Sunday, 10 June 2012

On the road – well, almost…

Every now and then, there comes a time when the workshop has to be locked up and left under the careful watch of the neighbours. For the next couple of weeks the tools will be dormant, the waft of solvents and flux will subside and the resident colony of arachnids will be free to build a great metropolis of silk, dust and insect carnage. Yes, it is time for a HOLIDAY!

There comes a time when the tables are all reversed. As a kid I used to look forward to the summer holiday, bucket and spade in hand, ready to rearrange the sea defences at Dymchurch and build a castle to help fight of all invaders. These plans were usually thwarted by the incoming tide or one of the’ big kids’ who’s idea of fun was ruining mine…

Happy days! How things change. Now I am sitting here typing this on a Sunday morning and the schedule is as follow:

1000 hours – Tune in to Radio 4 to catch up with The Archers
1115 Hours – Collect together ‘important’ items ready for holiday and check oil and tyre pressures on the recycled fridge.
1230 hours – Lunch!
1300 hours – Depart to collect Mum.
1400 hours (approximately) Arrive at Mum’s
1430 hours Bundle (Sorry, help…) Mum into car and return to London ready for tomorrow.

… Monday, 0500 hours leave The Smoke and head North attempting to beat the morning rush.

There is a theme developing here and for the next couple of weeks it is our turn to look after Mum and entertain her, just like she and Dad did for me all those years ago. 

That's the essentials packed. Have you worked out what is there...
While Mum is packing her bucket and spade, I have been busy sorting out the essentials. No I am not talking about all the clothes, wash things and other incidental stuff. That seems to look after itself and ends up in the cases. My only job regarding all that (other than lifting it into the back of the car) is to inspect the contents on arrival and then spend the next couple of weeks moaning about the fact that my favourite pair of socks was left behind. You just can’t get the staff these days.

No, I am taking about the really important stuff. They say a change is a good as a rest and, for me, it is. I am not one for taking token bits of my hobby on holiday, no, that can have a holiday too. For the next couple of week I will be on the lookout for prototype inspiration. We are off to Scotland and North East England so I will be armed with survey tape, pens paper cameras etc. with an eye on the world around us. Not having an accent myself (born and lived in South East London my entire life) I usually find it hard to understand the locals, but I will have a go. What I don’t get is they keep asking me to repeat what I have just said – strange…

I will be collecting prototype information on everything from the colour of the dirt to the form of the trees. I particularly like studying the grotty bits, especially the accumulations of rubbish, overgrown and neglected areas, graffiti and the general decay. All of this is seldom modelled and can really add to the scene.

For the next couple of weeks, as long as I can get on line, I will post my adventures and show you what we have found in the way of relevant material. Now what did I do with my knotted handkerchief? 



  1. Hi Ralph
    Never realised you had owned a real car, a Ford Cortina 1600E. It was my second company car, gold colour, leather trim and walnut dash!

    Was the knotted hankie to keep your head from getting burnt or the knots to act as a aide memoire?

    Enjoy the wilds north of Watford, remember the beer gets better as you head north and the natives are friendly.

  2. Visit Discovery, around Dundee are a number of interesting industrial sites and the Bell Rock Lighthouse,
    David. Paignton

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for that. We did go and see Discovery exhibition last year - It was the highlight of our visit. Thanks for mentioning the Bell Rock Lighthouse we will go and have a look at that...