Almost Forgot!

Last Saturday (5th November) in the UK was Bonfire Night, when fireworks chaos reigns in the country and everyone who owns a pet that gets frightened by the noise cringes! Since our oldest Chihuahua, Dash, gets quite agitated by fireworks, and Midge has a Grade 6 heart murmur, we needed a fallback plan to stop them getting anxious (although they don’t appear anxious in the photo below, taken that same night when they heard their supper bowls coming out of the cupboard – the blurriness is due to them both suddenly looking up at the sound of the bowls clinking together)!

Since we live in a built-up area there was no chance it was going to be a quiet night. In addition to that, our local council decided to organise two free firework displays on the following evening. So, to escape all that excitement, we decided to spend a couple of nights at our caravan, where the fireworks were more likely to be fewer and not so close. This proved a good move, since the only organised displays in nearby villages had finished by 8:00pm and the wet and windy weather probably deterred some people. We only had to resort to having the TV turned up loud for a couple of hours to get us through the noisiest time! And on Sunday night there wasn’t a single firework to be heard there, so the dogs (and us) were quite chilled!

Some of the villages in the area have shelves of pre-owned books set up in bus shelters that you can take, borrow or buy for a small charitable donation to a local church or community centre. It’s very rare that I’ll find anything to interest me, but on the Sunday morning while we were away I did!

The book in the middle of the picture above is a compilation of what were judged to be the 12 best-ever Commando comics ever, so I just had to borrow that! For those not familiar with them, Commando comics were small 64-page war stories with two picture frames to a page and they were first published in the early 1960s. As a kid I read them all the time, so I was pleased to find this compilation. Although my memory’s not great I didn’t recognise the titles of any of the stories in this book so I’ll enjoy reading it. Not obvious in the photo is the thickness of the book – it’s got over 700 pages!

The book on the right is the latest Osprey Men-At-Arms title that came out at the end of last month. This book wasn’t in the bus shelter rack, I just happened to have bought it and taken it to the caravan for some serious reading!



  1. Good call on keeping your dogs away from the worst of the fireworks John, especially with their conditions, we’re very lucky our dog actually likes them and happily sits waiting for the next one to go off.
    What a great find, remember reading many of those as a child, until reading Action comic, then 2000ad.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thanks Dave! πŸ™‚ I know some pets aren’t bothered at all, which is good really! Midge isn’t as bad as Dash but she can get upset at really loud noises, which is not good given her underlying condition.
      The covers for all of the stories in the book are compiled in the back and one of them had a price showing one shilling or 5p, so it must have been printed around the time the UK went decimal in 1971! I had a look in W H Smiths this week and Commando comics currently sell for Β£2-50!

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  2. There’s another childhood memory – buying Commando comics at the train station! Don’t know why but they always had a rack dedicated to that one title so there were always plenty to choose from.

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  3. Yep, we’ve had Leonard and our previous cat not have such a good time on New Year’s Eve, particularly when the fireworks go off a lot closer to our place, so I can sympathise with your four-legged friends there. Nice one on the Commando comic. I wish we could have something like that around here but it wouldn’t work in this area of town 😢

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    • We used to have cats that got really worried about them as well. The pets that have seemed most chilled about the whole thing are those that go deaf in old age!
      I don’t think the book exchange idea would work where we live either unfortunately! Some people have no idea about the concept of an honesty box!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Pete! πŸ™‚ Glad your cats weren’t bothered! The Osprey is good as an introduction, gives a concise overview of the war and has nice colour plates. It also fits in with the Osprey titles on the Taiping Rebellion, Boxer Rebellion and Late Chinese Imperial Armies. However, the best references for the war and the troops involved are in The Foundry “Armies of the 19th Century: Asia” books by Ian Heath, one covering Chinese forces and the other covering Japanese/Korean forces (although the books cover all of the 19th Century rather than just the Sino-Japanese War). Those books only contain black and white line drawings of uniforms (although the details and descriptions are very good) and the Osprey titles tend to represent some of them in colour, which I quite like. Chinese forces are much more complicated than Japanese for the period and I have to re-read these books periodically to refresh my memory!

