As I sit here tonight and look at the radar map, Britain has all but disappeared under a blanket of green, with highlights of yellow and red: torrential rain over the entire country; perhaps, like Noah, we shall soon have to turn our attention to boat building. Frustrating it certainly is, with so much outdoor work hindered, and more outside work planned for this year 2024.
A recent review of my hearing loss, entailing another hearing test - the previous one was carried out in 2013 - has shown a massive decline in my left ear within the speech range, this latest graph indicates my hearing loss as 'profound' and I have been recommended for an MRI Scan by the Audiology Department. My right ear has suffered some increased loss; but nowhere near the dramatic loss in the left ear. I am therefore waiting, and hoping, to get an MRI appointment soon.
Our outdoor work this year 2024 is concerned with building restoration, and we have a number of walls and roofs that require urgent repair, this is mainly outbuildings and one east-facing wall of the main house which gets a good battering each winter. I have sourced professional help this year, as a means to speeding up the work; especially as windows in the weather have been so small, and seem likely to continue unfavourably for some time. I long for the defined seasons of my childhood; even the winter of 1963 seems attractive compared to this continual rain no matter what the season; although, I read, the weather forecast is now predicting snow to arrive soon, and usually February is the month for snow. Here the birds are pairing already because it has been mild, if wet, and they may get caught out if snow does fall on the mountain; as will any newborn lambs, often the victim of sudden snowfall.
I have completed my trilogy of three related books in manuscript form; and now have two new works in progress. Writing has become my predominate art form since retiring in April 2022; and restoration of model railway items in 00 and 0 gauge follows on slowly, as my time has to be carefully managed due to the wide variety of needs to which I must attend. I am also planning to refurbish the 'other end' of the studio building this year, with a view to obtaining more workable space.
I am thinking of restoring the visual archive of past model railway painting and weathering work, and may select a few photographs to appear in the archive page or pages in the near future. I also desperately want to get some of the outstanding LMC items restored.
Best wishes for 2024 to you.
Retirement is a process best eased into...
And it was going quite well until the energy price crisis took away the entire value of one of my monthly pension payments; I have had to close my studio because I cannot afford to run the gas boiler, the heat pump, and the general electric costs of the studio this winter; so the studio is mothballed until at least next springtime, the gas boiler is shut down and isolated, the water turned off and drained from the system; the first time in over thirty-years I have had to do this to get through the winter financially.
As for the main house my wife and I are children of the 1950s and 60s so an absence of central heating was normal; the first house I occupied with radiators was in 1988, our plan is to fall back on the resilience of childhood, when you could scratch your name in the ice with your fingernail - that was on the inside of the bedroom window by the way - and revert to a simpler way of life; we got through winter then, even in 63 - although my father did have to pull me by my ankles out of a snowdrift, and we shall get through the winter now; although, I fear many will not, and death toll figures will no doubt be suppressed, and then leaked, and we shall see what the tabloids make of those figures next year. Perhaps the British people will then get the general election they deserve, and should already have had if politics had been honourable.