It started with a desire to make a model of Thompson's lone A1/1, Great Northern. The irony that it has more or less ended, with a desire to make a model of the same locomotive, has not been lost on me.
2012 has been a crazy year. Full of ups and downs, and I'd like to think there's been more ups than downs for me on the whole.
I'm very lucky in that, whilst I do still have a day job of sorts, I get to write about my passion in life: railways, on a daily basis in my spare time, the ultimate goal being of course that it becomes my day job.
With my first children's book, Tale of the Unnamed Engine, moving to the print stage shortly, and with two new books in the process of being written and illustrated, I'd already started thinking on prioritizing what updates go where.
In many respects, my hands had already been tied, though I did not know this really until the middle of November. It had been clear for some time that my updates (certainly, those of railway modelling) were unwelcome in some quarters. It went further than that on several occasions.
The problem with robust debate, is that not everyone is willing to (or is capable of) engaging in robust debate in a fashion without resorting to the unpleasant. Then there are are some, who are simply incapable of formulating an opinion without it being the populist opinion. A combination quite dangerous in many respects to actual, robust debate as there is a common thread for their behaviours.
When it became clear that certain individuals and their own actions were exempt from the rules laid down before them, it was obvious to me that there was little point in staying as a large, apple green with white/black/white lined target.
With so much going on in my life on a daily basis, there's simply no time for added strife or anguish, caused by those few whose only goal in life seems to be to create trouble for others.
So it was with reluctance that I decided to curtail my posting of late, on various flora and fauna. This no doubt will be for the best, for me.
If anyone does want to keep up with my modelling, it'll all be posted on here, and in time on the replacement www.britishrailwaystories.com that is in development.
It would not be fair to post this without some form of thanks to everyone who supported, commented, and generally helped me develop throughout the last five years in the hobby: they know who they are, and I remain forever grateful.
At the same time it must be noted that there are those out there who will look to undermine you at every turn. Those who will have some strange delusions as to their own self importance, and their overall bearing on what you do in life.
If you want to succeed at anything in life, you have to - as I have done and will continue to do - rise above it, move on, and work very hard at that I am determined to succeed at.
The moment you give up on those individual dreams, the moment you renege on your own principles, the moment that you sell out in the name of getting yourself out there, at all costs, is the time when you will lose your true friends, and equally importantly, your self respect.
I have no intention of losing either, and so I will continue enjoying my hobby, and writing my blogs, without fear of further unnecessary and petty harassment from those for whom I lost respect for long ago.