to visit plenty of more military places - the wonderful Cathar castles, or further north to the deeply tragic Oradour-sur-Glane. Above all, it's just a very cool city!

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  4. Difficult to imagine someone not been inspired, especially judging by your photography; I'm certainly envious.

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    1. That's very kind Michael. I enjoyed your holiday photos so much, I thought I'd post some of my own!

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    1. FMB, you should, Sir. You really should!

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  6. Those pictures are beautiful, glad you're having a good time.

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  7. Glad to see you've enjoyed France!
    Phil...the French!

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    1. Thanks Phil. I did! back to reality now!

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  8. Hope you had a great time. Just got back from 2 weeks on the Chemins des Dames so will post some pics and comments soon.

    Merci Beaucoup

    Matt

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    1. Matt, please do....I would be so interested. I'd love to know where you stayed, and whether you'd recommend it.

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  10. Belle France, elle me manque!
    Hope you had a fantastic time, the pictures look gorgeous. Very jealous! The Musée des Augustins de Toulouse looks very interesting, what kind of collection does it house?
    Ben

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    1. Merci, merci, Ben!! It was fantastique, mon ami! The Musée des Augustins is really good. It's not huge but its got lots of Romanesque medieval sculpture (think elaborate columns and gargoyles) and a very high quality art gallery (mainly 17th to late 19th centuries). They have a lot of huge (and I mean HUGE) mid-19th century French orientalist paintings which have to be seen to be believed.

      There's a couple of smaller museums in Toulouse which I've visited before which are also pretty good - the oriental/ Japanese focused one (Musée Georges Labit: http://www.cultures.toulouse.fr/thematique/musees/musee-georges-labit) is really out of the way in the very quiet legal quarter of the City, but is a real jewel of a collection.

      Just in case you ever get there with a spare half-a-day!

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    2. I'll have to get back to Toulouse some day, I've got a friend in New Caledonia whose daughter is living there now and she's offered to put us up for a weekend or so. Lovely part of France the southwest.
      The Augustins sounds fab, I'm rather interested in the orientalists so will have to check it out. Thanks for the heads up on the musée Labit as well. I'm planning a couple of teaching units at the moment on Warring States to Han Dynasty period China and Sengoku period Japan, and have found myself really fascinated and entranced by the art, history and culture. Both reccomendations are in the 'to see' book for when Laur and I next get over there. Hopefully it'll be in the next 18 months. We'll have to catch up for a game and a pint when I'm next over.

      Ben

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  11. Ah! Belle cite! Magnifique!

    I'm very envious. We are scheduled for our French vacation next spring and are counting the weeks. Toulouse is on the books.

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    1. Thanks Curt. Toulouse is a really good city to visit. It's got a wonderful old centre, but it's very much the hub of a lot of French digital and engineering businesses, which gives the city a distinctive buzz. The Metro is wonderful - especially when you're used to the London Tube or New York Subway. There's a huge student population and the city's always been a "happening" kind of place. The countryside around is stunning - north to the Haute Garonne, south west to the Gers and east to Albi and Carcassonne (which are really well worth trips in themselves). Visiting in the autumn is possibly the best time of year as the summer can get ferociously hot. It will never be Paris or Versailles (or Verdun or the Somme for that matter!). But its a good place to visit.

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