Wednesday, January 29, 2020

I woke up this morning to find two puddles of urine on the work surfaces in the kitchen. The fresh lot was from Watson as the guilty look on his face as he pawed at the back door to leave was obvious. That and the fact that the puddle was not there a couple of minutes earlier and he was the only cat in the kitchen. The other was all over the fruit and we believe it is Maisie as she seems to dislike any citrus fruits and I had repositioned them in the kitchen to try to break her habit of peeing on the fruit bowl. The pair of them are little buggers! A clean up required, fruit and other comestibles thrown out and various utensils in for a soak. We also have some new tiles to lay in the kitchen once we have removed the old lino which has suffered damage from the old leaking washing machine. Hopefully an easy job removing it but we shall see. I resealed the bath the other day as there is once again a leak in the same corner where we had the ceiling fall in several years ago. Old houses have a habit of reminding you to keep on top of their upkeep and this one is approximately 120 years old. I would love to know about the inhabitants from years ago but I now have dreams of perhaps moving to a more modern bungalow. The garden wall and gate need fixing, the garden itself is in a mess and we need to get a new damp course completed. Once the latter is done we can redecorate but that is some way off yet.

The PZL 23 model is now completed and I am pleased with the result. 

Some scratch building required for the cockpit, wheel lights and rear gun and as a fellow modeller stated it is a truly awful kit but a thoroughly delightful build for me. After the final matt coat I used pastels to simulate dust and dirt. I am now considering my next build and it is still a toss up between the bus and the Stirling bomber. I will likely go for the bus as something colourful would be a change and the candy red colour of the bus looks fun to do.

I must away as that kitchen floor needs doing.


Monday, January 27, 2020

First day of my week off and I spent two hours trying to complete a safeguarding report for last week but I'd run into IT glitches. I will be claiming the time back as I shan't make a habit of this. Finally done and feet up as quelle surprise it is raining! Never mind, time to get some modelling done.

Progress so far on the PZL 23 with lots of scratch building from the spares box. I enjoy the creativity of turning a pigs ear into a silk purse and a basic model requiring lots of work makes me a happy modeller.

The fifth cat Fluffy hasn't been seen for three weeks now and we are assuming they have moved and taken him with them or he's found another second home to scrounge meals and attention from. I was reminded of him when another cat turned up on our doorstep but this one lives a few doors down and is well cared for. Our two ladies chased her off!

Otherwise a quiet day in, modelling and music although Sue thinks my choice is odd to say the least...Berlin cabaret from the twenties and thirties.


Saturday, January 25, 2020

It's been a while since I last blogged but the dull, wet and busy days of January at work has required my attention. Inevitably a model update and the Stuka was finished for the group build. I have no idea who won but I participated for the fun of it and despite looking finished there are a couple of jobs I would like to finish off before I am fully satisfied with the build.

I had a job interview and my mind went completely blank for one question, a subject I know inside out but I couldn't answer it. Kicking myself afterwards but I am happy enough in my present job although the other jobs would have entailed fewer but longer days on duty. After an extremely  busy and stressful day yesterday where I finally finished two hours late I have a week off. No plans as I just want a break from work and a chance to relax and escape the pressures there.

I have started another build and this one is a PZL 23 aircraft which I bought last month directly from Poland. It was cheap as chips and the postage cost more as it is a very basic kit. I have scratch built a cockpit interior and I will add some more externally but it's one I have wanted to build for a long time.

I have got as far as airbrushing the Polish khaki colour on top and sky blue beneath today and it is drying away from curious felines.

If the weather is good this week I might get some walking in as the snowdrops are out but Sue said the weather forecast is for snow. I'll take that to mean rain and sleet with lots of wind so it might be a week of modelling and reading in the warm indoors. 


Sunday, January 05, 2020

Just a few days absence from tw****r and less time spent on other asocial media and I have got more done. Sadly, work got in the way but modelling, reading and walking more as a start so I think I made the correct decision.  More work on the group build and because we have two weeks to do which doesn't sound like much, I find it is more than ample time to complete this build.

Fluffy has been absent for the last two days and we suspect his owners may have realised that if they neglect him, he will seek a home elsewhere...or at least food and a warm bed for the night.

It is 'dryanuary' as well as 'veganuary' and I hate these state sponsored 'charities' that nag us via various media to give up / cut down / move more. The adverts are highly moralistic and exceptionally patronising in tone. I usually stop or reduce my alcohol intake for January anyway and this year I will do the same. After my scare over Xmas I drank little alcohol and as for the vegans...I am eating more veg which I do anyway but the bacon sandwich for breakfast was delicious as was the haggis I had t'other day.  No.1 son has again adopted a vegetarian diet which usually means there is a girl somewhere who has a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. The freezer is now packed with various vegan meals and foods despite my suggestion that the frozen vegetables we already have in there could be used and he would save money. Sue likes a Sunday roast but today I might opt for baked beans on toast as the rich food over the holidays was more than enough for me.

