A modellling holiday

(April 2013)

Despite rumours to the contrary, where I did disappear to was Hobart. You know, that bit at the bottom of the forgotten island at the bottom of Australia. The main reason for this hiatus was to look after the dog belonging to a friend who had to go overseas for a few months and also to see a bit of what Hobart and Tasmania are like. We ended up in a place called Battery Point which is, as it’s name suggests, where the first defensive positions for the settlement at Hobart Town were located. It dates from the 1820s, before the invention of town planning and the wide streets you see in places like Ballarat and, while there are a number of impressive mansions, there are even more tiny cottages, a heritage reminder of the British class system and an affront to my socialist soul.

Having to take a dog for a walk twice a day makes me wonder about dog owners. Don’t they have anything better to do? On average I spent about eighty minutes a day out in the streets of Battery Point, looking at every corner of the suburb and thinking about all the other interesting things I could be doing. For example, if I was still in Battery Point I would probably be out walking the dog about now rather than sitting down making this newsletter, with a cat curled up happily on my lap. I could also have spent that time working on models.

Speaking of model making, you will all have heard of the Salamanca Markets that take place in Salamanca Place every Saturday. Living about five minutes walk from it, I went two or three times and my main impression was of lots of people, like going to the Expo Swap n Sell but without interesting things to look at.
There are several modelling shops in Hobart but I only got to the one in the city. On Saturdays there is a free little shuttle bus that runs around the city and down to Salamanca Place to bring tourists to the markets. Working in reverse, the bus also stops only half a block from the model shop in the city and so I availed myself of the service to go model shopping. The three or so times I went to the shop on a Saturday morning there was almost nobody inside but the fellow behind the counter told me that there is usually a big rush between about 1100 and 1200 when men from all over Hobart are liberated to come and look and spend while their womenfolk are doing other things, perhaps at the Salamanca Markets.

I did have some serious and expensive computer troubles while in Hobart, which is my excuse for not having produced a newsletter last month. I did have some time in the evenings to work on models and got a few – nice interwar airliners of course – more or less completed. One of them was the Welsh Models Short C-Class flying boat, but I’ve got to the stage where I need to mould new engines for it, so it’s not ready yet. I last had a go at moulding stuff in the 1970s and I’m still scarred, so I’m screwing up my courage to have another go at it. Anyone know the name of a good psychiatrist?

Leigh Edmonds

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