I've just had a quick squint at the stats and we have increased our market share by 25% since I went saucy with the images,,, I can now proudly pronounce that yesterday we had 8 viewers as against the regular 6 when I was boring you rigid with pictures of possibly ancient ancestors of mine,,,, I'm also convinced another good way of increasing the blog's coverage could be to spice up the titles,,, just bear, or this that, bare with me on this one,, whatever,, and talking of stats we are currently at 30 posts for the year which is 2.5 per month,, and we have 20 days of Dezvmber[hic] left,,,,crickey I think I'd better go and have a lie down.
Talking of ancient ancestors I include a picture of Valour,,,, quite probably the most handsome express passenger engine JG Robinson ever designed. [ in my opinion]
Now this qualify's as an ancient ancestor in that I started building it in Jeddah in 1982,,, I'd like to advise that I started scratch building in Jeddah because there was little else to do!!!!!! Ho Ho but I'd be telling porky's,,, I've had the worst thick heads of my life in the country where laughing juice is officially illegal,, I still remember some old salt expat taking me on my first trip to a Saudi "supermarket",,, having been entertained by mother rat and a couple of her latest offspring scurrying around a mountain of Persil boxes in the main window display he then showed me where I could find an "anti insanity kit".
This consisted of 1 large can of Blue Ribband Malt,, next to that was 5kg bags of sugar,, and on the top shelf you could find baking yeast,,, all conveniently laid out next to each other in the same aisle just for the convenience of the local expats,,,,, we then proceeded to purchase a rather large plastic dustbin with lid,, most essential the lid,,, a bottle of Milton babyfood disinfectant stuff and there you have it,,, a Saudi Arabian anti insanity kit.
About 10 days later the great unwashed appeared for the ceremonial opening of SAD's first brew and I never looked back,,, in fact with some of the beverages we were drinking out there at the time we never looked anywhere in particular,,,, anyway I digress,,, back to Valour.
I did have plenty of spare time with,,as described,, little much to do,,, and I also had several days usually at the start of a new working week where I was vowing I would never, ever, try somebody's home beverages ever again,,, and a bit of modelling would alleviate any such pain,,,, the problem was as I had converted the living room into an expats hostelry the bar also served as the workbench,,,,and a busy little place it was too,, I had lots of people popping in quite frequently,,, not for anything specific of course but just to see how I was getting on,, and on occasions some of them popped out about 36 hours after they had popped in,,, seriously there is NO alcohol in Saudi Arabia,,, one day I'll tell the tale of the leaking grand piano!!!!
Valour came out of this time and when I returned to UK and sobered,,, sorry washed the sand from between my toes it found a conveniently dusty part of the shed storage system and slowly rooted itself to the spot,,,, at some point in it's travels I noticed it had acquired a small dent on the boiler,,, I was going to ignore it and carry on,,, but quite frequently this strange gibbering thing appeared on my left shoulder & would squark into my left ear,,, "you can't do that it's Valour for chrissakes",,, a similar gibbering thing occasionally would squark in my right ear,,, "am I ever going to see Valour finished" and unfortunately he was right he never did,,, sorry father,, but at least you can now go for a ride behind the real one on Valhalla Railways,,,, so my new years resolution for the past 10 years,, including 2013 is to get the bloomin thing finished and WE HAVE started as Valour now has an undented boiler,,, in fact Valour now has a NEW boiler and all is well,,, as there are only about 35/40 bits of detailing I need to do to be happy it should be making an appearance somewhere near you in the next 5 to 7 years,,,, I really do want to get it finished as it will be worth much more to Helen when she has the pleasure of cashing it in at some point in the future!!!! [Now there's a cheerful thought]
But I cannot deny that it's already 30 years old and has never really turned a wheel in angst!!
I'm also terrified that as Valour is nearing completion Mr Hornby could well announce on 17th Dec that he is going to be bringing it out in 2013,,, Murphy's Law rules OK,,,, in 1973 I scratch built a Y7 in plasticard whilst on detachment in Sardinia,,, about 6 months later Nucast produced a kit for it,,, and in 74 I scratch built an A5 tank and then not only Nucast but Craftsman brought out there kit's,,, as the Who used to sing,,,,, "why don't y'all FFFFFade away"!!!!
I will give regular updates as to how we are progressing and the first one is now as I have just found the etched nameplates for it purchased from Millholme Models Nottingham for the princely sum of £1.85,,, HOW MUCH,,, do you think I'm made of money!!!!