Sunday, 27 July 2014

Re-visiting an old dilemma

The next step for this layout is to finish the buildings, lighting and street furniture so that I can get on with the station and then eventually get some trains running.

Still not sure where to place the ceramic Theatre de l'Opera.

I think that the solution is to move the cardboard town square to a location facing the station facade and then place the theatre near the ceramic church.

This has the advantage of grouping the ceramic buildings in a cluster. That grouping is better visually because the ceramic buildings share a shiny surface.

In particular, I think the church looks better next to another ceramic building rather than next to the highly detailed and multi-coloured BUT matt finished cardboard town square.

Current situation.
Suggested location for town square.

And the theatre would go next to the church.
I'm just not sure.

Currently listening to:

One of the great albums of the 20th Century
Last night's dinner:

Fillet of Coley (£0.94) plus ratatouille and asparagus
Currently reading:

Drumming practice update:

45 minutes on the jungle snare - dampened with bubble wrap inside it.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Next steps.

When I get my railway mojo back, I'm going to attend to the little card buildings that form a kind of town square. In particular, a row of street lights will be put in place similar to those around the street cafe.

The town square
The row of lights around the street cafe.
Last night's dinner:

A hamburger in the Counting House, Glasgow, followed by a long, meandering walk home from the city centre through the west end and home.

Took a route that passed all the offices I used to work in and flats I used to stay in. Should have taken photographs of each place but just took a couple of general evening views instead.

The Counting House
Beresford Hotel in Sauchiehall Street

Steps leading up to Park Terrace.

Coming over the brow of  Great George Street and then down to Byres Road
Currently listening to:

Currently Reading:

Desolate about there being no more Shaun Ryder memories to tuck into.

Tried Lemmy's autobiography which seeks to achieve the same effects. But it's a total failure - he just comes over as sensationalist and spiteful.

Yet Lemmy is an interesting person. Some idiot must have edited it badly for him and given him bad advice, underestimating the intelligence of his potential readership.

I'll have to keep looking.

Drumming practice update:

45 minutes on the drum pad. But my 1-to-1 tutoring resumes this week; plus 2 sessions of Samba drumming classes. So, things are getting serious.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Interest re-kindled

The last couple of months has seen a significant decline in my interest in the model railway.

But yesterday I got an email from a French magazine which re-kindled my interest.

Basically, it was advertising a locomotive made by the European manufacturer, PIKO.

The cost was 139 euros and it operated on the French railways during the 1950s. I'm not buying it, but, as I say, it re-kindled my interest in the layout.

As far as I can find out the locomotive is based on German locomotives left by the defeated Prussians in Alsace-Lorraine after the 1st World War armistice.

A preserved Prussian locomotive.
I'll have to do some more research. But I like it's distinctive Continental appearance and feel.

Currently listening to:

The latest podcast from Optimo on Rinse FM (July's edition) is really growing on me. It's a treasure trove of electronic music. You hear an artist on the podcast and you want to explore him (or her), tracking down other stuff they've recorded.

Case in point, this time around:

Russell Haswell (on the right of picture)
Last night's dinner:

An unusually horrible take away chicken chow mein whilst finishing off Shaun Ryder's brilliant autobiography
Finished reading:

As I said in a previous blog, this summer has provided me with 3 outstanding (and 1 good - the Epstein) autobiographies.

Very interesting.



But the best of the lot was Shaun Ryder's.

In case you think I'm talking rubbish:

"Intoxicating: swaggering, cringing, furious, vulnerable, chaotic, bilious, funny, mad. A seamless, authentic, exhilarating read, without a slack paragraph." The Sunday Times

And go into the Amazon site and read the customer reviews - wall-to-wall accolades.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Opening Ceremony

Last night's dinner:

Nothing, because of leaving early by public transport for the Opening Ceremony of Glasgow's Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in the east end of Glasgow.

Opening Ceremony:

The first thing to say is that my sister and brother-in-law treated us to seats at this ceremony - £250 each. So the view was great and the stadium incredibly impressive - frighteningly steep, which obviously enhances the view.

Some photos:

Approaching the stadium on a hot summer evening.

John Barrowman, a singer, on top of a typical shipyard crane symbolising Glasgow's mighty industrial past.

The clearance of the stadium was an event in itself.

The Red Arrows fly past.

The Queen arrives.

The Scottish team enters the stadium.

Mobile phones being held aloft.

The Queen.

Typical view from our seats.
Never thought I'd use the Gents at Celtic Park.
Queueing for the shuttle buses afterwards
The queue for the buses passed this walled cemetery

Back-lit by the lights from the stadium.

Home by 1.15am.

Verdict: a great evening where everyone was cheerful and positive.

Currently listening to:

Since Shaun Ryder rates this first Black Grape album above all else he recorded, listened to it on iTunes Preview.

Black Grape
Currently reading:

Still really enjoying this book.
He recorded this record with Russell Watson.
Drumming practice update:

No photographs, but went back to the unused upper floors above the pub in Glasgow where the Samba drums are kept and practised on a Caixa for the first time in 6 weeks.

They're awkward to play because they dangle from a belt at waist height. Went OK.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Odds and Ends

Last night's dinner:

Our garden in Glasgow

Duck Confit from Cook frozen foods.

Plus sister and brother-in-law
Drumming practice update:

My memory has returned, the 6 songs recorded yesterday with me playing the snare drum with brushes were:

Dreams by Fleetwood Mac

The Man who Sold the World by David Bowie

Carey by Joni Mitchell

Saw Her Standing There by The Beatles

Leaves That Are Green by Bob Dylan

Inbetween Days by The Cure

Unfortunately, I don't know how to attach MP3 files to this blog, but even on second listening, I'm really, really pleased with them.

Still Reading:

Hope this book never ends - a real sense of someone on a journey through life.

Currently listening to:

The above mentioned MP3 files of my snare drumming.


Cycled with my young sister through Glasgow and witnessed the evidence of Commonwealth Games fever building up in the city - not evident in these photographs, right enough.

Two fast approaching speed boats.

Off to opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games tonight by bus.