I’ve been listening to a number of history podcasts of late. Norman Centuries, by Lars Brownworth has been an interesting listen, and has certainly whetted my interest in the Normans, I knew a little about the history of the Normans from their origin to the conquest of England. The Norman successes in Italy and Sicily were a chapter of history I had never glanced at or opened however, and so the latter episodes about the de Hautville legacy were a fascinating listen.
As a slight aside, Brownworth’s series on the Normans is a great listen if you are interested in this particular period of history, and nearly equally as interesting (to me at least) is his series ‘12 Byzantine Rulers’. Both are worth checking out in my opinion.
I also downloaded some hundred odd episodes of the In Our Time podcast, with Melvyn Bragg (the older History feed, as well as the more recent combined one). While not always covering periods and events I am interested in, and not always going as deep as I would like, this series represents an interesting taste of a wide range of historical events. This is also worth a listen if you are partial to the odd historical discussion.
After listening to the Norman Centuries podcast, I’ve been listening to In Our Time on shuffle. All of this has coincided with the rekindled flame of interest I have in miniatures games. One of the games I have been thinking a lot about getting into is Saga, by Gripping Beast. Saga is a Dark Age skirmish size table top game that seems to have some rather innovative features - a blending of some of the mechanisms found in some board games with a simple and straight forward body of more traditional miniatures mechanisms. All in all it sounds a fascinating game.
A while ago I decided I would focus on one miniatures game: Song of Blades and Heroes, and see how I travelled with that before branching into too many systems and collecting too many miniatures that would sit un-painted on my shelves (well, I’m not sure where they’d go to be honest, storage space is at a premium at the moment). However, the wyrd seems to be working at odds with this simple desire, the fates have inhabited my iPhone and the podcasts that have been playing on shuffle beat to a nearly discernible rhythm. After running through the episodes available for the Norman Centuries podcast, I have heard In Our Time episodes on Stamford Bridge, Alfred the Great, The Volga Vikings, and The Normans among others...
The spirit of Sturlusson himself seems to be programming my play-list, the Dark Age is the beat: saga, saga, saga...
I will resist as long as I am able, holding close to me the shield of my earlier oath - patience is the long game, but it is a virtue I have been known to abandon before... we shall see.