Thursday, November 30, 2017

For discussion purposes only...I bet he wouldn't be satisfied with Whiskas!

Yay, it's snowing and quite heavily too!
My last day in this job and I have a day off so I can sit in the warm with a fresh brewed coffee and look at the winter wonderland through the window. No photos as yet because I have to look at how to add digital photos to the iMac. As I have said before, I am not an apple fan but I will now have time to tinker about and learn. Apropos the above picture, the cats have encountered snow and they don't like it. Sherlock stayed out for an hour and returned looking like a furry snowball. However, I dug out the digital camera, dusted and cleaned it up and inserted new batteries. Suitable subject found and click! I inserted the SD card in the appropriate slot and hey presto! Maisie in all her glory over grooming as usual...

Yesterday was also a day off and I spent time looking at old churches on the internet and making some plans to visit the older ones, hence dusting off the camera. There are some wonderfully preserved old churches I used to pass on my work travels and I will finally use this opportunity to visit, explore and photograph. A couple of ex-colleagues have made suggestions as to where I might work next but December will be spent avoiding anything to do with work. I can look at prospective part-time jobs next year. My last working day was unsurprisingly busy and with two particularly difficult assessments out of the three I completed that day. Happily, no longer my concern and I can selfishly move on with my own concerns.

A photo of the boys from a couple of years ago from the camera.

This is interesting and I shall be investigating this further as it'a an excellent idea.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The completed model of a Russian SU-100 self propelled gun. It took longer than anticipated because of a senior moment and a lapse of concentration. I sprayed the model with what I assumed was a rattle can of clear coat only to realise I had sprayed panzer grey over half my newly painted model. The model was half grey and the air was blue! One pot of coffee later and I recommenced the work in progress. I am reasonably happy with the result and I had intended to display it on a small diorama but I shall save that for the Tiger instead.

Today, apart from briefly painting a couple of figures I have been catching up with the news and you cannot make this stuff up. Merkel struggling to form a government after much finger pointing and wagging at our own inept government. Lots of trans bollocks occupying the minds of the biologically ignorant in the various media with male rapists identifying as women going to women's prisons and Mugabe outstaying his welcome, by several years if not more I would add. Venezuela's socialist paradise no longer just tits up but rapidly going the way of all such experiments. £40 billion to be thrown at the EU as Danegeld because I don't doubt for one minute they'll come back for more. Meanwhile crime increases on the streets, public services are falling to pieces and the Daily Express continues to state Princess Diana and the coldest winter on record will soon be here. Oh...and anyone to the right of Comrade Corbyn is a fascist who skewers babies with pitchforks. The Sunday Sport used to make these stories up but now it's become proper news. Blame the Russians, the Jews and Farage for all ills because they are apparently all part of a Tory conspiracy to use Brexit to enslave us all to the multinational corporations. The conspiracy loonies are now mainstream. Don't fry bacon in your kitchen because it is pollution and will kill you! Seriously, I think there is more credence to Elvis alive and well in a B24 bomber on the dark side of the moon.
Meanwhile, normal ordinary people continue to get up and go to work. The bubble is not just Westminster and Brussels, it is the media including twatter and farcebook but hopefully the bubble will burst and soon. I imagine singing 'Donald, where's your trousers?' will see one arrested for either transphobia, racism or both!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

I had planned to go for a walk this morning, a slow gentle stroll to exercise my injured leg and keep the moving parts moving! As per usual, the weather had other ideas and the deluge forced me to make an alternative plan. The Russian SU-100...

I'll keep todays entry light on the military modelling as I imagine my endless fascination is not universally shared! The picture below is how I imagine I look when I have a beard and as it is coming up to winter I am once again regrowing it.

This how I look...

Mrs C does not like the grey beard but I am happy to consider myself a village idiot elder as I trundle slowly through my late fifties. I may eventually aim for the ZZ Top look! The picture is from last winter and Sherlock would sleep on me and groom my beard. The rain has stopped and I may venture out.

