As I welcome in the New Year of 2021 and the optimism of a vaccination and a return to some normality I thought it appropriate to reflect on the year that will forever be known to me (and others?) as “Fucking 2020”. In summary, the best thing about the year 2020 by far is it is fucking over and I didn’t die.
And so it’s goodbye to 2020!
What else didn’t I do in 2020? Well I didn’t go to any modelling shows, including Salute in April and Telford in November, both of which were inked in my diary as major events I was looking forward to enormously. I didn’t go to France and I didn’t go to Norway on holiday. My two trips to London were cancelled so I didn’t get to take my daughter to the Tutankhamen exhibition at the Satchi museum or to see a West End show and countless other things we had arranged. In fact everything I had planned didn’t happen.
I did get to spend most of my time at home. I did get to experience home delivery grocery shopping, queuing up, social distancing and pretending to be Batman while wearing a mask. I did manage to spend lots of time claiming financial refunds for things I was looking forward to doing but which had to be cancelled and I did get a lot of jobs done around the house until I ran out of materials.
Unfortunately the pandemic is set to role into 2021 but with talk of vaccines in the pipe line there is at least some light at the end of the tunnel. The New Year is a separate topic though so back to 2020 and the year that was or should that be wasn’t?
On the positive side of things there was never a better time to be a figure painter and modeller (once things settled down and the supply chains were properly working again). Stuck in doors with nowhere to go the hobby took on whole new meaning, not just for me but for a great many others who got back into it for something to do. I enjoyed the quiet roads and the greater freedom that provided for walking the dog and having the kids at home from work and school made for some great family time, particularly during the summer when we enjoyed some fantastic weather.
My biggest disappointed was learning that I shared this world with a far higher percentage of morons than I ever realised but the one big thing I will take from 2020 is “perspective”. Life is far to short to worry about the trivial shit and in the blink of an eye you are old before you know it. If you don’t relate to that yet then it is because you are to young but trust me when I say you will come to learn it is a truism in due course. The point is I now have a different outlook on life and once things settle down again, as I am sure they inevitably will, then as long as I survive then the time for even greater life changes will have arrived.
Reflecting specifically on the hobby what do I consider my personal highlights to have been? Well there haven’t been many to be honest but let’s start with a few of the things I did which provided the most pleasure.
First up is “Viharis Tenspire” a wizard that I painted for Ann’s Challenge back in March followed by a diorama I called “OMG!” which was intended for shows and Telford in particular but alas wasn’t meant to be. In May I put together the ever topical “Covid-19: Lockdown Breakout” and during July I got into doing some knights, something I hadn’t done in a long time, concluding with a little vignette called “Knights Hospitaller“. An odd choice I suspect in the eyes of many but my personal favourite was Zonkers: Killer Klown which I posted in November purely for the time it took me and the amount of freehand work I put into it. There were plenty of other figures of course and aside from a few I wasn’t happy with I would have to say that in the main I enjoyed what I painted. It could be argued that 2020 wasn’t a bad year in that respect.
Moving on from the painting side of things the Blog continued to be fun and not long ago I went down the route of acquiring my own domain. As ever some of the banter was excellent and it remains the most important part of blogging for me and others too from what I have read and seen. It was great to expand that group with some new followers and am delighted to be in contact with Roger, Dave Stone, Deturnation and Kuribo in addition to all the long standing reprobates from around the world.
Statistically this has been my best year since starting the blog although I do wonder how much that has been influenced by the Covid-19 imposed lockdown. I don’t put to much store by them but I wont pretend seeing the views go up and gaining a few more followers isn’t rewarding. My personal statistical favorite is when my blog gets viewed by someone in a country where I haven’t had a view before. Currently my blog has been seen in 74 countries and of all the statistics available this one blows me away.
Finally I cannot conclude this post without making reference to my Hobby son, IRO. My podcast interview with him whilst doubtless dull and boring to those who listened was a highlight of the year and one which can only be improved upon by a physical meet and copious amounts of alcohol. Here’s to that day.
Happy New Year everyone and I will leave you with a few images of the models referenced above.