The problem with being part of the online blogging community is that the majority of your interactions with fellow bloggers is virtual and when you do abandon your keyboard, venturing blinking into the light, like Mole from The Wind in the Willows, you have no idea what your fellow bloggers look like. So, when attending an event such as Salute, you could be travelling to the venue with or standing in the queue next to one of your online ‘friends’ and be none the wiser.
Of course, there are those rare bloggers, such as Andy from Da Gobbo’s Grotto, who do post ‘Salute Selfies’, but these are usually after the event, so of no use until the next event.
Luckily, I came across this excerpt from the renowned unnaturalist and documentary maker, Sir David Battenburg, whose seminal documentary concerning wargamers ‘Dice on Earth’ (followed by the less well-received Dice in the Freezer) is essential viewing for those of us in the hobby. It would appear that Sir David attended Salute this year and managed to identify and photograph some of the bloggers within my immediate circle. So, to provide a ‘spotter’s guide’ for future events, I’ll hand you over to Sir David…
“Having studied the migratory habits of that rare breed of gamer known as the ‘wargamer’, I discerned that they descend en masse to our great capital mid-spring, congregating around the docklands area of east London. Like magpies, they are attracted to shiny objects and this annual migration allows them to acquire further ‘shinies’ to add to their ever-growing collection, which I believe are known as ‘lead mountains.’
In order to observe them in their natural environment and at close quarters, I needed to present a facade that would allow me to mingle with them unmolested. To this end, I consumed my body-weight in meat-filled pastries, refrained from bathing for three consecutive days and left my manners back home at stately Battenburg Manor.
The first subject I managed to identify was the Webb-footed Ranter (Rogerius webbi), a visitor from more Northerly climes. This particular breed is known for its ability to fashion recognisable icons from 80’s cartoons from a curious clay-like substance, known colloquially as ‘Greenstuff’, due to its colouration and the fact that it is…er…’stuff’.
Having watched its interactions with its peers, I was then able to identify Simoneus Mooreis, more commonly know as the Blax Kleric. The resplendent plumage of this partciular breed is particularly distinctive, standing out from its shabbier cousins. The Blax Kleric lines its nest with four-colour periodicals and is known to make any ‘shinies’ it acquires even shiner, by the application of a hard-wearing translucent lacquer.
On the periphery of this social grouping, I noted the shy and retiring Lord Penguin (Michaelis awdri), before the press of the crowd caused its panicked flight. The particular breed adorns its tower-like nest with brightly coloured ‘shinies’, which are the envy of its peers. It can also be identified by its distinctive and haunting cry of “Inconceivable!”
The final subject I identified is a new addition to this annual migration, Jeremiah winstanlei, more commonly known as the Buffet Crow. It’s apparently hostile demeanour and spiky plumage belies it’s mischievous nature, which can be enhanced through gifts of hot coffee, or preferably, cold beer. Like the womble of nearby Wimbledon Common, the Buffet Crow makes use of the things that it finds, adorning its nest with objects manufactured from “things that everyday folk leave behind.”
I apologise for the quality of the images, as on every occasion I attempted to record my findings, I was mobbed by white-clad armoured forms, who seemed drawn to the lens, like moths to a flame. Hopefully, my next visit will provide more accurate images…”