Sunday 13 November 2022

Weekly Deadlines



When we retired to Spain in 2006 Jan and I had two hobbies which we wanted to pursue

One was, of course, Wargaming

The second was hill walking


We are fortunate to have a permanent wargames room to pursue the first

And our 1813 campaign was developed to provide an endless supply of wargames


We are also fortunate to live is a very beautiful part of Spain, well known as an impressive area for hill walking

This is the main reason we choose the Jalon valley, half an hour drive inland, and a world apart, from busy Benidorm


Within a year of moving to Spain we had established a weekly routine, which we have followed ever since

One day a week we walk, currently we lead a U3A walking group

Most days we spend an hour at the wargames table


We also record both interests in a series of blogs

The wargames blog was started as record of my various projects

A second blog was soon added to record the progress of my 1813 campaign

The third blog was to keep family and friends in the UK up to date with our new life in Spain.


The weekly routine worked well until recently.

I could complete one wargame a week, have an enjoyable walk and update the three blogs


Jan has long suffered from problems with her neck, and recently this has got worse

The doctor has advised that she should avoid the jarring effect of hill walks over difficult terrain

This has become a very important part of our social life here, and to give it up would be a real loss

So we decided to create a second U3A walking group, this time gentle morning walks around the valley

This has been a great success, and we have made many new friends

When we meet each Thursday I am reminded of an expression we had in the army for those reporting sick.

They were called the “sick, lame and lazy”.

Our new group are not in any way lazy, or even sick, but many are lame

Hill Walking

Organising two weekly walking groups, and recording them on our blog, has greatly increased my workload

I find it harder and harder to find time to keep the campaign administration up to date and fight a wargame each week

Finding time for the wargame is no problem, but after each battle it takes the best part of a day to update the campaign

Instead of being one day, and one battle, ahead of the weekly blog dateline I am now struggling to complete the current one in time


I have always considered that Wargaming is a hobby, and as such should be enjoyable and not a chore

But now I realise how much I actually enjoy the discipline of the weekly routine

The blogs greatly add to my enjoyment of both Wargaming and hill walking

I also find that I have a very rewarding “following”.

More so perhaps on the walking blog and Facebook.


But it does mean that I will have to abandon the current objective of posting one campaign day and battle each week on this blog

I am sure that most of you will not actually notice the change

But just in case any of you do notice, I wanted you to know why.


I am very aware of  how lucky we are to be able to pursue such a pleasant lifestyle

And I am not in any way complaining about “my lot”

But it is interesting how we make our own life difficult by these self imposed deadlines

Understandable when it is necessary to earn a living

But quite silly when we are retired and can prioritise as we wish


  1. Thistlebarrow,

    Your blog post really resonated with me, although not for quite the same reasons. Until very recently, I enjoyed the discipline of writing a blog post every day, but in my case, my health problems have rather put a break on that. I’m in the situation where there are things that I want to blog about, but don’t want to rush to write them. I’d rather take my time, get them right, and enjoy the process.

    As one of my Masonic colleagues once said in reply to a younger Brother who seemed intent in getting through the ranks as quickly as possible, ‘Never forget that this isn’t a career; it’s a hobby!’. The same is true for wargaming … and your walking. Take your time and enjoy your hobbies; we'll be here waiting to read your blog posts when you have time to enjoy fighting your battles and writing you battle reports.

    All the best,


    1. Hi Bob

      Good to see you back after your latest cruise. It sounds like you had a very relaxing holiday, which is just what you needed. Looking forward to reading about it on your blog.

      I suspect that most older wargamers have gone through a similar experience. I think in life balance is really important, and my two hobbies offer a good contract. The mental exercise of running a campaign and wargaming, and the physical exercise of hill walking.

      The difficult part is not to feel guilty about relaxing "standards", which are completely false and unncessary. But again I suspect that most of us derive some pleasure in sticking to a strict daily or weekly routine. Nothing wrong with that, providing you can review and adjust to maintain the fun and enjoyment of the whole thing.

  2. Do what gives you pleasure and time allows, Paul. Blogging should be pleasurable. If it seems too much like work, well, then back off a bit.

    I enjoy your hiking blog very much and am a frequent visitor. While your wargame campaigning is of interest, I find I use this blog as a reminder and gateway to checking in on your exploits among the Spanish hills.

    1. Hi Jonathan

      Thanks for your post, nice to hear from you again.

      Jan and I have always been interested in hill walking and walking in general. Many years ago we walked most of Wellington's Peninsular battlefields, and many of Napoleon's in Austria and Germany.

      Unfortunately the French were not very active in this area of Spain. They did occupy Valencia and Denia, both of which are quite close. But I have been unable to find any details of their operations. I am sure that there must have been considerable guerrilla activity, but nothing I could find in English.

      However the terrain, and particular in the hills, is very similar to the rest of the country. And of course the weather is very similar. It is quite hard work walking for pleasure in the hills around here, how much more difficult conducting a campaign against local guerrilla forces. There is quite a lot available about the Napoleonic period in the north east, and again the terrain is very similar.

      We are very lucky in that our local area has some of the best hill walking we have ever had the joy of exploring. We have good friends who offer commercial walking holidays, and they confirm that their customers love the area and return year after year.

  3. Looks like a fine country for walking!

    1. Hi Ion

      It is indeed a walkers paradise. The Spanish are not great hill walkers, so it is quite unusual to meet other walking groups - unlike in the popular walking areas of the UK. There is a lot of small scale hunting where we walk, and we often find empty cartridge cases. But we rarely see the hunters themselves. They tend to hunt during weekends and public holidays, when we tend not to walk at all. And, of course, we are blessed with good walking for ten months each year - too hot in July and August.

      If you like walking I would strongly recommend a holiday in this area.


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