Welcome to this week’s Musings!
The Weather – for better or worse?
Now before I get accused of being a “whinging pom” and those in Australia start performing their rendition of Monty Pythons Four Yorkshire Men sketch by trying to out do me with their weather related tails let me point out that I am not complaining about the weather. Personally I am enjoying it and my comments which follow are simply observational. The simple fact is that this almost unprecedented period of glorious weather brings change with it and I thought I would highlight those which I have noticed. For the most part, as with many things in life, there are pros and there are cons.
My fears of a few weeks ago that I would be spending much time cutting the grass have proven unfounded, the lawn hasn’t been cut now for three weeks. With no rain it simply isn’t growing. This time-saving has however been off set by cooking on the BBQ instead together with the constant need to water the pot plants and keep the weeds down. Why do the weeds continue to grow when everything else appears to be at a stand still? You don’t need to answer that.
Another positive has been being able drive with the top down on my car for the last two months, most enjoyable. The down side is I’m ginger and the constant need to apply sunblock gives me the appearance of someone about to swim the English Channel rather someone driving into town.
Modelling too of course is not without impact. It hasn’t been ideal having to adjust to painting early in the morning and late in the evening but then again my base work drying quicker has been an added bonus. Overall the impact on modelling has been minimal but the same cannot be said for our garden wild life.
Fredie the fox who we saw throughout the winter has yet to be spotted this hot summer but more worryingly neither has Philip the Pheasant. Shotguns have been heard ringing out so I fear the worst for both. The heat is drying out the garden pond resulting in Drake and Jemima who are but occasional visitors seeking pastures new and although it’s normally a pleasure to see Kevin the Kingfisher the little bastard has taken to eating our goldfish as the poor little sods have less water to hide in.
Still on a final positive note I’m burning more calories walking the dog which is enabling me to consume more ice cream without feeling guilty. Every cloud …
Fredie the Fox, Philip the Pleasant, Drake and Jemima and Kevin the bastard with one of my goldfish!
Thank Goodness For The Weird People
Have you ever wondered how you make bread? No neither have I, well not until the other day but bear with me.
Now I don’t claim to be an expert but (thank you Google) apparently you mix flour, salt and yeast in a bowl then make a well in the centre, add oil and water to make a smooth dough and then bake in the oven. OK, so that’s it simplified but the thing is we except that as perfectly normal. Why wouldn’t you make it that way? My point however is this.
If it wasn’t for a complete nutter, a weirdo who was capable of looking at things in ways others don’t and who wasn’t afraid to experiment with a mixture of unrelated objects we wouldn’t be eating bread. What normal person would have looked at wheat or corn, thought to grind it down, add numerous other unrelated ingredients and then heat it all up? You need to have people who can look at things in a different way and who are prepared to play around and experiment with things. Who looked at iron ore and said I wonder if that melts, goes hard again and can be used to make weapons that I can kill people with? The fact is we owe a great deal to people who in the eyes of many are odd or weird and so it is with modelling.
The modelling community, like many others I suspect, thrives off of people who can look at materials developed initially for another purpose (e.g. Milliput I believe was originally used by plumbers to plug leaking pipes) but useful in our hobby. Then there are the various things made specifically for the hobby but like bread consist of unrelated items (e.g. brushes – sable/wood/metal). Then we come to my current favourite.
At the Plymouth Model Show I got talking to Colin, the owner of a company called Charlie Foxtrot Models (worth checking out by the way, he does some great stuff) who it turns out only lives a few miles from me. Colin and I got chatting about the MDF buildings he makes. The ones he had on display didn’t appear to be made of MDF on close inspection mainly because they had been given a render to make them more authentic. I asked him what he rendered his models with expecting to be told something like sieved grit or similar. No, turns out he uses Chinchilla Dust bought from the pet shop!
So, curiosity has got the better of me which leads me to ask the following question. What is the weirdest thing you have used, or heard used by others, for modelling?
Meanwhile try to remember that the Weirdos help make the world go around so never knock a weirdo.
Be careful though, some are completely off their trolley!
Until next time.