So why am I a military history nut? Why, when my brothers went unscathed did I develop an unhealthy interest in guns, soldiers, swords and cannon that has survived childhood, the teenage years, marriage and children?

I have two possible influences that I can think of. The first is my grandfather\'s study, which was a place of wonder to a kid. He served in the Middlesex Yeomanry during World War Two and his study was a den of militaria, from toy soldiers to captured Italian flags and camel saddles. I have some of it now he's gone and I guard it jealously.

The second is this book The Story of Arms & Armour, a Ladybird book published in 1971 and my first illustrated history book. It goes from stone age man to a seventies vision of a nuclear conflict where once again we end up living in caves (surprisingly political for a kid\'s book) with wonderful illustrations by Robert Ayton of knights, archers and redcoats. It survived surprisingly well alongside my obsession.

So I think that\'s me - how about you? What was the trigger that sent you down this road to financial and social ruin?

Recently Henry, my three-year-old, has started showing an avid interest in both my battered copy of Arms and Armour and the Osprey books lying around the house. Explaining what Bronze Age chariots are to a small boy is a task fit to challenge any military history enthusiast.

So that\'s another hooked.