Decades.

It’s a long time since I started on this road as long time followers of my blog will know.

In the last couple of weeks I have received a suitable offer for the house, the paperwork has been submitted and it’s now pretty much just a case of working out a suitable date.

And at that point, an association with this house and this city, dating back to the last days of the 20th Century comes to an end.

In some ways I suppose I should feel some kind of sadness, given the length of time I’ve been here and the decent neighbours. I’m giving up a job too, but that’s something I can deal with once settled in a new place. I’m ready for this change and looking forward to the fresh start, back under my own sky.

Whilst I haven’t found a new place yet I do have somewhere to go whilst I sort this. This arrangement gives me the advantage of being able to make a cash offer and without the bother of cross-border conveyancing.

And with all that out of the way, I can seriously focus on creative stuff, including breaking through the block that has been holding this blog back.

I really do need to get back into the habit, so I’ll share some of my recent work tomorrow.

One of the first thing I’m going to do once I’m home is make a scenic display piece for photographic work. It’s become patently obvious that my work really does need proper presentation to be seen at its best.

I also feel that a couple of small dioramas will be a good way making a serious stab at developing my scenic modelling skills.

In-between Days

Apologies for the ‘on-off’ nature of postings at the moment.

Regular readers will know that I’ve been on a long journey for the last 6-7 years on a number of levels;

The primary thrust of that journey is the physical one I’ve been building up to in preparation for my return home at long last.

Most of my physical, mental and economic capital has been tied up in the process of preparing the house and getting it into a viewable and marketable state.

This process is now complete and a few weeks ago the place finally went on the market. An initial flurry of viewings in late November has been followed by a probably inevitable lull in December while people’s minds are occupied by the Great Consumerist Festival. So be it; I plan a quiet peaceful Solstice for myself and hope that things pick up once we are through that period. All I can do from this point in is wait now; all the work and preparation is done. All unnecessary things including most of the models are packed away at a secret holding location in Scotland already.

A small quantity of modelling things and the workshop tools remain out and available for use now and finally some headspace to make use of them.

Hopefully this will manifest itself in some new postings before long but while I just want to get packed up and away now, I guess the situation is in the hands of the Universe now. I have learned to be patient but hopefully when it happens the journey will proceed to the new destination with the speed of a WCML electric. Good Yule, folks!

Isolation

It’s been a strange old time for all of us this year, myself included and from a personal perspective, lockdown led to the surprising revelation that apart from trips out through the Borders, Galloway and beyond and going out to work three days a week, my life wasn’t that different. I have lived a increasingly solitary existence for sometime now and the realisation that this probably isn’t a healthy situation long term is at the forefront of my mind now. It’s something I need to address although with my head full of what I need to get done to sell up and move it’s something I can only fully apply myself to once I’m out the other end of that particular process. It is however something that needs addressed and hopefully soon. It’s taken a situation of global proportions to illuminate how small my own macro world has become! I look forward to renewing old connections and forging new ones in a new chapter of life. I hope this starts to happen soon!

Meanwhile, modelling has been a little quieter and the only activity this weekend has been in relation to a Heljan Class 27 and my sole remaining Bachmann Class 37/0, both undergoing renumbering from previous condition. All being well, weathering may take place later this week.

A trio of Accurascale STS Cement hoppers also recently arrived and will get the treatment in due course.

Anyway, I have an early start in the morning so signing off now and stay safe folks.

Heart and Soul

Now and then a new release arrives that inspires you so much that you throw all your creative effort at it to make it as special as you can.

Dapol’s Class 21/29 is precisely one of those though in fairness, Hattons’ Barclay Pugs and Hornby’s J36 (plus the impending Rails 812 Class and Hornby 2MT) fall into the same category for me. It’s taken forty years but they all seem to be arriving at once! 😀 However, I digress; these two 29s arrived in recent weeks after I finally cleared my stash at C&M Models in Carlisle (can’t recommend Mike’s good customer service enough!) Both fit in with that last year of Class 29 Operation in 1970-71 and are finished accordingly; though I might have to obtain another 6107 to do her in April ‘68 condition with D prefixes as photted by Derek Cross in an uncommonly accurately captioned shot! 😉.

