Fighting Lockdown Ennui

When the first lockdown was announced, the hobbyist in us all rubbed its hands together in the anticipation of ‘extra time’ to indulge ourselves.

However, the reality of enforced isolation, especially when the second national lockdown was enforced here in the UK, was that with no actual end in site, what I have termed ‘lockdown ennui’ sets in, as you get into the habit of putting off doing things, because there’s no real sense of urgency about anything.

Case in point, I received a home brewing kit for Christmas (as I am a bit of a beer fan), and rather than immediately start on my first foray into making my own beer when the Christmas alcohol had been consumed, I waited until the 7th February…

However, it is merrily bubbling away in the corner of my dining room and has reached the stage where it is ready to be bottled for secondary fermentation, so when this is done and labels I’ve ordered arrived (as why make your own beer if you’re not going to name it?) expect to see it annouced here.

So, in the spirit of battling against Lockdown Ennui (LE from now on), I have not only finished the first chapter of the book I’ve been promising I’d write for far too long, but also based some figures I’d had sitting around for ages, built some more troops for Distant Stars and slapped some paint around.

I combined the legs, body and head from a Void 1.1 Viridian Interdict Marine, the backpack from a Void 1.1 Junker Legionnaire and the arms and heavy weapon from a Mantic Steel Warrior to create a Dominion Support Legionnaire.

Shown alongside a standard Legionnaire to show the slightly bulkier armour, as I decided that adding pauldrons would make them look sufficiently different, yet still appear as part of the same army.

Next up, three ‘drones’, also for Distant Stars, bought over a year ago at the last wargames show I attended. These are The Droids from Ainsty Castings, three figures for £5.00.

I was initially going to go for colour schemes inspired by R2 units from Star Wars, but then decided to use the same colour scheme as the droids they’re based on – namely Huey Dewey and Louiey from Silent Running.

Finally, just to prove that I do still love pre-Chibnall Doctor Who, we have my versions of the 10th Doctor and Clara Oswald.

The 10th Doctor is a converted eM-4 Miniatures Future Skirmish Suit, available for £2.00. I filed down his flat top and resculpted his hair, then tweaked and filed his gun into a sonic screwdriver. This will represent the 10th Doctor as he appeared at the Battle of Canary Wharf, complete with 3D glasses.

Clara IS actually a Black Tree Design Doctor Who figure, but was designed to be Vicki, but I always though the figure looked like Clara, so Clara she will be. It would also make a pretty good Star Trek TOS crew member.

As I seem to be winning in my battle against LE, let’s hope that the next post won’t be so long in coming.

And that I don’t miss the anniversary of this blog, as I should have celebrated my sixth year of inflicting my own brand of crazy on you all on 6th February – two weeks ago.

Bloody ennui…

15 thoughts on “Fighting Lockdown Ennui

    • I have been working the entire time too, Harry, but as I was working from home, I expected there to be more available ‘free’ time.

      I think it was more a case of laziness combined with ennui, so rather than get on with stuff, I’ve been watching Netflix…

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      • Its so much easier to watch TV than paint and build. Haven’t painted a single fig since August. I did just finish building and painting a huge (for me) Empire/Mordheim building. So its something. I need to expel the lazy…

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  1. *chuckles* wow I never know you were into home brewing. Good man yerself. I started about hmm let me see.. yeah, would be over 20 years ago now, a few years after we moved to Ireland. I started small (I had two good friends who really knew their stuff, who who helped me get going). I started with one barrel and well, two decades on, have shifted gear to 4 barrels of wine and 2 of beer… any given time. So I tend to make between 2 and 3 batches per year… so around 360 bottles of wine and 500 bottles of beer each year. l ruddy love it. A good batch can taste better than most professional stuff and I never have to buy any from the shops (as you might imagine, lockdown aside, we normally tend to have a lot of guests and wild parties lol),

    You`ll love making your own beer, it really can become quite a hobby in itself. Many will tell you to be a REAL wine/beer maker you have to use all your own natural ingredients from the garden, sure that’s nice but there’s nothing wrong with kits at ALL. I often use them (depending on the time of the year). Yeah we have big gardens so can save a lot of money by using what’s already there at our finger tips.. and sure, there can be some pride in being able to tell guests that its all made on our own land, but guess what…. most guests drinking the end results can`t tell home ingredients from kit. They really DO taste the same most the time. Home ingredients just allow more diversity is all (especially if you make mead, but you need honey bees for that,.. which is Hillers thing, she`s really into be keeping).

    Great post Jez. Love it

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    • Cheers Steve. My first batch is now bottled, so I should be able to confirm in a couple of weeks whether it’s any good. And I know what you mean regarding it becoming a hobby in its own right – not even got the first batch completed and I’m planning what to brew next.

