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Salute – The largest one day wargaming convention of the year…

A must attend event for a whole lot of people. Visited by the most discerning of Englishmen and with an ever increasing international audience judging by the range of voices and haircuts I was exposed to this year. A yearly tradition almost.

This time I almost missed it though…  It was planned months in advance that we would all go down to Excel in one car spread the cost of parking (a cost that could lead to the re-mortgaging of ones home if done alone).  Then, 12 hours before the go, disaster strikes…

A Polo… One harmless looking, traditional English sweet, and I find myself in agony and despair.  The combination from hell: A broken tooth, done at 6pm with no dentist open to call upon, and worst of all, just before a meal out… Was my plan unravelling?

NO!  The trusty NHS comes through with an emergency dentist, opening on a Saturday morning at 07.50.  Oodles of pain relief and a pair of pliers later, I no longer have a broken tooth (I feel like I have a gaping hole in my head but no matter, Salute will distract me…)

I missed my lift but arrived only an hour or so behind.  I re-mortgaged the house and parked the car, then ventured in to see what good things were on show.

I was thankfully unaware of my drooping visage and dribbling (due to the continuing numbness in my face, not my normal response to new toys).  However, I didn’t find it too much trouble, crowds parted at my ghastly approach, so it did some good.

The drugs may have taken some sensibility from me as I purchased some items not on my list and missed some that I had planned to pick up. Quite how I came home with a submersible instead of a martial tripod heaven only knows…

Some items, like these new buildings by Sarissa Precision will have to be on next years list as they were only prototypes and not yet available.  In fact, their stand was the only one that I took a camera out at (again I blame medication not absentmindedness).

By 3pm I was about as coherent as a camel in the arctic.  With the pain relief wearing off and a face sized hole in my mouth I took my leave of the guys and headed home.  Happy with my purchases (not that I could remember at the time what I had bought) and content I had not missed out.

Needless to say, my womenfolk had no sympathy on my return home. Before I left they had informed me I would probably feel slightly poorly if I went, and had suggested that I ‘miss the show this year’.

I am that dedicated (foolish you may say) soul who knows that Salute is always worth the effort.

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