December 27, 2009

"Festive Spirit"

It's been another incredible year updating this blog - it has slowed down the last few months, mainly due to university work and family taking priority, but I'd like to assure you that there's a lot of work and fun still to come.

I've had a small haul of modest presents this year, which I think have been much more fun than my usual clamour for model trains, or rolling stock and so on.

I've done a few nice things with the family and girlfriend, seen a few films (wasn't Avatar awesome?) and generally got on with writing my dissertation and general final year university work.

Christmas has been one of the calmest and most pleasant for years. But its been tinged with some sadness. My research partner at Warwick died suddenly a month ago, and its been tough, I will admit (but by no means as tough on me as it has been on his father).

We always toast the "absent friends and family" at Christmas, and normally I only ever thought of immediate family. That was incredibly narrow minded of me. Fact is, everyone around you impacts on your life, and whatever the circumstances of a meeting, you should be grateful for each and every friend and family member, and enjoy their company while it lasts (for nothing lasts forever).

I'd like to end 2009 with this post, because in some ways its been a mixed bag, but there is nothing I regret so much as not trying hard enough - did I try hard enough? Well...I think so. But in the event that I did not try hard enough, I'll put that in the "new years resolutions" box.

I hope you all have had a great Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you all - 2010 awaits, the undiscovered country...

Until next time.

December 12, 2009

"A Few Old Photographs I found in a Drawer"...

I found this amongst a few other tatty photographs in a drawer at my grandmother's house. It shows some photographs of Leeds, Copley Hill as my grandfather knew it in the late 1940s and possibly early 1950s. Is that him standing on 60119's front, cleaning its smokebox door?

Of course, this is just the layout with the smoke machine in use and the camera set to sepia and grayscale modes. But there has been some modelling - more grime, the lintels are done on the shed as well as the supports. There's more lumps of clinker here and there, and then there is the smoky atmosphere...

Sometimes I will squint, look along the layout at eye level and see my grandfather climbing up the cab of [i]Kestrel[/i]...

Next time I hope to have 82026 on the layout as well as adding some yard lamps and more weathering to the buildings and rolling stock.

Until next time!