Sunday, 14 February 2016

Fame. Or Notoriety.

Picture by Adam McLean
As you know, I enjoy a bit of photography, and I share my photos on both Flickr and Instagram (where I am @kaptainkobold), the latter even having a widget in the sidebar of this blog.

Last week I was contacted by a journalist at our local paper, the Illawarra Mercury, with a view to doing a piece on my Instagram pictures. I take a lot of pictures on the fly when I'm out and about travelling to and from work, or just out on my lunchbreak. I am often drawn to interesting shapes, buildings and shadows, so my stream tends to be full of local scenery either of an obscure nature or taken in an unusual way. It was that angle they were after.

I met up with their reporter and photographer one lunchtime, as we talked about my approach to taking pictures. We then moved onto the full range of pictures covered by my Instagram account. As well as scenery there are pictures of games, selfies and selfies of me in what my account describes as 'girl mode'.

As gamers you'll know this moment. It's the point you know that you've got to try and explain your hobby to someone who is then going to edit your words and distribute them to the infamous Public. Except in this case I wasn't just going to have to cover the games, but also cover my crossdressing as well. And if you think that wargaming or similar activities is a difficult thing to explain sometimes, you really don't know the half of it. When it comes to a bit of recreational frock-wearing you really have to explain things very carefully indeed. Especially when you're dealing with a journalist writing for a paper in what is still, at heart, a macho conservative steel-town.

I said stuff. I answered questions. I had some photos taken (sans frock, since I was on my lunchbreak). Afterwards I tried to remember what the hell I said.

Whatever I actually said, she actually made a pretty good piece out of it. It pretty much fails to cover the games at all. You can probably take from that the idea that wargames may be so mainstream that they don't excite any real interest in a journalist looking for an angle. You can read it here:

Meet Instagram enthusiast Alan Saunders, AKA kaptainkobold

My wife liked it. My children liked it. And it is, all things considered, far less of a freak-show than it could have been. A couple of people at work now know a little more about me than they used to.

Saying that, I'd have still liked to have seen something about the games.

Note: If you are reading this post on then you are reading a stolen version. Please go to 'The Stronghold Rebuiltfor the original posts. Thank you.


  1. Kaptain Kobold,

    I read the online version of the article and found it very interesting and quite balanced. How does it feel to be a local celebrity?

    All the best,


    1. People are so unobservant; they don't even notice you in the street when you're a local celebrity :)

  2. Groovy. Because of this post I am now a follower in Instagram. cheers


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