Monday, 22 July 2013

Time For Reflection


Well it is now a week ago since surgery and I am out of the grasp of the NSW Health System.  This has been my first major foray involving a regional hospital and I must state that even though Goulburn Base lacks the sheer resources of Sydney hospitals...the staff here certainly do step up.  The care I have received has been above and beyond and I cannot but be in awe of the dedication they show.  On the other private health insurance v's a medicare stay bought me a daily paper and a television...what value!!!...Anyway today I received the news that the tumour ( and other iffy bits ) removed are B9 and there are no signs of lymphoma... and I live again to wreak pain and misery upon my ever suffering family and friends!!!.  The only downside to the whole kerfuffle  is the loss of hearing and loss of feeling over a fair portion of the right hand side of my face which will in all likelihood prove permanent...I was warned of nerve damage and I feel it is a small price to pay!...

Anyway...over the last week or so I have had plenty of time to contemplate the hobby and where I fit in it all.  Don't worry I have not had one of those "religious" type epiphanies....if that were the case I would probably be announcing a shift to Victorian Railways...No, I have just spent a bit of time going through the differing strands of the hobby and working out which of the strands I most enjoy and why.  The underlying factor in all of this is that I have found it very hard to get the juices flowing where the layout is concerned and obviously that would be apparent when I look back over the 90 or so postings since beginning this Blog which was initially created to allow me to chronicle the building of  what has become known as "Fish River"...and in recent times has emphasised  the lack of any real progress. 

While I understand we all find ourselves questioning our hobby involvement at some time or another...for me it has reached a stage where I do have to deal with the issue or risk some sort of mental implosion and while those close to me would proffer that this event would be a minor event based on the total mass involved, it is important for me to prioritise what I LIKE to do and those I feel somehow tasked to achieve. 

So what have I decided so far...

Firstly my dreams of a railway empire have been laid to rest for now.  The part of the layout known as Fish River will have all rail laying and pointwork finalised and scenery also completed.  A single track that circumnavigates the balance of the layout room will be laid and that will allow continuous running.  It will be nice to just sit and watch a train or two traversing the Fish River environs and not having to worry about said trains falling of the limited world I have in place now.

Secondly I will spend more time on the Laser Rail Bits range.  Apart from being a semi commercial venture, I absolutely live for the limited time I spend on kit development presently.  The joy I get from birthing an idea to ready for market is second to none and it requires more time to achieve the goals I have set myself.  I am frustrated with the present speed of kit development and this must change...

Thirdly ( Gee all this firstly and secondly stuff is starting to sound like K Rudd ) I plan to restructure the main business to focus more on the type of work that reflects time input v/s dollars.  While this may seem is certainly not intended to be.  The business has grown steadily and we have worked hard over the last 20 years or so and I feel that it is time that the business become more tailored around our lives and not the other way around.

Lastly, I am thoroughly enjoying the creation of mini scenes or mini dioramas. It brings together many disciplines of the hobby into one single focus and I would love to explore this facet some more and hopefully discover some added skills and hone existing ones. The resultant scenes will either be stockpiled and end up as part of the layout in the future or will be sold if so desired...either way they are very fulfilling and in most cases gives me the ability to construct and place in context some of our kit products. 

The end result of all of these changes will hopefully provide a more balanced life and isn't that what we all try and achieve from being involved in a hobby in the first place???

Have a Great Week!!!          


  1. Rod

    The prime things in life is first, Life, then the family & other things follow. That you have come through the surgery well is the most important, & the nerve damage is one of those "side affects" that all will live with.

    That the tests are clear & tumours B9 is also a real living bonus & better than any end of year whimsical boss/shareholders decision.

    I can understand totally where you are coming from with the layout, as it has crossed my mind on several occasions especially as my back issues get progressively worse, now I am enjoying kit building & some scratch building as its light work & general less intense than the layout.

    Some years ago I saw an article in a U.S magazine that showed a layout the owner built using the concept of joining together of what were essentially a series of diorama's.

    Four of them were built to represent the 4 main seasons as well as terrain variations, such as mountains, forest, plains & city scope.

    He partitioned each section with a narrow vertical wall & a tunnel through the wall into the new scene. I thought it was excellent & as it separated one scene from the other it meant no need for a graduated aspect of the layout.

    Possibly with your diorama's its something to think about how it could be incorporated into your run at a more leisurely pace.

    Best thing though is to do what you want to do & in accord with the family.



  2. Col,
    I take this opportunity to thank you for your call which Vanessa took while I was in a drug induced stupor...I will ring and have a chat soon...

    With regards to the latest has been on my mind for a while to make some changes but the latest round of issues gave me the down time to actually do some thinking and actually implement a plan. At the very least I am attempting to make changes to my "time management" instead of just complaining about the outcomes all the time. Certainly the family is always forefront in anything I do and I guess if I am happy they are happy and vice a versa. The first thing I need to do is massage and cajole the sign and engraving side of the business into what I want it to be and make the workload more predictable. This should in turn give more dependable time to Laser Rail Bits and when that element is bedded down I will then look at the hobby side of things more closely. A great master plan should it all go according to this space!!!


  3. Rod,

    Good to hear that the surgery has been successful and a bit of enforced navel gazing never goes astray. The big challenge now is to make it all happen, one step at a time. However, you are right, ultimately, it is a hobby and is meant to be a source of enjoyment and recreation.

    cheers Phil

  4. Phil,

    Thanks for your message and kind words... Yes you are correct I now have to make it all happen...I took a couple of baby steps today towards the long term goal but it will be a transition that is for sure.

    Talk Soon


  5. Hi Rod,

    Glad to hear that the bits you donated were B9 (and not K9).

    Have some more fun designing and constructing your structures and dioramas.

    Hopefully you can reorganise your regular business so that you can get more "free" time but don't get too distressed if this doesn't happen. This "just in time" attitude seems to be the nature of modern business (and social life if you let technology run your life).

    John Proctor

  6. Rod
    We've covered your bits elsewhere so won't go there again !
    When you get to our vintage, not suggesting we're ready for the glue factory now or the near future, you do start to 'take stock', which can include coming to terms with your mortality and deciding exactly what floats your boat (or shunts your wagon !) and how much of said desires or goals you expect to be able to fit in or achieve. What you have done is not just restructure your business but you've come up with a plan to balance what will probably turn out to be a big chunk of the rest of your life.
    Good one.