Saturday 16 June 2012

Leadhead Widows: The Woes of a Wargamer's Wife

My lovely son has spent the evening at my Sister-in-Law's, leaving a little time for my wife and I to spend together. During our long deserved lie in, we began discussing my blog and she began a rant about being a 'Widow to Wargaming'!

During this rather amusing, yet heated, debate she came up with some key issues that blight her life.

As as become the norm, I have constructed a list of the most annoying things that I do (according to my wife, anyway). Are you guilty of any of these crimes against your beloved spouse?

1) Painting Clutter in Lounge

I am sure that you have something similar to this at home. Look at it! Ancient tubs of paint, their lids askew with dried residue, battered, paint splattered brushes (some with only a single bristle) struggle against the serried ranks of unpainted miniatures. The crooked, ever hot lamp, that stands as a silent sentinel over the collection. Blue tack, tissue paper and the stained mugs in which darkened water slowly evaporates under the lamp's scorching gaze. A smart, woven container sullied with battered boxes and who knows what else. For some reason, your child has added one of his balls to the debris! Note the mess has spread to the poor, innocent window sill too!

Wife's Comment: Where is my phone? That table is supposed to be for the internet router and the cordless telephone, not your miniature's crap! You make more mess than the two year old!

2) Reading material in the toilet
This is pretty good for me actually. We have an old issue of WD there alongside a copy of Warhammer Siege. As we all know, the lavatory is the perfect place to absorb the abundant inspiration our old publications provide in peace. Some may call it skivving (my wife certainly does) but to me, this is the research that is so important to my collection, my painting and, of course, this blog. Depending on which project I am working on, the toilet clutter can vary from a few books to a mighty stack of yellowing tomes that smell reassuringly retro.

Wife's Comment: For God's sake shift those books and old magazines, I am sick of seeing them. I going to stuff them in a black rubbish bag if they are still there tonight! How I am supposed to get to my bathroom scales if they're buried under all that crap!

3) Clothes badly hung (or on floor) but magazines perfectly stacked and well cared for. 

I don't think the logic here really needs to be explained. Priorities are just that, after all. Fact is (but don't tell her) the value of the collection of old mags, books and miniatures is so vast that she could happily spend £100s if not £1000s of pounds on clothes and make up if you sold it! 

Like you'd do that though, eh?

Wife's Comment: Pick up those bloody shirts off the floor! I spend ages doing the washing and all you do is dump it in that cupboard. If you shifted all that Warhammer crap out of there you'd have more space and you wouldn't have to cram everything inside!

4) Jam jars full of soaking miniatures 
One contains Nitro Moors (for superglue carnage) while the others glisten with the insipid brown of dettol. Who knows what leaden classics these jars contain? Both I and they have long forgotten but from time to time, when whim strikes me, I pluck out a miniature or two and clean them in the kitchen sink. As the bubbled, sticky paint dissolves away and swirls to its doom down the plughole it think, oh, I forgot I'd bought that one! Note how my stripping collection shares space with booze and important spices for cooking!

Again, priorities!

Wife's Comment: How many times do I have to tell you that the kitchen is not for all this crap! What happens if one of the children pick up one of the jars and drinks it? And while we're talking about it, what is with all the bloody bases, toothbrushes and smelly glues?

Oh, is that araldite? Could you just fix my broken vase with that please!

5) Malign influence over children
How many toddlers have their own copy of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay? Mine does! It shares space alongside Winnie the Pooh, The Tweenies and the Gruffalo. And its not like I encouraged it! He loves to flick through the big, battered book and look at all the pictures. Its amazing how fast children can learn; he knows what an orc is, a knight and even a dark elf!


Wife's Comment: He'll have nightmares looking at those awful pictures! That book is so unsuitable! If he likes 'little men' when he grows up I'll lock the pair of you in the garden shed!

6) No one can eat on the dinning room table 

The warm hum of the scanner as it saves another classic Warhammer title as a sweet pdf ready to share with enthusiasts the world over. The quality printer and scanner combo (homemade by me) and, of course, the stand of literature ready for the 'next blog'. This is our lounge table in all its glory!

