The Battle of Verneuil 17 August 1424

The Battle of Verneuil 17th August


Friday, 30 March 2012

Coming Very Soon!

I've been a little ill again of late (well, a little bit more than a 'little' ill!- more later) and it's taken it's toll on my work yet again. Literally six out of the seven days of last week I was almost bed ridden and in a bit of a state. So, what is this mystery illness? Well, if I were to tell you that it is Clinical Depression and that I was suffering from severe anxiety and panic attacks what would you think? You see, this is really the question, what would you think? This is something that I am very conscious of when discussing my illness with friends etc. I do wonder what they think..... for example, I was supposed to travel down to Evesham with some friends for Martin Gibbons excellent Medieval WAB event Havok! I started feeling ill on the Friday evening and by the time Saturday came around it was looking very unlikely that I would make it down even, as my girlfriend offered, she was to drive me there. I don't want to insult anyone's intelligence but I do know folk have varying degrees of understanding when it comes to the psychological and physical traits of depression. I got the feeling that my friends were quite angry with me for not making it. to be honest it wouldn't be the first time- but- if I'm ill I sometimes can't do crowds. Imagine having major panic attacks in a room full of 30 wargamers all buisy rolling dice and having a good time! Some may think, it's not a 'real' illness or you'll get over it and start feeling better (to some extent this is true). The thing is, according to my psychiatrists I am always going to have the shadow of Clinical Depression hanging over me. It isn't the flu and it will be there to some extent, probably for the rest of my life. It's about managing the illness and of late this has been undertaken in a very professional manner by the great Psychiatry team they have in Durham. Kudos to those guys- you know who you are!

OK, so why mention this in a blog about Late Medieval Warfare? It's simply a matter of getting the word out to folk who read the blog and having a real need to express myself on the subject. I'm not trying to play you guys some sort of 'blue jam', merely bringing to attention the problems that I have faced over the past few years and especially over the last seven or eight months.

I'm pleased to say that although I was ill haven't remain idol and pulled out of their soft wrappings some of my original HYW Perry stuff that was painted up for Agincourt. I decided to set about putting together a few vignettes as it seemed such a shame to waste such brilliant sculpts. Over the next week or so I'll be posting pics of these before diving back into then Verneuil stuff. There should also be some news on the terrain for the Battle of Cravant that I am modelling.


  1. Hi Darrell
    Strong of you to talk about your illness. I realy hope that you will get better in time.

    Several of my coworker have got similar symptom by stress at work and in the personal life, some have been away for a short time, 6 month or so, but others have been sick for several years not managing to get back, having to change jobb to get by.

    But most of them say that time heals so I hope that it will be the same for you.

    Keep it up mate my thought are with you !

    best regards dalauppror

    1. Thanks mate.

      I just hope it doesn't come accross as too 'preachy'? I'm only trying to describe my own experience.


  2. Hi Darrell,

    Glad you are able to walk about it. I have a friend with bipolar disorder, she always says the more people that talk about it the better. Other friends have bottled up their feelings and suffered as a consequence.

    I've found the vast majority of the online wargaming/modelling/painting community are quite a pretty open minded, supportive bunch.

    If anyone is going to 'judge' you then it should be for your painting; which fortunately is always first class quality eye candy.


    1. Matt, Thanks for the encouraging words.

      I think you may be being a little too kind about the painting though- there is many a fine painter out there.


  3. Hi Darrell,

    I seriously doubt anyone thinks anything less of you(I sure don't)and in fact I'm sure quite a few appreciate it and in turn helps them air their own difficulties they may be dealing with.
    It certainly is nice to know when you go silent for awhile that you are still with us and haven't quit, but just working through some issues.
    Always look forward to seeing your excellent those!


  4. I've no experience of depression, thank God! But hats of to you Darrell for sharing this very personal info about your yourself. It must be very frustrating, but it must be great reading the excellent comments above. Keep your chin up.

  5. Gents,

    Thanks for all the commentry and support. It is all very much appreciated guys.


  6. Hi Darrell,

    Having spent some time attending and listening to lectures and classes on mental health i learnt two things (that was 3 years well spent :-) )
    First: Never assume. when we assume we make an ass out u and me, I think your friends may be assuming making an ass of themselves.
    Secondly: Mental health should be looked at as a straight line with what people call normality at one end, through out life we all travel up and down the line. NO body is ever at the normal end all the time, every day we go up and down it at our own pace.
    I think that its a really good thing that you share your experiences,
    Thank you. Goes to show your not just a pretty face :-)and a dam good figure painter.