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  4. Its lucky the little folk have a refuge from the cracker night! I loved it as a kid in the country but it has died out over here years ago so we only have to deal with New Years eve, but as Terry and I are both deaf as post it doesn’t bother either of now.
    How is that for timing! I was just visiting town on Friday and went to buy the papers and we had a brows since we were there, that when I gave a kid like squeal that made my wife come over to see what was going on! well I had just spotted a Commando comic!!! like yourself I read them as a kid but hadn’t seen them for forty odd years, I resisted mate!

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    • Thanks Dave! πŸ™‚ I was surprised to find that things had all died down so much as far as fireworks are concerned when we got home on the Monday night, but it was relatively quiet! I suppose the way things are going, fireworks are an expensive luxury! Commando comics are a nice bit of nostalgia I think!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad your puppers were OK on Bonfire Night! Happily I only have to worry about fireworks on July 4, and here in Vermont there’s not too many of them on account of all the forests LOL!

    I remember reading my older cousin’s huge collection of Commando comics back when I was a teenager. The only one I can clearly remember was called “The Silver Spitfire”.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Matt! πŸ™‚ There’ll no doubt be fireworks at New Year and some for Chinese New Year, but there seem to be fewer casual fireworks going off for those occasions!
      The only Commando stories I can remember from my childhood were “The Killing Skull” and one about some sailors taking a floating dock across the Pacific and try to avoid the Japanese!


  6. See, I love fireworks – they bring out the big kid in me – but I also love animals and I completely sympathise with them and how rubbish it must be with all this sudden banging going on and not understanding why. I reckon that should be the focus of human endeavour from now on, we managed to put a man on the moon so silent fireworks shouldn’t be beyond us if we get our finest scientific minds on the case! Nice find with the Commando comics too. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Wudugast! πŸ™‚ I like fireworks as well, but the visual spectacle suits me and the noise just happens to be the (probably cheapest) way that we get that! I’d be hoping all the best scientific minds were trying to get us out of all the other pickles we seem to have got ourselves in! πŸ˜‰ At least I’ve got some reading material to keep me busy!

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  7. I generally am not a fan of Chihuahua’s but you’ve got two great ones there, John! They are cute and gentle-looking souls. My dog is also terrified of fireworks but since we live in a big city, there is nowhere we can easily escape to for her well-being. Don’t get me started on the Chicago Air and Water Show where fighter jets buzz our condo all day. That is even worse than the 4th of July for us and our dog!

    The upcoming reading material looks great! Even better when you can find something great at the library. I’m digging into a good book on Mithridates (Roman History) and there is nothing like a escaping in a great book πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jeff! πŸ™‚ When the idea of us getting a Chihuahua was first floated past me 20 odd years ago I said “no way”! Shows how much weight my decisions have! πŸ˜‰ All of ours have been brilliant dogs though and Midge and Dash are no exceptions!
      I feel like I could do with reading something like the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, or something in a similar vein! Or maybe just Hellboy!

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      • I’m glad to hear it! Haha, I want a St. Bernard and I’ve told in no uncertain times that will not happen if it has to be an inside dog so I can relate! πŸ™‚

        There are definitely books out there that cover the entire Roman Empire. It changed a lot over the years and most people would consider the “12 Caesars” era to be the best and most interesting time in the empire. Focusing on that part of its history would be a good direction to go in if you decide against getting a book about the entire empire’s history. Truthfully, you can’t go wrong with anything Roman. Its all interesting to me anyway! πŸ˜€

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  8. Glad your dogs are doing well and managed to escape the noise. Those Commando Comics look pretty cool and I’d love to see some of the interior art! Looks like you got some nice reading to look forward to. πŸ˜ƒ

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  9. Glad the doggies were OK, we used to have great trouble with one of our Collies every bonfire night, she’d huddle up to us and shake at every bang, but these day it doesn’t seem to bother her at all, I think she has gone deaf in her old age (she was fourteen on Saturday).

    I used to love the old Commando comics, I think I’ve still got a few up in the loft somewhere, happy reading!

    Cheers Roger.

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