Wife's Comment: This first thing I see when I walked into this room is your mess! Why do we have to have the scanner out all of the time? What is with these piles of magazines that are nearly 30 years old!? Where can I eat my slimming world meal in peace? Tidy it up, this second!

7) Endless parcels and packages delivered every morning
There is no greater way of managing the stressful 21st century lifestyle than returning home after a long day at work to find a few brown paper packages waiting with your name on. Tearing off the paper brings a range of different emotions; excitement, inspiration, nostalgia even lust (if its a particularly rare piece of lead) but they all contribute to a slackening of the shoulders, a release of pressure in the head and a general sense of wellbeing. Now, where is my jam jar full of dettol?

Wife's Comment: Its so embarrassing when I have my mothers' coffee afternoons and there is a huge pile of parcels sitting there. They always say, 'he's been on eBay again, hasn't he?' And there's the postman, knocking on the door and getting me to sign all these orange pieces of paper not to mention all these red cards with 'I'm sorry but we missed you' written on them! When will it stop!?

So, its confession time! How many of these are you guilty of? Or, perhaps, you inflict additional spousal crimes with you passion for retro Warhammer and fantasy games?



  1. Crime No1 - ebay parcels. Usually sends the wife scurrying off to check our balance online and my enjoyment of opening the things when I get in work is sometimes tempered with a bit of a telling off.

    Crime No2 - influencing children - mine don't have copies of any books but I often find my huge collection of WD's scattered about the floor of our bedroom after my 4 year old son has had a good browse. Like your son, mine is also well versed in Orcs, giant spiders and skeletons! My two year old daughter is getting there - anything remotely monstrous is a "Raaaaagh" according to her.

    Crime No3 - Aforesaid WD's, Bloodbowl companions and various 3rd ed bibles neatly stacked and virtually propping the bed up, while my attire is strewn carelessly across the Floor-drobe.

    Crime No4 - Dettol baths. She doesn't mind the jars litering the place as they're squirrelled away in my cave, but she does mind the stench it causes when I do spend a happy afternoon unearthing forgotten treasures!

    Our dining room table has recently been reclaimed by the wife, although it was set up as a gaming table for many months.

    As a damage limitation exercise I have managed to confine most of my mess and clutter to the "study" - although even that gets the odd comment of how both of us were supposed to be able to use that room...

    Mind you - and sorry for the massively long comment! - painting up a diorama as a christmas present was a bit of a PR coup and did a lot to soften her disapproval!

  2. "If he likes 'little men' when he grows up I'll lock the pair of you in the garden shed!"

    Doesn't she realise that's likely what the pair of you would enjoy? (assuming the shed is large enough for a gaming table).

  3. Guilty on six of seven counts milud. Innocent to the charge of leaving reading materials in the loo.

  4. It's like my pre-baby life in many cases...

  5. #1: Totally, my desk is about half (maybe even more) filled with tabletop stuff. And you can see clearly what my hobby is when you see one of the cabinets with miniatures in my home.
    #7: Yes. My mother used to joke with her colleagues when "another package with these toy soldiers" arrived at her working place.

  6. I got my ear bent last night for using the cooker to melt low melt alloy ingots for casting hobgoblins. Generally my wife is really good about miniatures cluttering the house.

  7. Wow, very nice rooms! I love these books.

  8. Thank you for putting everything into perspective for my wife....

  9. This made me laugh out loud a number of times...well played sir!

  10. This is the wife of a warhammer freak. First of all, AMEN! Every one of these are true, but i have realized that when i banish my husband and his 'war barbies' to his game room, i quit seeing all his shit everywhere... granted this will always be the burden of a gamers wife, i would still never change it... except maybe when i step on those damned metal shavings!

  11. I hope my wife never heard the term "war barbies". "Toy soldiers" is evil enough...

  12. Guilty on all counts, but I get my ebay parcels sent to my work place, and then smuggle them into the mancave (the tidiest room in the house). My colleagues think I'm mad, but it saves a lot of grief.

  13. We go one step worse... Both my husband and I play Warhammer, and it's actually our kids who tend to complain about the most of the above... Sigh