Sunday, 31 January 2016

Busier than ever!...

I know I'm supposed to be taking it easy after a heart attack, but I have friends all asking me to knock out a model or three for them for their slot racing habits.  And doing so, makes me think of what I want for me, too.

So I find myself Delaying the Capri I was doing for one chap, because he suddenly wants a V-16 BRM!
Here's both of them.  This was taken at about 2 pm. yesterday.  At 12-30 I was still trying to find a suitable photo-copier to do my drawings to size.  I can still get a wiggle on when I want to!  Today, at 2pm., it's finish-shaped, but needs all the details done, like a LOT of louvres.

Of course I've also been busy on my Bloody Mary model, but have had to stop to do these other shells.
And because I can never get anyone interested in my kind of cars, I may just have to make these for myself in the hope that when someone sees them done they'll want to produce a few as shells.
These in particular:-
My Trident Venturer V6
the beautiful Morgan SLR
the simply stunning Rejo-Climax, a car which makes even the pretty Lola Mk 1 look like a pram!

There are so many others too, but these'll do for the time being.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016


The Bloody Mary model now has a front axle and some front dampers.  The two Mashima tiny motors are screwed in and some pulleys made and fitted for the belt drive.

Meanwhile, having made a Capri that was 1/2" too small thanks to a dodgy drawing, we have the new one, or at least the right hand half of it.

A fella has to keep busy.

I was required to go to what is called Cardiac Rehab yesterday.  I had to get up while it was still night time, drive 40 miles in traffic and park out of sight of the hospital for 3 quid in a machine that wouldn't work, just to sit in a tiny gym and be preached at by a woman who really should have taken her own dietary advice, along with her three staff, then do a series of physical jerks like school PE.
She seemed to read the mood very quickly and couldn't get rid of us quick enough. 
I will, of course, do as she asks and build up to a daily 30 minute session of exercise, even though to walk round here for 30 minutes is to die another death, that of sheer boredom!
What I will not do twice a week for three hours, over 4 weeks, is all the above plus pretend to be enjoying it like all the other old farts present, who all wore sports clothes and a coloured sash.  Oh my sweet Heavens, whatever next?  I do not, never have, nor ever will possess any item of apparel which could, by any stretch of the imagination, be mistaken for sports clothing.
If you ever see me in trousers displaying a stripe up the leg, or a pair of training shoes...shoot me!

Monday, 18 January 2016

The right crowd...

I shouldn't steal the old Brooklands saying really, but it seems as apt at a hillclimb as any meeting at the famous egg oval pre-War.

I love hillclimbing.  Speed Hillclimbing that is.  Man against clock for rarely more than half a minute or so up an English hill of maybe 1000 yards, flat out, reaching, these days, maybe 145 mph on a course no more than 12 feet wide.  Now THAT will sort the men from the spotty Corsa modders!
Some of the strangest cars have appeared on British Hills over the years and many still compete 80, 90 years after they first saw the light of day.

I have been making a model of one of the most famous hillclimb Specials, Bloody Mary and was considering making a suitable track to run my hillclimbers on.
Prescott Park initially.  It seems the perfect hill with its big swoop round before the climb up to Pardon Hairpin.

But then Shelsley Walsh has the most wonderful Start line of them all.  Apart from being the World's oldest competitive motor sport venue, Shelsley is a time capsule anyway. Part farm, part village. The ancient buildings are all still there as is the iron fence that accompanies the start line. There's even an ancient water mill and a village church BEHIND the hill's gates!

Then again, the first hillclimb I ever went to was Wiscombe Park in Devon.  I cannot forget standing amongst the rhododendrons whilst 500 horsepower monsters screamed past me only a few feet away, only to brake and slew round Sawbench Hairpin, then reverberate back up through the rhododendron bushes to Martini and the finish.

Damn, what to do?  .......A bit of each!  Shelsley's start, Prescott's middle and Wiscombe's finish.
Presleycombe Park!
1/43rd scale to get as much in as possible and make use of all the thousands of diecast models for the car park AND the fact that I already have buildings in that scale for my model railway that I'll never build.  1/32nd scale slot cars can still run on the track if a little squeezed.  Some of the Specials I love can't be made in 43rd scale as there'd be no space for a motor, so 1/32nd it is for some and 1/43rd for most.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Well, hursh mah mouth....

