Friday, 22 August 2014

If Only I had an Armchair

I'm always conscious that at times this must come across as an armchair modeller's blog.  I salve my conscience by reminding myself that it would be nice to have the time to be an armchair modeler. In fact put me in an armchair at the moment and the only thing I'm likely to do is fall asleep.

I'm writing this in a bar in Melbourne.  I think it is Monday but to be honest the last ten days are a blur of cattle class travel, hotel rooms, meetings and presentations.  I lost my voice five days ago but the show goes on. It will be another four days before I see home again. Unfortunately the trip home involves around 40 hours without a bed.

On the other hand I'm having the time of my life.  I've just got off this vintage Melbourne tram

Yesterday I managed to persuade some of the leading minds of my industry that they wanted nothing better than to take a major detour so I could take a handful of pictures of the Puffing Billy

On Friday I delivered a speech in front of $200m worth of classic cars

I've even seen and filmed a platypus.

I've also talked the hind legs off several donkeys despite my loss of voice

This trip had been dominating my life for the last four months. It has taken a lot of planning by a lot of people and a lot of panicking by me that I've tried to hide from everyone else involved.  The pressure to get it right has been enormous and more than once I've suffered from imposter syndrome.
Carefully crafted PowerPoints have been thrown into the WPB at the last minute and replaced by improvised and impassioned talks designed to address the needs of the audience  and some how it has all come together.

Can you see where I'm going with this

Yep, it is a bit like building a layout.


  1. Loved the photos on Flickr. I'm not that interested in non UK stuff but felt the "I wanna make a model of that" tingle when I saw them.

  2. Phil,

    I have to say the NA class are a lot more attractive in the flesh than I'd expected. One thing you would need to model the line is space. It isn't a prototype for the minimum space modeller!

  3. I am very pleased that you managed to see the Puffing Billy line...a visit to Oz would be unthinkable without that! I admire your bravery, getting up in front of people and organising a trip like this. That takes real guts.

    1. Iain,

      I was worried at one point that I would miss out on the Puffing Billy, but I feel the need for a return visit to travel on it.

      I still find it odd that an introvert like myself can happily stand up in front of an audience of 650+ people and entertain them for an hour without any notes. Then I've been doing it for 20+ years and these days only occasionally throw up before going on stage. On the other hand I panic when building a model because there is something twenty steps later in the build process that I haven't yet figured out how to do.

    2. Iain,

      I was worried I might have missed out on the Puffing Billy but it all worked out in the end thanks to friends understanding that a Brit's "I really don't mind if we don't see it" translates as "I would be mortified to have come all this way and then not see it"

      I still find it odd that an out and out introvert like myself can walk up on stage and speak for an hour without notes in front of an audience of 650+ people but then struggle to talk to just one person during the coffee break.

      I guess it just illustrates that we all have odd things we find difficult. When it comes to modelling I know I'm always hampered by a fear of not knowing how to cope with a step 20 stages down the line.