Thanks for that, Sam! And you Carl!
What a fine community the Model Ship World is!
But ... I have a confession to make.
Every day for the last several months I've been telling myself yes, I'll get out to the workshop and do something about my 'Spirit of Mississippi'. And every day I've done nothing of the sort.
Why not, I wondered.
At first I just assumed it was the cold winter weather keeping me away from a chilly workshop. Maybe that had something to do with it, at first, but as time went on I knew there were other factors involved. And gradually I started to see them. May came, and the cold weather went away, but there was no renewal of the enthusiasm. I'd got myself involved in different pastimes. Interests that I could indulge alongside my lovely wife who sits there, looking beautiful, doing her cross-stitching, while my new (and outrageously expensive) sewing machine clatters busily away knocking out ever more quilts and cushion covers!
I was thinking I must have a short attention span. And yet no, it's not quite that.
My interest in model boats began in 2012, when I was reminiscing about the kayak I'd built shortly after WW2. The urge arose to replicate it with a 1" to 1ft scale model, but I had no expertise. So I decided to start with a kit build - Artesania Latina's Mare Nostrum. I build that, then I built my kayak, and the Enterprise, and the Half Moon, and ... well a few. Meanwhile I was buying up Proxxon tools as if the world was coming to an end.
(The world IS coming to an end. But that's another story...)
Now for a flashback.
45 years ago we signed up our 11yo eldest daughter for ballet lessons. She did them - and seemed to enjoy them - for well over 2 years. Tutor said she was her star pupil. We were even wondering if we might have to try and get her into Ballet Rambert, or even the Royal Ballet. But then she said she didn't want to do it any more.
Why? Well (she said) she'd tried it, and she'd proved to herself that she could do it, so she had no need to do it any more.
And that was that. She went on to other things.
I think that's where I am.
I've shown myself that I can build model ships. I'm competent. I know I could do a hell of a lot better if I really persisted, but I don't actually need to do it. It wouldn't prove anything that I didn't already know in my own heart. There's no imperative, in my head or my heart, to go on any more.
It's been a real struggle, getting myself to acknowledge that's where I am. But now it's staring me in the face, and I have to accept it.
A couple of weeks ago I sold my Proxxon table saw (incidentally, for more than I paid for it NEW, even allowing for ebay and paypal fees!). Other Proxxons will follow. And if the Grim Reaper gives me the time, my workshop will in due course become a sewing room, with a £10,000, 10ft long quilting machine standing where the equivalent value of woodworking tools now reside!
I shall not forget the Model Ship World, nor any of the wonderful friends here who have accompanied me while I went through this vital, fascinating, absorbing, ESSENTIAL part of my life! I'll keep my membership here, and look in from time to time. Maybe I'll even write some comments sometimes!
Thank you everyone. The last few years would have been so much poorer without you!