  7. Never post on your blog (I'm a new member....) and I don't know if I will find the good words to express my mind (I'm a poor frenchie who try to learn english!)
    I think that I can understand what's your life with this illness.
    It's very difficult to speak about it and specially because anyone who suffer of it is different!
    The most we can is listening your words.. and shut up!
    You're not your illness: it's only a part of you, and if we (I) respect the man you are (that's suppose to be more than a "simple painter/blogger" !), we can be able to accept that fact!
    I know what is anxiety crises and I know all "the damages done" (sorry but I'm a Neil Young fan!).
    Your girlfriend seems to be very empathic with you: it's important!
    And, when I see all the friends I have since I'm painting figures (and never meet them in real!), I can say the Minis World is a nice world!
    I think (I know!) that some of us can find relieving refuge on painting minis....

    The Battle of Verneuil is your battle, maybe?
    Thanks for sharing that with us!
    (I hope that my thought was not distorted by my poor english words! I don't use translator!)

  8. Hi Darrell,
    I too have no personal experience of clinical depression, but I appreciate how debilitating it can be. I think it's a bold move, but most definetly the right one, to explain it here. I can only offer you my support 'at a distance', but hope that this blog and your active involvement in other hobby forums, will go some small way to assist you in tackling it and moving onward and upwards.
    All the best. Simon.

    PS - really looking forward to your Cravant ideas (I'm slowly musing over options to do this battle sometime (2013?) too).

  9. Hi Darrell,

    I am very sorry to hear about your illness and, no, I don't think you come across as too preachy at all. I suspect that many people reading this have been touched by similar conditions, either themselves or through friends and family. I am very glad that you have been able to share this with us as it makes it easier to understand and support you. It may even help someone else who is suffering from a similar illness.

    All the best,


  10. Respect to you for sharing your experiences and I like Ray have no experience of depression but this to me shows a real strength of character to be so open like this. Looking forward to the continuing progress on the terrain for the Battle of Cravant.


  11. Been there done that. Good news is that there are ways of managing the illness. And there are people who can teach you how to do it.

    The difficult bit seems to be finding and getting access to those people.

  12. Thank you for sharing your news. My friend shares the same illness and I do worry for her. For myself it's anxiety and maybe depression, but I don't know why. Perhaps my previous army years has come back to haunt me.

    I can only hope you get better soon as we do miss your lovely painted miniatures you showcase to the world.

    Stay frosty and we look forward to your posts.



  13. Hi Darrell,

    I went through a rough patch several years ago. I totally understand where you are coming from. Having the support and understanding from those around helps along way. I often found that I had more bad days than good and eventually it swung the other way, more good than bad. I found that by talking about it and exercising physically ( went to the local pool as often as I could) helped too.

    I look forward to seeing some more of your fine work in the future. And should you go to Salute this year it would be good to meet. Take care mate.


  14. Hi Darrell

    I've sent you an email to the same effect but we're all behind you, these things have a pace of their own and it's going to take some adjustment but you can ride it out, hang in there.


  15. Ladies and Gents,

    I've been taken me aback a little by everyone's kind words of support and I'd like you all to know that they are really appreciated.

    Quite emotional.


  16. Being one of your friends I can tell you no one's angry at you mate, just missing your company. We all know what you're going through and we're here for you if and when you need us. You've got my phone number if you want a chat, (I've called you a few times and understand when you've not answered)I'm only half an hour down the road if you feel like a game or a brew.
    Keep up the blogs mate it's a good way of keeping in touch with your mates, and you've got more than you know.

    1. Jim,

      I appreciate that mate. I really do :O)

  17. Hello Darrell:

    Hey, I'm your 99th follower! Hurrah! I am so glad to stumble on your blog and to share your interest in the 100 Yrs War. I admire your work a lot. As for your depression, it sounds to me like you are doing three important things: being honest with yourself about what is wrong, connecting with others through your blog, games events, etc, a d by doing something, your hobby, that gives you meaning. Good for you.
    Cheers and blessings,

    1. 99th is pretty good! Now, who will step up and be the 100th? :O))

      Seriiously though, thanks Mike for your words of encourgement.