2011 has been a very much mixed up year for me, it has been a year of extreme highs and lows, more or less in equal measure.
On the down side my personal life has been turned on its head and pulled though a hedge backwards, that’s the only way I can describe it.
At the start of the year two events took place that will probably be two of the most significant events that will stay in my life for ever.
In January my wife was diagnosed with bone cancer, and I was also told that I would be losing my job through redundancy in April.
Just one of those events would be enough, but both together, I was devastated to say the least.Because of these events another great upheaval took place and that was a house move back to the Black Country from Telford so we could be nearer to our kids and family.
The redundancy was really a blessing in disguise for me, at 60 years of age the prospects of getting another job was remote to say the least, so I signed on the “Dole” and took things as they came. At least I would not be working 12 hour night shifts anymore!
In March there was a brief “high” point. My Model railway layout Pen-Y-Bont was featured in Model Rail magazine, It was a strange feeling actually seeing your work through the eyes of photographer Craig Tiley and words by Richard Foster but I really felt that I had got some where at last with my hobby.
Pen-Y-Bont again featured when I took the layout to two exhibitions. Telford in October and Wolverhampton in November.
I was also really chuffed when Andy York contacted me and wanted to feature Pen-Y-Bont in Modelling Inspiration, so that was another high note for me.
After “signing on” for six months and getting nowhere with job searching I had had enough and have thrown in the towel. I now claim Pension Credit and class myself as retired so that is the blessing in disguise I was talking about earlier.
My wife continues to receive treatment for her cancer and is still fairly well considering, so we hope we have some more quality time now I am at home 24/7.
I was too late re-joining RMWeb to enter the 2011 challenge competition and I suppose to be fair the way things were going at the start of the year it would have been unlikely that I would have entered into anything that would take up much spare time.
However I have found another internet forum MRG, which is a new group of around 100 members.
One of their ideas is for each member to build some sort of diorama over the winter months, no competition, no prizes, just interchange of ideas and progress on the forum.
I decided to take part because unlike the RMWeb 2011 contest there was no pressure to complete in a given time scale, Hence my new layout (or part of it) Morfa Bach was born.
Towards the end of 2011 and my own health is now starting to go downhill. I have a few problems including COPD, Heart disease and angina and to top it off I have been told by an orthopaedic specialist that I have a partly fused spine which is not going to get any better.
This almost put a full stop to me showing any layout at any exhibition but, since joining MRG and Cradley Heath MRC I have been amazed by the offers of help at shows,so, Pen –Y-Bont and hopefully Morfa Bach will be out and about again in 2012.
So, as you can see it’s been a very mixed year for me. I don’t believe in wish lists but if I could just have a couple of things for Christmas it would be a cure for Cancer and a long happy retirement.
I’m sorry if any of this has bored you to tears but, by telling others about such things makes it a lot easier for me to bear.
Money is tight, times are hard.....Here's your E Christmas card!