Thursday, 19 January 2012

Being Inspired: Hops In Herefordshire and Thiepval Wood

I was stuck for a blog post this week, so this post is slightly improvised.

I’ve been working hard over the past couple of weeks on some early Saxons from the fifth century A.D. which I’m hoping to finish off over the coming weekend. I’ll be blogging these as soon as they’re done, but I’m not there yet.

Instead, I’ll go with a couple of new departures for me.

First is to re-Blog a wonderful post by JP over at Herefordshire 1938. It’s entitled “Hop Picking in Herefordshire” and it sums up to me why I love reading people’s Blogs. Jon’s deftly combined his own personal family history with a really interesting insight into a hidden part of British life, in addition to giving a great idea for a very different wargame. Rather than give the game away, I simply recommend you have a read.

Second is to simply post this fine poem by Edmund Blunden, “Thiepval Wood”, from September 1916. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did when I found it.

Thiepval Wood

The tired air groans as the heavies swing over, the river-hollows boom;
The shell-fountains leap from the swamps, and with wildfire and fume
The shoulder of the chalkdown convulses.
Then the jabbering echoes stampede in the slatting wood,
Ember-black the gibbet trees like bones or thorns protrude
From the poisonous smoke past all impulses.
To them these silvery dews can never again be dear,
Nor the blue javelin-flame of the thunderous noons strike fear.

Edmund Blunden, September 1916


  1. Good to see you back, Sidney.. we missed you!!
    Eagerly looking to see those Dark Ages rules in motion sometime soon. I know Richard Clarke takes his time (and he's right on this) to have the final product published, so I don't expect realistically to see them before the summer. But I'm curious to see some first AAR of the test games either in your blog or in the Lard Island blog.

  2. The poem and imagery combined leave me stupefied: beautiful, terrible, wondrous. You are one of a kind.

  3. Dear Sidney, Hop's growing in my garden as well, I will not be able to pass it by without thinking of Blunden's words ever again, for which I thank you.

    Cheers Sander

  4. It´s also got one of the best botanical names , Humulus lupulus..great eh? :-D Not only good for making beer..take a bundle of the flowers, put them in a cloth bag and put that under your pillow. The dreams you get are wonderfull and you sleep like your on a cloud.


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