Sunday, April 26, 2020

I have been sourcing eggs from a woman at work who keeps hens and here are some of the eggs...

A mixture of colours and sizes including these blue / green eggs which I hadn't seen before. I asked her what hen breeds she keeps but she admitted she doesn't know, that she just keeps them as I am curious as to which hens lay the blue eggs.I might ask her to take some photos of her hens but she might consider that odd!

Work is busier than ever with my last two days requiring home visits, crisis team and planning for potential  MH Act assessments. We are starting to see some unravelling in response to the ongoing lockdown and having to deal with this. One person took up the entirety of Friday and tomorrow should be an interesting day as I expect it to continue in much the same vein. I quite welcomed the lockdown this weekend as, apart from some necessary shopping I spent my time modelling, reading and watching rubbish on TV plus some very much needed sleep.

Progress so far with some chipping, washes, decals and a final matt clear coat yet to be applied. The figure is one of my 'Frankenstein' practice figures but it might remain once it too has been completed. I have planned a diorama set in Russia late summer 1941 with the Stug and a motorcycle combination with a smaller scale Soviet KV 2 tank in the distance causing them to panic.

I have used some oils on the Stug and I also plan to use some pastels to add a dusty weathered look to it.  However, it's a beautiful day and back to enjoying the good weather in the garden. Keep well folks.


Thursday, April 23, 2020

A quick update and some very welcome news...

He's back! Fluffy sprinted in yesterday evening and at first I thought it was Maisie until I did a double take. He wouldn't have any food at first as he kept coming to me for a fuss. He then ate three sachets of food, three slices of ham and some dreamies. Bless him, he was famished. He stayed for a couple of hours but we had to put him out, with some extra ham and allow our four cats to settle as they weren't happy. He'll be welcome anytime and we are delighted to see him although he is so thin and clearly neglected. I have no idea where he has been.

Occasional work continues on the Stug and the figures for the diorama but to be honest it is home, tea and crash out in front of the box or listening to music. I escaped the office to complete two urgent home visits today and suitably PPE'd up. I was surprised by how many cyclists I encountered out and about. Most people abiding by social distancing rules but certainly some weren't. A beautiful day and ironically petrol prices are the lowest they have been for years but nowhere to go to and non-essential driving should have stopped. Beautiful weather as well hence I was glad to escape the office and the constant phone calls and chained to the laptop and desk. Tomorrow I am working from home so another day of phone contacts but I can take breaks to fuss the cats and grab a few minutes garden and sunshine break every now and again. I can also brew up and drink real coffee instead of instant. I am so looking forward to my weekend off.


Sunday, April 19, 2020

Good news...I received the text this morning saying my test is negative.
 Hooray! Naturally I shot off outside for a walk in the sunshine and fresh air after I texted work saying I will be in tomorrow. By all accounts things aren't too good for several clients at work with the Covid 19 lockdown as the straw that is breaking the camels back. So back to the chaos but I am pleased to finally escape this strange limbo where I knew I was well but I had to self isolate for a few days until this was confirmed. What is also confirmed for me is that last year was definitely Covid 19. Which is bizarre when one stops to consider that statement and what lies behind it. I had the virus and symptoms for a total of eight weeks when you include the irritating dry cough. Apart from the week I was off sick because of fevers, breathlessness and lethargy, the other seven weeks was spent at work, amongst work colleagues, visiting patients, GP surgeries and hospitals. I was unknowingly exposed to hundreds of people with Covid 19 and not the horrible cold I assumed it to be. Crazy...because governments have shut the world down down and tipped us into the economic maelstrom that now awaits us all. I have had to keep my mouth shut for the last several weeks because I have questioned why this approach is being taken and I remain convinced the virus is a convenient scapegoat for politicians, economists and bankers for the forthcoming depression. I sincerely hope I am wrong but sadly I don't think I am. Should I apply for my tin foil hat now? Anyhow, here is...

The above is where my latest work in progress has got to with a motorcycle combination to add to a diorama with the Stug.

The motorcyclist posed above has been cleaned up, assembled and some acrylic paints applied. Light layers of various shades of field grey, grey and blue will be added to to provide light and shade where needed to bring it to life. The same for the Stug as it is the painting that adds the realism to a model.
This will keep me occupied for the next few weeks as I will only have my days off to attend to it.

Fingers crossed that things will go more smoothly now and I am just pleased to be able to go out and about again. Keep well folks.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

I spoke too soon yesterday as I was chucked out of the building when I arrived at work this morning. I had a lengthy coughing fit and looked hot and bothered and despite saying it's hay fever I was chased out! Sent home by my boss and now I am awaiting a time and venue for Covid 19 testing. This might explain the symptoms I had over the last few days, tiredness mainly and the breathlessness I had last Saturday and Sunday but I am not sure this is the virus. Better safe than sorry I guess but I have to admit to feeling miffed about it. If it is, then what on earth did I have last year? That ticked all the boxes with high temperature spikes, fever,  breathlessness and a persistent dry irritating cough all of which lasted eight weeks! So I am currently confined to barracks and drinking tea.
Stay safe folks.


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Making progress on the latest build, a Stug 3B in 1/35 scale and I spent the weekend building the individual tracks which all required scraping / sanding to remove marks from the moulding process. Once assembled, the tracks were painted black and then a wash of 'chipping' paint to give a suitable worn rusty look. Once fully dried I will clear coat it to protect it and then add some steel paint to the cleats. The underneath has had another panzer grey wash to cover the brush strokes, a thinned mixture of grey paint, thinner and water and that too will receive a protective clear coat. All in all a suitable distraction from the madness outside. The casemate glued in and the upper part dry fitted but that will wait now for the weekend. Chipping paint is a thinned mixture of 70 % black, 25 % brown and 5% red and used for chipped paint, etc...

