December 2021 review

A brief recap of the whole year 2021, not just the last month. To give some perspective on the activity this year - for multiple reasons, with "only" 77 new posts we had fewer articles published this year, compared to the last years rising numbers (2020 - 195 new posts, 2019's 176 or 2018's 140 posts). I even finally stayed true to my promise to cut down on reviews, of which I published 12 this year (now summing up to a total of 275 English and 320 German published reviews), clearly less than the about 50 of last year.

So, what were the reasons for this?

We moved in summer into our new home, and with a collection as extensive as mine, that takes a bit of time in preparation. In the first half of the year, when I spend time in my hobby den, it was mostly to sort out items that I didn't want to keep and sell off before I move them.

Chaosbunker - Move to new Studio Old Studio - Empty

And while you're packing items into boxes and cases, you don't make it more difficult by building kits that easier handled on sprue / boxed. Thus, reducing the number of published reviews and articles in overall. As we did some personal contribution to the final touches at the house (among others the floors), my free time off-work was spare in the Q2/2021, along with having a second child in March of the same year, my wife took care of the kids and I tried to handle the move. On top, with Covid and our siblings either pregnant or renovating themself, the number of helping hands in that weeks was very low compared to what we had in the previous moves (my dad, my father-in-law and brother-in-law, compared to about a dozen people the other times).

Chaosbunker - Move to new Studio Chaosbunker - Move to new Studio Chaosbunker - Move to new Studio

About two months before the actual moving date, I boxed most of the things. Began moving them by car, trunk load by trunk load, into the house, as soon as the floors and walls were ready. On the moving day itself, we moved and set up the furniture. Well and then you have to set up the new studio. Which takes a while, especially as you have a whole house to setup and make cozy, especially with two kids around. That was another few weeks, running on a limited capacity hobby-wise.

Chaosbunker - Move to new Studio Chaosbunker - Move to new Studio Chaosbunker - New Studio

Yet, we didn't miss any events as basically everything was cancelled. And we kept our heads low and stayed mostly within our support bubble, to not take any risks in the final time of the pregnancy / early months after the birth. That meant that most of my social hobby activities were some rare discord paint sessions (aren't that easy to arrange / coordinate in a group of young parents), a few brief stops at local gaming stores and training my paint pal.

Skype - Malkränzchen Games Workshop - Store Koblenz
Dad's Little Painter Age of Sigmar - WarCry Red Harvest Renedra Middle Eastern Houses

Beside a few brief chats while picking up pre-ordered items at the local stores and inhouse painting with my daughter, I had no face-to-face hobby activities this year. Which is really sad, as that social aspect hobby is one of the reasons, why it does appeal to me. And it really bummed me out, when we had to cancel our wargaming dad's weekend, even after modifying it. So, on the one hand it is sad, that I missed out on that or couldn't participate in any events. But on the other hand, there were next to none events held anyway, so I didn't really miss out on those due to offspring, moving and such.

Something that I am really proud of, is the fact, that we managed to raise ~510 EUR for cancer research in April with the sale of Warhammer Underworlds and Kill Team promos. And as that would be an odd number, I raised the sum up to 550 EUR and donated the money to the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg.

Dt. Krebsforschungszentrum

I want to see, if I am able to support this cause again this year with the proceeds of selling some of my surplus, as I am not done with sorting out the overstock. There is still far more in my collection, that would be realistic to be handled in my available hobby time.

Cooking is a topic, that is covered here and there on this blog. And in our new house, we did not only cover an office for each of us (my wife's a teacher, so she needs a closed working space as well, as I do / prefer for my hobby), we spend a bit money on our new kitchen. I now have a proper amount of space to work with and on, as well as still being part of the social interaction, due to the open concept. And I am very happy, that I could convince my wife to keep the second fridge, for me to store all the sauces, beverages, beers and other items that would just fill-up our main fridge.

Home Cooking Wargaming Dad's Fridge

As it is intended, to have inhouse gaming combined with food and drinks - as teased in the Black Ops report - I already made plans and gathered ideas which beverages and recipes would fit the different settings and games (like rum for the Age of Sail, some sodas and fast food for Fantasy Football, a stew for ACW and so on). Of course, I have to try things out and get familiar with the new equipment and recipes, as did I in the last months. But as we're only two grownups, a toddler and an almost 4-year-old, some dishes are just too much work, and I was really happy that I had the chance to cook for 6 adults on Christmas.

Some of the dishes that I cooked and learned this year, were among others a traditional Spanish dish, Tortilla de Patatas. A hearty omelette made with eggs, potato and onion, my grandma used to cook, and therefore something I want to keep and pass on to my kids as part of my/our heritage. A typical dish on Christmas markets here in Germany are fried mushrooms (Champignons) with garlic sauce, and as it just didn't mean to be this year, I prepared the dish for my wife and me, after a recipe by Burnhard. Loaded Nachos is an easy dish, when I crave tex-mex food and works really well with leftovers.

Tortilla de patatas Champignons with Garlic Sauce Loaded Nachos

As our daughter has some food intolerances, I try out variants of dishes, that accommodate those needs. For example, a vegan Kaiserschmarrn (an Austrian pancake), without eggs and made with spelt flour. I love bread of all kind, and I am a huge fan of Kenji Lopez-Alt, so I gave his focaccia recipe a try. Really easy and delicious side for all kinds of main dishes. And there is a well-known burger shop in Cologne, that I didn't had the chance to drop by yet, and they have a bacon jam, that I tried to recreate at home, which went well.

Kaiserschmarrn Focaccia Bacon Jam

So, the location to host is there. A kitchen, a gaming table and a fridge filled with an appropriate range of beverages and sauces as well, all that's missing are some miniatures and terrain pieces. But more on that in the kick-off / preview of 2022.

Posted by Dennis B.

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