I have a cup of tea calling me and my weekly catch up with the bizarre world of bigfoot podcasts as I enjoy this day of rest.


Wednesday, January 01, 2020

   Happy New Year and all the best for 2020 to my readers!

This may be a meandering post of various disparate threads but all have led me to having thoughts on one theme...the need for change. I wasn't going to post as I have been a grumpy fellow over the past week and I felt somewhat uncomfortable both at work and home. But BW's latest missive prompted me to do this and her recommendation of a book which gave me a light bulb moment.

Yesterday at work coalesced my thoughts as I drove through the fog to and from work and out on visits over the hills. It occurred to me that the dense fog and isolation of the roads was quite eerie and before the adoption of motor vehicles, everyone would either walk or use animals for transport. At walking pace either on foot or horse, life was slower, there was more time to think and a greater connection with the real and immediate world and more importantly, to other people and feeling part of something. The winter fogs, cold and isolation plus time to think possibly accounts for many myths, stories and beliefs, retold over every generation. Life was hard and to survive people had to work hard and earn their crust within a regular and familiar routine. In rural areas this meant agriculture, living with and within the seasons and again that close connection to the earth and the natural world. I drove a total of 75 miles yesterday in my self contained insulated box but going to the next village or the largest town ten miles away back in the day was a major undertaking. 

The above photo shows Fluffy (Elvis) who has moved in with us over the past week. He is very thin and ill kempt despite our efforts to look after him. We now realise he has an abscess in his mouth or there is a problem with his teeth as he struggles to eat. He is also settling on us, either on me or Sue's lap which is new behaviour to us. He decided to settle on one of my model shelves yesterday evening which caused Sue to panic as he knocked off or broke models. Sue was surprised by my response which was to slowly and quietly extricate the models and leave Fluffy there. As I pointed out, they can be repaired and aren't as important to me as the welfare of the cats is and he was settled, happy and content on the shelf. 

Advertising on mainstream and social media, lately aimed to persuade us to Buy! Buy! Buy! for xmas happiness, now for holidays, weight loss, health, insurance and again new year sales. I have been listening to music on line and podcasts so as to avoid the relentless advertising of false promises, rubbish and unnecessary encumbrances of modern life. 

Another strand...I travelled to a ward round two days ago for someone who has spent the past two weeks in hospital, a round trip of 75 miles and demands a full half day away from the other demands made of my time. It requires a half day because whatever time has been arranged for the review belongs to Narnia time. It has no connection to real life time and so it proved in this case. We finally got in an hour later than arranged and it proved to be a complete waste of time. Medical staff who don't listen and have no understanding of the lives of ordinary people but want to meet targets. I shan't add anything else of this account because of confidentiality but it ties in with the other strands of this narrative. We had planned to help this person to the Salvation Army xmas meal as they are completely isolated apart from visits from me and another colleague.

Modern life...the frenetic pace to pursue wealth, health and happiness whilst living a life which really doesn't contribute to all of these needs / desires. Time is precious and people are precious so combine the two and double the joy. This was brought home to us returning to work on Monday to discover a colleague whose husband was killed in a car crash on xmas day. BW suggested a book about life without technology and this was the light bulb moment. I have avoided twitter for a few days now as I am reducing my exposure to it, breaking my addiction to it and I plan to quit using it altogether. There are lovely people on there with some funny and interesting comments is outweighed by the overwhelming anger, rage, hatred and stupidity of comments plus the relentless advertising. When you ignore the object being sold and ask what is actually being sold, it is dreams of wealth, health and happiness. Time is precious but technology or rather, the use of it speeds time up and sucks us into this frenetic chasing of ones own tail. What is frightening is that this exposure to this bullshit happens at a younger age than ever before and when all is considered, is it any wonder that the prevalence of mental illness is greater than ever. Losing time, losing connections to others and the natural world, failing to achieve those pipe dreams sold to us on a near continual basis, struggling to make sense of this world, speeding past anything truly important in life and something has got to give.

I deliberately took time to notice over the xmas period in the shops those lone elderly folk who were shopping, generally with a single trolley, for their xmas meals. They are not on the fast paced exciting lane of wealth, health and happiness sold to the rest of us. They are left behind, surplus to requirements and not important to advertisers unless they have money and it is funeral plans being sold.  It's time to rethink on a personal level how to redefine my life, what I want from it and I suspect  that if one dug down into the referendum and recent elections, this sense of being disconnected from society, from others and being marginalised is at the heart of it. I am going to stop there as this could run and run. I am keeping fb as I belong to a couple of modelling groups and I have joined a group build which will run for the next two weeks. Progress thus far is shown below.

I am also slowly reading my way through 'Most Secret War' by R.V. Jones as someone on twit ter recommended it and it is a fascinating read. I have started buying second hand real books rather than kindle as I do like the feel of a real book and buying second hand is recycling which I do believe we should do more of.
Again, I wish you all the best for 2020 with health and happiness in abundance.