Modelling to Save Your Life

The 580 crew have a practising GP in their midst, with the call sign “Herr Doktor”.  Although he is of German origin, he has lived a large part of his life in the North West.  He regularly visits his mother in Germany, but generally dislikes the regimen of German life and although he speaks with a definite German accent, this is interspersed with words he has learned over here, such as bus, which can make for some entertaining conversations.  He is most definitely British in his outlook as his favourite TV programme is ‘Yes Minister’ and one of his favourite pastimes is going to a ‘Fawlty Towers Dining Experience’ and being singled out as the German.  He also has a penchant for cars with character, which very much manifests itself in his modelling.  In his time, he has owned a TR7, a SAAB 99 Turbo and currently runs a SAAB 900 Cabriolet.

But the biggest contribution “Herr Doktor” has made to 580 Modellers, is his perspective on modelling.  As a GP, of German origin, he is generally very busy and as a result his output can see-saw.  It became evident one day as to why this was so:  He can only model when he is relaxed.  Turns out, when we explored at length with him in one of those ‘behind the table’ conversations which tends to happen amongst the 580 crew, there are two sorts of modellers; those who model to relax and those who can only model when they are relaxed.  And from a straw poll conducted behind the table, when this revelation broke, you are in one camp, or the other, never both.  I immediately identified with this as I could come home from a very busy and perhaps stressful day at the office  (no longer thankfully) and immediately settle down to prepare dinner, while the good lady is completely unable to cook anything until she has ‘chilled out’, which may not be until the late evening.  I evidently cook to relax, becoming completely pre-occupied with it, which takes my mind off the day; a good job one of us ‘cooks to relax’ otherwise the children would have mutinied I’m sure!

But I am most definitely ‘only model once relaxed’ with my modelling.  I’ve tried coming home and ‘modelling to relax’ but it certainly doesn’t work for me;  I make a total hash of simple things, and you know how when you make a mistake, the best thing is to put it down, walk away and return to rectify it sometime later.  Well I don’t.  I want to rectify it straight away, but only end up compounding the mistake which means the partially constructed disaster is put on the ‘shelf of doom’, or worse.  However, once I’ve cooked and eaten, had a cuppa and let me tea settle I am much better prepared for an evening of modelling and this is more than evident in the results.  Models get finished and to my satisfaction, rather than a ‘that’ll do’, and even those disasters are retrieved from the ‘top shelf of doom’ and completed.

More recently, there is something else I’ve noticed too.  I, most unfortunately, had a heart attack in late 2018 and as a result my wife put a FitBit on my wrist (and its linked to her phone so she knows what I’m up to, but we won’t go into that!).  Although the novelty of finding out what my heartbeat is during various activities has long worn off, one thing has really opened my eyes.  I usually enter the modelling den pretty relaxed, with a heartbeat in the 60’s.  However, within an hour or so of sitting down to modelling it drops another 10 beats per minute, or so, indicating I’ve reached another level of ‘relaxedness’.  It doesn’t mean I’m comatose, but I definitely do feel calmer in my ‘inner self’.

For me that’s pretty conclusive proof that modelling is a very healthy hobby, whether you do it too relax or when you are relaxed.