As last night’s planned hi-jinx were cancelled, I had a longer than normal walk, going right the way up to TCR including the extended Knightsbridge corner. Called into Tesco for some Flora and ended up walking out with £20 of groceries, mostly yellow-stickered, of course. Construction of Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland have begun in earnest and as the building work goes on well into the night, half the area is lit up so brightly that regular vision is possible. Personally, I fear for the greenery as it’s been looking ropey the past couple of years – the Royal Parks haven’t been tending the lawns as well as the flowerbeds or the shrubs.

Once I got home, I ate leftover quiche, leftover mash and leftover sweetcorn – a curious combo if ever there was one but calorie-wise quite low. And then played the new “you know what”. And in keeping with yesterday’s theme, here’s today’s update, in the style of a heavily biased news reader.

Disaster at Tarentium averted! Whilst our noble Hoplites lay siege to Byzantium, the armies of the Scipii and Julii marched on Tarentium, blockading that city. Meanwhile ships of the Scipii navy challenged Greek control of the sea by rushing into the Ionian Sea from their bases in Messina and Syracuse. Greek ships, better trained and more experienced than their Barbarian counterparts were able to win a series of engagements sending the Romans to Poseidon.

It was determined that Byzantium should fall sooner rather than later – several Macedonian captains were bribed to join with our forces and Greek spies inside the city were able to quietly open the gates so that our forces could march in unimpeded. Eventually the city fell at minimal loss though the rebellious nature of the populous meant harsh disciplinary measures were needed to quell the uprisings. With the money gained from the sack of Byzantium, we were able to make the Scipii troops an offer they couldn’t refuse and their army outside Tarentium dissolved. With reinforcements rushed up from Croton, Greek troops sought to engage the forces from the Julii and defeated them in battle.

Our glorious navy pressed on the attack, beating back the Scipii to Magna Grecia itself – and our Admirals spotted that the cities of Messina and Syracuse were lightly defended, ripe for conquest. Using troops from Sparta, Croton and Tarentium, they were able to land and capture Messina quickly and simultaneously lay siege to Syracuse, with the aim of liberating it after nearly fifty years of Roman control. On the Macedonian front, Bylazora was the last outpost of Macedon as the Dacians had pressed down from the north robbing them of other outposts and colonies and it too fell with a minimal struggle.

The security of Greece confirmed, matters could turn to the economy which was already flourishing. Diplomats were sent into Pontiac territories persuading city governors to abandon their allegiances and agree to join the burgeoning Grecian Empire. Sardia and Nicomedia abandoned the Diadochi and became the new frontier cities firmly placing Halicarnassus and Peragum behind the lines.

With a total of 23 provinces under control, the time has come to take stock and determine how to further expand Greece. The territories of the Scipii will be rolled up – the fall of Syracuse and then Libayeum will place Sikilia under Greek control and leave the Eastern Mediterranean firmly in our hands (Ptolemaic Egypt not-withstanding but they are our allies). Capua will then be next leaving our forces outside the gates of Rome itself. Thrace will also be quietly absorbed, falling to the Hoplites. Dacia is strong and will prove a useful buffer between us as the Barbarian hordes of Germania. The Gauls appear to be holding their own against the Julii but one side will eventually win out in that battle. It is an exciting time to be a child of the Hellas.

I know, horribly self indulgent but when you have no life, you have to make crap like this up.