However, in the best traditions of ‘Wordless Wednesday’, it’s time for the photos to do the talking… DISCLAIMER; I know the cocks and bags aren’t attached. I’m waiting until I get decoders installed in the locos first! 😉

Interzone.

Followers of this blog will be aware of my intention, formally announced last July to sell up and move back to Scotland. At that time I gave myself nine months to complete the mission. World events obviously had other plans…

Realistically, I still had work to do on the place when Lockdown kicked in and my nine months estimate wasn’t perhaps as realistic as first thought. Nevertheless, as a result of Lockdown I found myself on voluntary furlough for two months which allowed me to make great progress. I now have only three smallish material jobs to complete and I have plans for hopefully executing two of those shortly. In the meantime, life centres on getting stuff packed away to present an uncluttered appearance for any viewer.

This of course means that a lot of the personal stuff has gone into boxes now and the place is beginning to look a little sparse and impersonal. Other than the garden which I spend most of my time sat or busy in at the moment, the house has become a kind of half-way between the two worlds of the past and the future. Coupled with the way things currently are, it’s a strange kind of limbo I find myself in; stuck here but wanting to be somewhere else but not seeing an immediate end to the situation. Even though I’m not far from listing the property, I need to find a new place in Scotland to go to but with the Scottish Government sensibly exercising a gradual approach to the easing of lockdown (unlike the psychopaths running the show in the south), it may be a little bit before I can actually go and scout my intended area of residence on the ground still.

Living alone of course means it’s entirely on my own plate and I’m just having to learn what and how to do it on my own as I go. This means things happen slowly and there’s only one head and set of resources to do the thinking but that’s where we are; nobody is actually forcing me to do this and the end makes the effort worthwhile. And there is still modelling to be done…

Half the size, twice the fun!

Note the unexpected appearance of the dog world’s A4 in the background! 😂

In addition to clearing my own backlog I’m also dealing with some items from friends, including these n gauge locos. The techniques are essentially the same for locomotives in all three scales I have weathered, but you can see that the overall effect is the same regardless.

Anyway, I probably don’t have to say too much beyond identifying the class and make; the photos can do the talking today, I’ve got heavy work upstairs to be getting on with! 😬

Bachmann Farish A2 60528 Tudor Minstrel.
Bachmann Farish A1 60144 Sir Walter Scott.
Dapol A4 60011 Empire of India.

Bachmann Standard Class 4MT tank 80055.

Loose Ends

As previously mentioned, in spite of all the other activity that going on here, some modelling has occurred. Primarily, it’s been a kind of tidying up exercise. Over the last ten years or so an accumulation of part completed or even barely started projects have festooned the corners of the shed and what you see here is the fruit of a concerted effort to get this pile, reduced, completed and stashed away for the big move.

Top of the pile was an old Hornby Mallard, lying in a dismembered state since 2011. I finally got round to detailing the model with the Brassmasters etch and equipping the bogie with Gibson wheels for a finer appearance. Although I’ve been advised by an expert that further modification to the corridor end of the tender is needed for her portrayed era (1965), she is pretty much completed now.

60009, Union of South Africa, 1965.

Prior to 60009’s roll out, the second piece of steam traction was a Bachmann Ivatt 2MT. This had previously been earmarked for conversion to a BR Standard version but Hornby’s 2020 programme rendered that idea redundant. The Ivatt has now been finished as Dundee (Tay Bridge) shed’s 46463, used for years on local traffic along with now preserved sister 46364.

Also lying at the back of a drawer were two Claytons, non-runners since new which I eventually, two years back found suitable replacement chassis for. Along with two sisters in early livery who had been EM configured but subsequently returned to OO, the locos were equipped with nice new finescale buffers and suitably less than spotless Clayton state of presentation!

Now they are completed, all these models will now be packed away, to be enjoyed one day when all of this strangeness and all the frantic activity of the future move is finally complete and I can then fully enjoy creative activities again without the guilt of knowing I have other pressing work to do!

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