Chaos to Cosmos
The path from chaos to cosmos was discovered by telling one's life story

Sunday, 26 July 2015

South Coast Model Railway Club Exhibition 2015


South Coast Model Railway Club Model Railway Exhibition at Arnewood School, in New Milton, the high spot of which, for us, was the Oakwood layout (pictured), described as a freelance layout, built for the exhibitor's grand-daughter.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Wimbourne Model Railway Exhibition 2015

Cows Crossing at Woodley Moor

In April it was the turn of the Wimborne Railway Society's biennial Wimbourne Model Railway Exhibition at Queen Elizabeth's School, from which the above is from Terry Harrington's layout Woodley Moor, a fictional ex Midland Region mainline station set in Yorkshire. We particularly like this scene with the cattle being driven (clearly, back out to the field after milking) as this creates the feeling that more is going on than if they were just standing in a field.

The other takeaway from this show was seeing what can be done (see below) with some Celotex insulation board and Woodland Scenics Realistic Water™.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Welcome to Medieval Britain

It’s clear that the current government has been doing it’s worst to take Britain backwards to pre-1948 (i.e.  pre Welfare State.) Others have suggested that they’ve taken us back to the Victorian era and that’s certainly true with regard to their renewed keenness to lay the blame for poverty and unemployment upon the 'idleness' of the individuals concerned.

Their ideological standpoint certainly is that regressive, because by the 1940’s that attitude - the attitudes of politicians and the public towards social welfare - had changed dramatically. For it to have returned to the hideously cruel and backward ideas of the Victorian era … well, I have no words. Oh, actually I do. Three: Evil. Greedy. Bastards.

Meanwhile, it dawned on me that the regression is going WAY further back.

Whilst researching something totally unrelated (as you do), I came across this explanation of life in the middle ages, The Manorial System & Common People. Common people. Yes, that’s us! We’re still viewed with the same distrust, disrespect and disgust. Not because of anything we’ve done, but because they judge us in reference to their own standards of behaviour. Still.

Anyway, as an example:
“A serf's job was whatever the noble told them it was, carpenter, blacksmith, baker, farmer, and tax collector, serfs did it all. A serf could buy their own freedom if they could get the money, but where could they get the money?”
Doesn’t that sound familiar, when you compare it to anyone with a low-paid job these days, anyone on zero-hours contracts, forced onto workfare … and no way out except overpriced payday loans? You can read more here. Oh, and it’s for kids, so it should be simple enough to understand, even for right-wingers.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

The devil in the details

A comment in an exchange on a ME forum on Facebook attracted my interest. They said:
"My biggest issue is finding caregivers who really understand how important it is to be detail oriented to save me energy, like making sure to put things away in the right place so I don't waste energy having to search for it. But I have found a really good caregiver and she really does understand. She has two other clients, who are both paraplegic and she says if she had to choose, she would rather have their disability than mine, because their quality of life is so much better."
Sadly, many of us with ME will certainly identify with the quality of life issue. 

It has often struck me (and this is a bit of an elephant in the room, because it could seem very insensitive to say so), but that "merely" having a physical impairment, whilst otherwise feeling quite well, is bound to result in a better quality of life than for those of us who have to deal with a long list of physical and neurological limitations, mobility issues and chronic pain, as well as feeling incredibly unwell, day-in-day-out (personally for over 40 years now.) 

On a practical level though, the rest of the comment is excellent food for thought. There's really not much can be done about whole days lost looking for the item you put in the daftest place yourself, because of brain fog (did that one yesterday), but clearly a lot to be gained from organisation; having a system and a place for everything. That goes hand-in-hand with pacing. 

And having had carers, I can confirm that with up to three visits per day, from the same number of different carers, then the most frustrating thing is all the time and energy one spends trying to find the things that they have all put back in different places every time. There were times when both I and my husband were on the brink of saying that this one thing cancelled out any of the benefits.

Frequently, I feel that my list making and organising gets to obsession level: that someone who can scarcely manage to get out of bed, let alone out of the house (only rarely for ever shorter periods) really shouldn't need organisation at the level applicable to large and complicated projects, but I seem to. It helps me to remember things, get something done and do it in small, manageable amounts.

Even my (supportive and understanding) husband doesn't always get why it's vital for me to keep on top of things and why I persist in trying to manage to do so, when even I know that I really, really, really need to rest and NOW. So, yes, I can also see why it is going to be difficult to get caregivers to fully grasp this need. But not doing things and the consequences thereof of chaos, mess and clutter (those being relative terms) are, in fact, much worse than continuing to try to keep things under control, even at a cost to current energy and the resultant post-exertional maliase. The later cost of catching up, along with additional stress of the interim nagging anxiety, would add up to so much more. I'd like it not to cost at all, but I haven't found the solution to that conundrum yet.

The natural progression from having everything in the right place so you don't have to search for it, which I discovered by bitter experience yesterday when searching for that misplaced item, is not having too much clutter through which to search. Dealing with clutter not only creates physical challenges, but it really bothers me mentally and I can now see why it will be critically important for my health, in both ways, to get this dealt with. Decluttering has to be one of my next projects to organise. Probably in painstaking, obsessive detail. <Evil grin

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Bournemouth Model Railway Exhibition 2015

St. Georges Quay at Bournemouth Model Railway Exhibition 2015

In February, we visited the Bournemouth Model Railway Exhibition at The Hamworthy Club. Above is the port (St. Georges Quay) on one corner of the Umbridge N guage layout of The Railway Enthusiasts' Club

The other layout I was quite taken with at this show was Hedges Hill Cutting (below), which has fantastic detail and conveys so much in a small space.

Hedges Hill Cutting

Hedges Hill Cutting

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas 2014

Partridge in a Pear Tree

12 Days of Christmas

Two Canarian Cats

Christmas Tree