Sunday, 8 October 2017

In Good Spirits

As older readers of my website and/or Instagram know, I have anxiety and depression, an illness that can be at times a frustrating nuisance (having to take medication every day, sleepiness and insomnia at the same time, extreme paranoia); while at other times it is a debilitating nightmare (night terrors, anxiety attacks, numbness of the mind and soul, sounds becoming so fast I can’t make out individual words).

It is nowhere near as bad as it used to be, but there are still days which are just unbearable. There have been a few of those this week, thanks in part to getting sick, catching a bug that’s been floating around the office, which sapped my strength and left me open to what I call The Vortex. So, lets add nausea, vertigo and insane hunger to the list of symptoms for this week. Shitty best sums it up in all terms of the word.

Another symptom of my illness (the mind one; not the exploding out of both ends one) is losing focus, or what I’ve always referred to in the pre-diagnosis past as “The magpie effect”. This reared its ugly head by my always changing my mind about things, and this week was no different: should I change my job? Let’s get rid of the car! I can work from home on a web-based business. I can start walking everywhere. I can write and sell a book and a screenplay again. Should I start Age Of Sigmar/Frostgrave/Zombicide/Napoleonics/40K/Dreadball/Walking Dead/Kings Of War? Could I work for X Company again, or Y company as their sales office/marketing manager here in the UK?

These are all different “voices” screaming for attention, desperate to push me away from what I am currently doing so I end up not achieving anything. It has happened in the past so many times, but luckily now I can recognise the signals and actively do something to, if not stop the distractions, then silence them.

And for me that has been the In Good Spirits Podcast.

I’d already had a pretty good run with The 40+ Wargamer “brand’, a site where I would talk about wargaming as a middle-aged man in my forties, but it had begun to feel a little stale (thanks in part to those damned magpies croaking away in my head). I’d told myself I had little time for posting regular content and so relied on linking my Instagram posts directly to the website, allowing me to simply post in one place and keep both sites updated. Sweet.

However, I saw that I wasn’t posting quality content, just quantity and there was no real purpose there other than getting lots of “Likes”. Pretty vapid stuff. I guess now I’ve hit what is probably the middle stage of my life (I recently turned 45) I’m looking at everything I do and what it offers others, as opposed to just what I can get out of it. I’m still a wargaming geek: I love painting models, collecting them, even playing the odd game now and then; but I’ve evolved a little, or at least I’d like to..

And from that belief came the idea to create a new platform for my hobby, a brand new podcast dedicated to the main games and models I’m playing and painting, namely Flames Of War, TANKS, Team Yankee and most recent addition AVP: The Hunt Begins 2nd Edition.

I love podcasts thanks in the main to my creative inspiration, Kevin Smith. I’ve listened to his Smodcast/BabbleOn podcasts ever since they first started, and I’ve always wanted to do one of my own, but again, thanks to this illness I’ve always found a way to not do it.

Well that has finally changed with the release of the first episode of the In Good Spirits podcast. The first episode was released on September 30th, and while not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, it’s done; it’s out there and people are listening to it.

The next episode is due for release on the 15th October and I have lots of content planned for future episodes, including a couple of co-hosts lined up - I just need to figure out the logistics for everyone, plus test the new recording platform.

It’s no coincidence that the podcast and website are named In Good Spirits. While on the surface this refers to troop morale in Flames Of War, the title is also a self-inspiring ‘mission statement’, a goal to achieve through reaching out to the community to share our wargaming experiences, to talk about the game and the models and have some fun.

To aid in this, and help keep me focused, I’ve taken the decision to retire the 40+ Wargamer, moving everything over to the In Good Spirits ‘brand’. To help with this change here are the social media site addresses:




One of the sections of the show is going to be a Q&A session with readers of the blog and podcast listeners. Get in touch with questions, comments, event news or just to say hi:


So that’s where I’m at. Hopefully all the talk about my health issues hasn’t turned you away, but if it has, thanks for taking the tie to read this post and follow me to this point. I’ll be posting about mental health issues from time to time, but the majority of In Good Spirits will be about toy soldiers and the pleasure that can be gained from painting and collecting model soldiers and playing games and rolling dice.


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