      Currently got an IPA on the go, but looking to do a stout next. After that, got the urge to do a properly alcoholic version of Harry Potter’s Butterbeer.

      As my friend Chris is a big fan of mead, I looked up how to make it and most of the guides do say to use natural honey, so would need to find a local provider before having a crack at that.

      But now I’ve broken my ennui, there will be more regular posts… fuelled by home-made beer! Yay!!

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  2. Nice post Jez, and good to see you posting again (does this mean you are going to be more regular, as you’ve upped you painting?). So more updates on you Dr Who or Distant Stars are always welcome.

    Always fancied having a go at home brewing, don’t know why as we’re all “tea total” these days, I think it’s just the idea of making the stuff! Used to be a bit of real ale fan years ago, but not really supposed to drink with the tablets I’m on so just sort of stopped…no more spectacular reason than that really.

    I haven’t had any real “ennui” as far as painting goes to be honest (I’ve been shielding again since Xmas, so once up and down the road with the doggie, is all I’m allowed), but I’m not watching films like I was, as I was doing one a day over the last lockdown, but cant be bothered at the moment, have watched all the entire series of “Terrahawks” and “Star Fleet X Bomber” over the last couple of weeks, so I must be getting desperate! (I’ve started on “Nebula 75” now a “Supermarionation” series made in a flat during the last lockdown!!

    Anyway hope you are keeping safe, and anything that passes the time is a bonus (posts would be nice though) 😉.

    Cheers Roger.

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    • Part of my problem was having access to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+, so I had a vast library of things to watch. Now that I’ve completed all 7 seasons of Agents of Shield, I feel I’ve reached a plateau where I can refocus on hobby stuff again – along with other creative pursuits, such as writing and brewing.

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  3. Like Agents of Shield, we watched most of it on channel 4, but did watch the last series on Disney+ Are you watching WandaVision? I do like that.

    Agent Carter, The Boys and The Tick are really good too and Stargirl wasn’t bad either (though I probably shouldn’t say that if I want more posts! 😉).

    Cheers Roger.

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    • Do you need to ask, Roger? Done Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, The Inhumans, Runaways and am watching WandaVision as it comes out. Did both seasons of The Tick and The Boys on Amazon Prime, all the Marvel Netflix series, plus both seasons of The Umbrella Academy. Not really dabbled with the DC series yet (except for the first season of Gotham), but am considering Titans, as it looks rather good.

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      • Titans is pretty good, we did Inhumans (was OK) my wife watched Runaways (I got bored after a couple of episodes), I watched Defenders (it didn’t inspire me to watch any of the others, and I think we watched one episode of the Umbrella Academy (It didn’t grab me), same with Gotham. Legend’s of Tomorrow is the only other DC series we watched (its daft but fun).

        If you fancy a comedy, we did enjoy Community (on Netflix or Prime), loads of Pop culture references in that.

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        • It depends what you want out of your superhero stuff. The Netflix Marvel series are more adult-oriented, so not your early evening family fare – but if you want gritty Marvel heroes, they’re pretty good. Inhumans was okay-ish. Black Lightning was quite good and with the introduction of Star to Disney+ as of 23rd February, we will get access to The Gifted, which was the X-Men tv show.

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  4. He lives! (Actually, I knew that. I just didn’t want to be a pest and harass you…)
    Several years ago, I bought a beer kit from a home brewing supply company here in Massachusetts (my hometown is home to a pretty successful craft beer microbrewery). Anyway, I bought it for my brother and I to do together. Since we both love Guinness (who doesn’t?) and I also enjoy a good Russian imperial Stout, I bought a stout kit. He has a huge barn; plenty of space to ferment without the inconvenient smell or the need to infuriate the lady he shares his home with (“what is this shit and why is it in my living room?”). I briefly entertained the thought of my brother and I becoming successful beer moguls, Piper Bros, as it were.
    Never happened. He never even used it. For all I know, it’s still in the box.
    It wasn’t cheap, either.

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    • Yes, Keith, still amongst the realms of the living. Mine kit was a present from my wife, so theonly complaint she raised was that I hadn’t used it sooner. Of course, if I’d sprayed beer all over the kichen during the process, I’m sure I would have got it in the neck.

      The kit I’m using usesxliquid malt extract, which means no mashing or boiling of grain, so just a case of mixing various stuff in the bucket, then leaving it to bubble away.

      The company also does five stout kits, ranging from a 5.0% milk stout up to a 7.2% Russian imperial stout, although I’m tempted by the Dark Strawberry Belgian Ale. Website link attached, if you’re interested; https://www.lovebrewing.co.uk/

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