What is Normal?

I was going to talk about the fact that after all the work the EC have been doing in the past few months to get Scale ModelWorld off the ground this year and ultimately having to admit defeat, that we can get back to normality and concentrate once again on our usual roles.

It also means I can pick up a couple of modelling projects that got put to one side whilst we dealt with all the stuff around Scale ModelWorld. I have a Matilda Scorpion flail project that’s been ‘stalling’ off and on since February. Some of that was lack of motivation but some of it was lack of time. It’s finally reached the painting stage and is all prepped for a coat of primer.

But it occurs to me that ‘normal’ is something of a strange term at the moment. No matter how much we return to our usual routines, none of it can truly be called normal in the current circumstances. I’ve been in the fortunate position of being able to work from home continuously since late March so in many ways my ‘normal’ daily routine hasn’t changed, but just because I allocate the same balance of work, social and IPMS time to my days as usual doesn’t make it the same in reality. It’s a very different environment.

My life revolves around a room that is roughly nine feet square. It’s my home office, my modelling room and my IPMS Business room. It’s also my library and my virtual club meeting room. I sit at the same desk no matter which of these tasks I’m undertaking so for the past six months I have probably spent some 70% of my time in one place. I’m thoroughly bored with the view from the window (the side of next door’s house). That can’t be healthy so I’ve made a significant effort to get away from this space whenever I can.

Everything is virtual these days – virtual meetings, virtual conversations, virtual model displays and virtual shopping (unfortunately the money isn’t virtual – if only…). My excuse for this blog being late (again) is that I spent the weekend actually going somewhere else. An early finish on Friday and the whole of Monday booked off work gave me a great long weekend. The family have a holiday home where we can all escape to on a semi-regular basis. I keep a fairly comprehensive modelling toolbox there so I know I can just pick up a kit from home and take it with me without having to worry about having all the tools and glues etc. I often do very little modelling whilst we’re there, but I know I always have that option if the mood takes me.

The downside of that habit is that it just increases the number of part-built projects that I have on the go, so discipline is important. My holiday projects are simpler out-of-the-box subjects, or perhaps those with just a bit of detailing. I keep the really complex projects at home but since I only have one airbrush set-up (at home), all the projects arrive on the same ‘pending’ shelf sooner or later.

I doubt ‘normal’ is going to return anytime soon but having a routine is important and having the discipline to stick to it is equally vital. Most of the time I find that fairly easy, but sometimes it’s not. My normal exercise regime is to take my mountain bike out on the local trails but it’s been sat in the garage all this year and I keep finding reasons not to get on it. What was I saying about having discipline?

John Tapsell
IPMS (UK) Publicity Officer