Friday, November 17, 2017

I am spoiling you today with more photographs of the completed Tiger 1 tank. The first photo was a work in progress shot whilst the second is of the completed article. Like the forgetful numpty I am, I forgot to clear coat it before adding the weathering dust, etc... Clear coat protects the painted model and preserves it. With the dust effects added I can't clear coat it otherwise you end up with the mess you can see on the little M3 Stuart tank sat next to the Tiger. It's like a Jack Russell sizing up to a Rottweiler! I had a couple of Africa Korps chappies painted up and I have placed them in the tank to add interest. The setting when I eventually build the base will be a small diorama set in Sicily, September 1943 when the allies invaded (Operation Husky). The majority of the Tigers operating on Sicily were destroyed by naval gunfire or by the Germans themselves because they didn't want them to fall into Allied hands. I believe one escaped via ferry back to the Italian mainland.

I certainly have the modelling bug because no sooner was the Tiger added to the shelf then the newly arrived parcel I received yesterday was opened and the new build begun. A Russian Self Propelled Gun, the SU-100, a 'small' beast that saw service during the last year of the war and on into the cold war. Apparently some are still being used in the middle-east and Ukraine. It has a 100 mm cannon and I say 'small' because there was a SU-152 with a 152 mm cannon...the big beast. It's a Russian made kit and it was cheap but, a big but...the fit isn't very good and filler plus plastic card is being used to fill the gaps. You'll hear modellers complain about this but we are secretly delighted because this is where the modelling skills and creativity come to the fore. To make a poorly made kit into a nicely finished model. All in all this keeps me happy and stops me hanging around street corners causing mischief!

Out shopping this afternoon and I bumped into one of my work colleagues from another team. She got the news I was leaving and wished me well and called me a lucky bugger. As she stated "I've got another ten years to go and I wish it was me" I thought what a shame it is that most people want out.
It will get worse because the numbers now presenting with financial, housing and social problems is increasing and the new changes to the benefits system will see a deluge of referrals over the next few months. I wish I could give an answer or solution to this mess and not just the usual mantra 'Provide more money'. More money as we have seen leads to more managers, administration and shiny toys rather than going to where it's needed. I think I shall be happy to sit on the sidelines for a while and escape from it all.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Inevitably, this blog starts with a picture of a work in progress. A Tiger 1 and the picture shows the black shadow coat applied. I have now completed the model but it just needs a couple of washes, enhancing the details, weathering and then preparation of a base. The shadow coat plus white coat for flat surfaces add depth when the main coats go on. This was a much needed respite today after a very hectic three days culminating in three referrals arriving at the same time in A & E yesterday evening. No one else available to help out as the crisis team are also run off their feet so I just got down to dealing with it. Ninety minutes later all three assessed and on their way, A & E staff very happy and impressed and I had three hours of paperwork to plough through. It dawned on me following this that 32 years experience distilled into a focused assessment means I deal with the salient issues (Risk! Resolution) and expedite the individual's journey out of A & E. All three thanked me and went away happy because I made the assessment about them, listened, validated their experience and treated them as the nice, decent human beings they are. I like most of the people I meet and assess and I am always fascinated by other people's lives (aka nosey bugger). Having said all of that I have handed in my notice.
A combination of things have coalesced during the past few months and made my decision, some of which I have stated in earlier blogs but this year brought it home to me that I need to move on. Age and the inevitable wear and tear plays a big part in this decision. I tripped over a few weeks ago when I stupidly attempted to step over a low fence whilst carrying two bags of shopping. The injuries have really incapacitated me with my back and my right leg suffering the brunt of the injuries. That plus the long hours and isolation of the job and little support made the decision for me. Another person in the team handed in her notice this week (we amalgamated with the older adults hospital liaison team) so people are not happy. But after this month it will no longer be my concern although I will miss doing the assessments in A & E. My plans are to have two - three months off, rest and recuperate and then hopefully find a part-time job with better hours next year. I am also tired and I cannot see mental health services improving. When the job is focused on paperwork and business with the poor bugger supposedly at the centre of it all coming second, then the very nature of mental health services becomes questionable. I have my doubts about psychiatry, diagnoses  and treatment anyway but I am tired of the whole shebang.  However, let us move away from the gloom and towards something more positive. I have Christmas off and I can thoroughly enjoy it to the full. I am hoping for a quiet, traditional celebration and perhaps we'll have snow. I might even pop into the local church although I am not a believer...although perhaps that's going too far. I might just play traditional carols instead. For now, I have several days off and I will have a couple of trips out.