Thursday, 31 March 2022

The cost of neglect

 It would be fair to say that things are not going as I had hoped.  All is well, relatively speaking, although Uncle Covid has visited both myself and the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' for a second time.  We seem to escape his visits unscathed, but it throws our respective day jobs into turmoil as we navigate the public health advice and that of our own respective institutions.  It is the day job, good reader, that is putting paid to my hobby time.  I suspect age and failing eyesight play their part, but I just don't seem to find the quality time to indulge in a spot of painting or model making as easily as I used to.

So it was that I found myself contemplating a photograph of an empty desk in a bid to make some sort of progress with my meagre task of a post a month.  As I was sitting there, gently dusting the surfaces of this forgotten refuge, I spied my latest eBay win, still securely packaged in its bubblewrap and decided to share this with you instead.

By way of context, I need to share something of a backstory with you, which goes as follows.  A cruel reminder of just how long it has been since I last painted anything, I noticed that the water in my trusty plastic water pot had completed evaporated.  As I marvelled at this phenomena, the bone dry receptacle in hand, I gave it a gentle squeeze, thinking that this might dislodge the dried film of what was once dirty water from its sides.  To my dismay there was a loud crack and the grim realisation dawned that I had done for my old friend.  We had been together since art school, this was a genuine tragedy, what was I to do?

Setting aside my grief for a moment, I gazed teary eyed around the table, the pitiful sight of long abandoned projects did little to lift my moral, but then my eyes fell on my couple of Denby Stoneware pieces, a small milk jug that I use for storing my brushes and a storage pot, resplendent with guardsmen transfers that holds my smaller tools.  I wonder, thought I as I stroked my bristled chin, could there be something in this range to replace my poor lost friend?  

As luck would have it, with a mere couple of minutes of web based research, a likely contender in the shape of a jam pot without lid, was unearthed.*   Enthusiastically placing my bid, the minimum required, I sat back and waited.  A couple of days later I was notified that I had won and gladly paid the monies required, although it irked somewhat that the postage and packing was going to be greater than the object itself!  My long serving water pot was replaced. 

*Made from the exact same clay too!

There is nothing hugely remarkable about Denby Stoneware.  These particular pieces are Denby Manor Green, which is perhaps one of the oldest ranges and one that is instantly recognisable as a classic Denby design. First issued in 1938, from a design by Donald Gilbert, the pieces were finished in a rich sage green glaze with a cream interior.  Production continued until the late 1970s and as such they have a certain charm that we now refer to as 'retro'.  For me they just feel familiar, items that despite their age just do their job, perhaps an allegory for this tired schoolmaster?  Regardless, I am determined to christen my new acquisition during the Easter holidays, although as to what gets painted is anyone's guess!

36 comments:

  1. There's quite a lot going on there, really. Existential threats, mortality, our own inevitable replacement by those we spawn and you train to replace us, all through the microcosm of a sadly kaput long serving paint pot. All a bit deep for a Thursday night, granted, but weirdly poetic nonetheless. Perhaps we should view the ease and fittingness of the replacement as some sort of metaphor for renewal (?) Alternatively, tomorrow is Friday and I, for one, am due a pint.

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    1. Far too much going on, but it was one of those bizarre posts that kept writing. That said, a pint is by far the better option.

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  2. Sweet pot. Nice lines. Subtle tones. It'll serve you well. The water pot is dead, long live the water pot!

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    1. Well absolutely and now having used it in anger I can testify to the fact that it is easy to clean too.

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  3. After reading of your trials Michael, I began to wonder....am I doing it all wrong? I just use cast off makeup jars & plastic Yogurt containers for my water pots, etc. Perhaps this revelation as to the quality of ones water pot is why my painting is not on par with your own! Looking forward to seeing more posts from you in the future!

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    1. Now let's be clear an empty jam jar would have been a much more sensible way to go, but I have noticed over this barren period that sometimes buying things for the hobby is as good as actually doing the hobby.