Back to work tomorrow and I will catch up with the last few days and I am expecting a deluge of messages and jobs to do. The one benefit of this enforced lockdown is the time to sit and reflect, give some thought to the important things in life. The death toll certainly adds an extra dimension to those thoughts and I will be looking at reducing my work hours next year. I have to admit that after nearly thirty five years of this work I am tired of it. A couple of colleagues work three days a week and I shall look to do the same with more time for family, friends and me. Selfish I know but I think I have earned the right to scale back at work after this year. Sue doesn't like the current work situation and admitted she worries when I am at work although I remain convinced I had this virus last year. Shockingly I have just under seven years until I am eligible for the state pension and Sue collects hers in eighteen months time although I have a horrible feeling the rules changed because I am younger than her. Something to look into as government and bureaucracy love to waste billions (HS2 anyone?) but penalise individuals. But for now a return to work after a few much needed days off and the ongoing lockdown. Take care folks.


Saturday, April 11, 2020

I am still plodding on and a welcome four days off after the past week. We continue to work seven days a week and I had an update from one of my colleagues. I may have been exposed to someone who claims to have Covid 19 from what I heard today but I suspect there are other reasons for the patient making this claim. What I have discovered is that the breathlessness I experienced last year when I was ill with the virus came back last night. However, I think this was a consequence of gardening, grass cutting and sorting out the compost bin yesterday and my hay fever kicking in big time. So today was spent indoors with little time spent in the garden and the tachycardia I had with the breathlessness has also settled down. When this all over I shall be booking in to see my GP for a check up just to make sure it isn't anything else. On the up side, time spent indoors means modelling!

I am currently building a Stug 3 or the Sturmgeschutz 3 to give it it's official title but as I was working on the tracks the above aircraft was delivered. It is the last kit I will buy for a few months as I have plenty to build and I am saving to pay off the mortgage this year. It's unlikely I'll be travelling anywhere for a few months and I have shelved any thoughts about travelling until next year.

Otherwise we are keeping ourselves confined to barracks when I am not working. We had a walk along the river yesterday and noted the swan nest so nature continues onwards and it's a sign that that life continues and we will get through this. I have no idea what awaits us a few months down the line so we may have to continue to batten down the hatches and focus on work, family and home. With the media furore about PPE, we received new supplies a week ago and a colleagues husband has made us all visors as well. I've had to attend a few visits where we donned PPE before entering but lots of phone calls, telephone assessments and the usual paperwork. Most people have responded with great resilience, are supportive and happy with what we are offering. Next week will change as the wards have to identify 40% early discharges and we will be doing more visits as these are people who would have remained in hospital for a few more weeks. We are doing home treatment and crisis work visits only and this is likely to continue for at least another three - four weeks. I have to be honest, it is tiring and there is heightened anxiety all round but generally we have all adapted well and getting stuck in. Just a short entry today and perhaps another entry tomorrow or Monday. Take care all.


Sunday, April 05, 2020

I'm still plodding on and keeping busy at work as our team has moved to a seven days a week service. Myself and a colleague worked yesterday although I am swapping to a day off during the week. Our manager returned from two weeks leave and was shocked to discover we had coped without her, organised everything as a collective, anticipated problems arising from the virus lock down and prepared for it. We are coping but we suspect the worse is yet to come. We had a discussion about the start of the virus as several of us remain convinced we had this last November / December. I ticked every box for the symptoms with fever spikes, the irritating cough lasting eight weeks although the breathlessness was the frightening part of the experience plus feeling exhausted. Another colleague described her husband having it for a week earlier this year and feeling wiped out for the week but gradually better as time went on.

I finally completed the latest build apart from the final weathering...

           The Airfix 1/72 scale Short Stirling bomber.

It is a big beast even in this small scale and I am struggling to display it somewhere away from the cats. Now that spring is here they are all lively apart from Watson who isn't his usual self. We noticed him limping but when I examined his leg and paw there were no wounds and he was fine with me prodding and poking at him. We are wondering if he might have arthritis and once the lockdown finishes we will take him to see the vet. Maisie has brought us three butterflies over the last 24 hours and I would like to capture her bringing her prey home to us. The loud meows, chirrups and the obvious pride she displays is wonderful. Slaughtering the butterflies unfortunately isn't. 

I also ordered in some books for the weeks ahead, the one above from an independent book seller as part of a campaign to keep small business' going and the ones below from the Tank Museum as they too need to earn money.

I will stop buying books for now as I have a stack of them awaiting me as well as a lot on the kindle. I have ordered one new kit of a plane I have wanted for a long time but that will be the last one for now. I bought it because it was going very cheap but displaying completed builds is becoming an issue. I also have ideas about completing what I have in the stash which consists mainly of aircraft and armour. and I can then focus on figures. They will push my skill levels as well as take up less space and I have in mind figures of Roman legionaries, knights, Crimean war figures, etc...However, the stash will take me at least a year to complete and I will have to put some shelves up to display them. 
I'm off for more tea, pull one of those books out, put my feet up and enjoy the rest of today as tomorrow it will be once more unto the breach. Take care out there folks.