Well, I’m back to work (such as it is!) tomorrow after the first week off I’ve had since July. In truth it was pretty much a wasted week on account of the atrocious weather up to Friday although Monday’s visit to ScRSG proves the week’s honourable exception.
Sleeping till 9am on what have been very dreich and stormy mornings may have helped with what Jamie of Culreoch suggested is perhaps a sleep backlog of years but it doesn’t make for a very productive use of daylight hours when such things are very curtailed anyway at this time of year. I think I may have an in-built intolerance to meteorological low-pressure systems as I always get somewhat lethargic when those westerlies blow like they’ve done the last two weeks.
I probably needed the break from the routine though. I wasn’t particularly active in terms of modelling terms this week but some faltering progress has been made with the J27 and J39.
As reported previously the J27 wasn’t proving an easy gig where pick-ups were concerned and I ended up replacing the wire with some .31mm brass on the front 4. The rear pair are really awkward in terms of pick-up placement so instead I’m going to equip the outer four on the tender instead which will require some form of permanent drawbar connection.
I also took the opportunity to further crop the motor shaft which was still not quite sitting comfortably in the firebox.
Unfortunately in doing so, the heat or vibration generated by using the (previously used and I suspect blunted) carborundum disc appears to have inflicted terminal damage inside the motor.
Fortunately I had a replacement handy and AFTER testing it, carefully this time, cropped the shaft, swapped the worm gear over from the Norwegian Blue motor and re-fitted it.
It now runs very well forward but hardly at all in reverse which I suspect is down to a minor meshing issue. Ah well, Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s another point on the learning curve.
Anyway, things move on.
Today, Jamie and I met up and headed up to explore the course of the old Cairn Valley line to Moniaive, North of Dumfries. A great walk was had round the village and back roads down to Kirkland, returning to Moniaive.
Moniaive itself is a beautiful wee village and it’s seriously a place I feel I would like to live; such is the impression I gained of the place and it’s clear that many like-minded souls to myself live there. A genuine sense of community is apparent and there appears to be a healthy cultural life in the place too.
Meanwhile, the old station building still stands and I snapped off a couple of images in the low winter sunlight.
A few landscape shots also give an impression of the surroundings.
For some time I’ve felt the need to get some kind of layout project underway and I think some kind of Cairn Valley type scenario will lend itself well to the kind of small space I can spare at the moment. There are many scenes in Ian Kirkpatrick’s study of the line which scream out their modelling potential. I have to say that I’m really attracted to the idea of living in the place but there are of course practical considerations and I would certainly need to find work in Dumfries. Fortunately Dumfries is commutable from here in the meantime should I need to get things in hand to sell up here and move on. Clearly this will require a bit of forward planning and organisation as well as securing suitable work in Dumfries but I feel this is just what I need right now. It’s rare that a day out walking can provide you not only with some much needed fresh air and exercise, but a whole package of modelling inspiration and a wider sense of direction and purpose in life.
Moniaive appears to tick so many personal boxes and in truth is less remote than impressions suggest. There’s certainly none of the Royston Vasey atmosphere you sometimes find in out of the way spots.
So, at last I’ve discovered the right sort of where and why.
I just need to work out the how.
So here goes; wish me luck! 😊
Under the circumstances, this seems an appropriate tune from my favourite purveyors of weird electronica!
Source – The Cairn Valley Light Railway (Ian Kirkpatrick), Oakwood Press, 2000
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