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  4. I’m sorry to hear of your loss, I imagine if the plastic cup covered in carton animals I’ve been using for the last decade or so were to have an untimely accident I’d be distraught. Smart looking replacement though...

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    1. There, you see, I knew there would be others that felt my pain.

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  5. Onward and upward Michael! With new cups like those the sky's the limit.

    Frank

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    1. Thank you Frank, happy to report that painting is happening!

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  6. Michael, I FEEL YOUR PAIN!!! I also heartily commend the perfect cure you set upon! Happy to hear you and the sainted Mrs. Awdry have both come through both of your bouts with COIVD-19 intact. I look forward with excitement to whatever you may choose to paint over your coming Easter Holiday... though I would be lying if I didn't say I hope it falls under the category of: 28mm Victorian Warfare!

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    1. Thank you so much. Lots done over the holiday period, but sadly not a huge amount of Victorian era models. That said I did put together a rather splendid paddle steamer that I hope will count.

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  7. I was thinking that this might be an April Fools Day joke until I realised that it was posted yesterday. That looks a very posh replacement water jar - puts my empty glass jam jars (yes, plural - dirty rinse and not-so-dirty rinse) to shame. :)

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    1. I have to confess, I started to think that it might be better published on the 1st April, but alas no - all true.

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  8. It all puts my used (and washed-out) yoghurt pots to shame, but what counts is that it's a post !

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    1. Thank you Joe, was desperate to post something and here I am at the end of the month and still not managing to keep up.

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  9. Welcome back, old chap! That's an elegant replacement for the poor old pot.

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    1. Thank you A.J. I have managed to get some painting done, but just not managed to balance the time with the blogging yet.

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  10. Sorry for the loss of your old friend Michael, but your new one fits in really well with the rest of the pots on the table.

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    1. Thank you Dave, it really did complete the set as it were and wonderfully functional too.

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  11. Sorry to hear about your loss Michael, it's silly the things we get attached to, I was my brushes out in an old baby juice bottle that was my eldest sons, when he was little, I'd be deeply saddened to see it go, so fell you pain mate. However the "Denby" is all very civilised and much more in keeping with the image I have of you to be honest! 🧐

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. I love the idea of the baby juice bottle, fabulous! Happy to take the compliment too. 😉

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  12. Everything dies, even aged water pots.

    I like the new one though. I like that he/she/it matches well with the two step siblings.

    Am thinking that the new setup will help inspire newer and greater efforts coming off your stories paint desk!

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    1. Thank you Dai, it really did help. I had quite a productive break, no real goals just working through an odd mix of things. Sadly the return to work has taken its toll again.

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  13. i am sure the new pot will do sterling service for you in the future ! Lets hope you hobby time returns in due course and you lighten the load somewhat with it.

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    1. Thank you Dave, just not getting a break at the moment and when I do, I tend to be so tired I find it difficult to concentrate on anything more than some television. Have been very envious of your holiday snaps, what a trip!

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  14. Nice new pot,I'm afraid I view my water receptacle as disposable, it is after all a disposable card coffee cup,having said that it's lasted something like six years, I have been collecting possible replacements, I'm just waiting for it to fail but it doesn't seem in any hurry, have fun over your Easter break!
    Best Iain

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    1. How on earth have you managed to get a disposable coffee cup to last so long? Knowing my luck the water would have seeped out and onto the table.

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  15. To some they may just do their job, to others this classic Denby may be perceived a beautiful collection piece. All a matter of perspective.
    Glad you are both well.

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  16. Sad to read about what had happened to your long serving water pot. May your new one bring you many days and nights of "hobby happiness".

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    1. Thank you so much, it has certainly had a very positive start.

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  17. Great story about the water pot! Did it get a funeral worth the service it gave you? ;-)

    Greetings
    Peter

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    1. No funeral as such, but it took a while to actually throw it away. It had been around for so long that I didn’t want to see it go.

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