I knew it was a mistake.  Trying to take part in a forum from which I've been hounded more than once.
My oldest friend found me on it and after 48 years PM'd me through Slot Forum. I had to rejoin to read his message.  Sure enough it was he and once I had his e-mail address I should have bowed out of the forum as before.  But no, out of a lack of anything much to do while recovering I joined in again...and got the same old characters willfully misunderstanding me as ever.  Pushing their cock-eyed views as truth, poo-pooing my experience of decades as a professional, blah, blah.
The nonsense that a scratchbuilt model is more expensive than a Ready to Run one, etc.
Bloody fools.  I am as tight as a duck's arse. If making was more expensive than buying, would I really have been a maker of things all these years!
Of course if you MUST have 80 pound Dremels and 600 pound Chinese lathes or buy everything off the overpriced catalogue when building a slot car, then yes, you will have spent all your pocket money and more, but I don't even get pocket money, so I don't buy any of it for full price and neither should you.
Please don't look for me on Slot Forum any more.  I'm gone, man...solid gone....for good.

Monday, 4 January 2016

This is addictive!...

Being a recuperative man with time on his hands to listen to new music is something of  treasure.
Here, we have not only sax. man, Jan Garbarek and Eberhard Weber together, but the wonderful guitarist AND pianist Ralph Towner and Jon Christensen on drums.
This is an album I shall be searching for!
Try this, my busier friends:-

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Sometimes it just has to be told...

Whilst in the Kings Lynn leg of my sick bed sojourn I shared the ward with a very nice chap, Dave Sugar.  Poor sod was in a worse state than me but we chatted about all sorts of stuff, finding that we were interested in so many common things.  Not least, music.

He is, for instance, the only person I've known in decades who not only knows of Indo-Jazz Fusions, but has the very same album!
But he gave me a name of a bass player of whom I had never heard.  Eberhard Weber.  I figured, with little to do for a while, I'd look him up on youtube. ........Lordy, lordy, what utter magic.  And I'm a fussy sod where music is concerned and even more so with the bass.
If you want to smile, cry and make your day as good as you deserve it to be, try this, it won't take
Go to 5:30 for just a few seconds if you're short of time and tell me you haven't been much improved by the experience.

Dave Sugar, thanks, mate. I hope we meet again in better circumstances.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Your Natural History will change...

Said the very strange doctor standing at the end of my hospital bed.
He had the thick set dark look of an Egyptian souk dweller.  His large belly clothed in a heavy check shirt was supported by a huge, thick, immensely old leather belt, which had not a single waistband loop to help it in its duties.  He had all the appearance of a Sudanese railwayman, so that's what he became to not just me, who has a problem catching foreign doctors' names, but the rest of the ward and even some of the nurses.

I had suffered a heart attack at 2-30 am on Boxing Day and here I was in hospital facing the trip to a larger hospital to have an angioplasty.  The Sudanese train driver was my referral doctor. I had seen so many, all of whom asked the same questions and assured me they were the one who would be looking after me and all of whom I never saw a second time!

Eventually, an Indian doctor came to see me in the larger hospital, explained the dangers of the procedure, got my signature and left, BUT, he was in green scrubs. HE looked like he meant business. HE chatted about modelmaking.  And HE it was, who explained it all to me as he poked a wire up my right arm, painlessly, swiftly and surely.  I was awake the whole time and was so comfy on the firm but compliant slab of foam that I nearly nodded off, but I then realised they'd been playing country rock on the music machine in this tiny ops. theatre.  Country rock for Christ's sake!  I complained and the doctor laughed out loud and told me to bring my own fucking music next time. Touche, Mr. Krishnam.  And thanks.

Later that afternoon, as the crew from the little ops. theatre came into the ward to prepare for a good night out, he came in to have a long chat about modelmaking, slot cars, craftsmanship and a lot besides.

My friends who assured me that the procedure was painless were instrumental in my putting  my signature to the permission form.  I was too scared before that.  You know who you are and thanks, as ever.

I should say that I had not stayed in a hospital since I was about 9 or 10, an experience I have chosen to forget. Ever since, I have hated being in or even near a hospital, something I have only done, reluctantly, in the role of visitor.
Yet my experience in adulthood for the first time, of staying, nearly a week in not one but two hospitals could not have been better.  The friendliness, helpfulness and professionalism of every level of staff, from cleaners  through orderlies and auxilliaries to nurses, staff nurses and doctors was astonishing.  They must be hard wired to do these jobs so well, so reassuringly.  Nobody could could keep the act going otherwise.

Superb service, lovely home cooked food, oodles of tea and other drinks throughout the day. The right medications at exactly the right times of day, blood pressure and sugars taken every hour if necessary.  Saline drips, heart monitoring, bed remaking, the friendly Norfolk sing-song of "aah yoroite, mah daalin'"?
And all for free.  We British don't know what we have, really.

What a week!
Meet Monica the Monitor.  The transport of this entire rig was necessary for me to just spend a penny!