Happy New Year

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Well, there’s another year away. Arguably the weirdest year I’ve yet experienced in my 53 years on this planet although not a particularly bad one in a personal sense.

Politically, satire has become redundant as both the UK and US regimes expose both their incompetence, corruption and blatant hypocrisy despite having almost complete control of conventional media.

Thank goodness then for online sources such as The Canary and Wings over Scotland who consistently incur the ire of the state/oligarch media by showing their servile, self-serving hacks what real journalists can do when they apply thoroughness and moral courage to the profession.

2018 is shaping up to be a very interesting year in the field of Scottish, European and UK politics and there are signs that it could be one of the most significant years in a long time given events in Catalonia, and with the ongoing slow-motion car crash of Brexit.

But there are many better qualified than me to comment on such things.

After a year where I changed jobs and spent seven months in a full time shift working environment driving buses it’s time to get back to a healthier lifestyle again.
One thing that I learned early on in that period was that after nearly three years away from both full time and shift-working, it was taking a physical toll and having had health problems in the immediate period after retiring from my old profession I could see the warning signs.
Given that I didn’t really need to work full time I decided to go back to part time since my employer was accommodating of such options and from November that’s what I’ve been doing.
After a few weeks readjusting and having almost fought my way through the part of the year that I traditionally find hardest, I’m limbering up to get the best out of my new roster. In winter I normally get hit quite severely with SAD but this year I decided to try a vitamin D3 supplement and I’ve really noticed a positive difference. I’m the words of the good friend who recommended it from personal experience; “It’s the difference between night and day!”
My shift pattern involves working three days each week and the structure of the 6-week roster means that every third week, the rest days run back to back, giving me either seven or eight consecutive rest days every third week.
Right now at a very low energy time of year it allows me a sort of ‘hibernation’ period which helps a lot.

Once spring comes round I will truly see the real benefit of the roster and I’ll be able to get all the things needing done to the house and garden under way.

I was just getting into this in the spring when I started on the buses but when I started tiring from the shifts the effort stalled.
Catching up will get under way soon though!

But what about the modelling?
Well I started some low key stuff more or less once I got back on part time.

Today though being Ne’erday I had time on my hands and I decided to start as I mean to go on!

This involved a couple of hours back in ‘the kennel working on an A4 for my friend and a couple of wagons that had been hanging around the place like Ruth Davidson at a potential photo opportunity.

One was a Bachmann TTA which is part of my OO gauge 1980s collection. Just a bit of nostalgia to provide a bit of a fun counterpoint to my EM fine scale stuff.
The second wagon is a Bachmann BR standard Grain wagon.
This one is intended as part of the available exhibition fleet for the likes of Culreoch and Wharfeside, should they one day hit the road as well as being for whatever personal steam/transition era project I eventually create.
It’s an effortless task to replace the Bachmann wheel sets with Gibson EM 3-holers.
I also replaced the slightly emaciated buffers with LMS castings that make a significant difference.
Eventually it’ll have Spratt and Winkle couplings added but I’m awaiting a tutorial from a friend before I set about those.
It was a nice, well-spent afternoon working on these, particularly the Grain as it took quite a few passes before I was happy with the overall well knocked-about finish. Ultimately it just evolved until I was happy with it.

The A4 I’m working on still needs a couple of finishing touches so I’ll keep that for tomorrow along with something much bigger…

Cheers, happy new year and it’s good to be back!

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