Better to Travel Well than to Arrive

At the end of December I usually do a review of the year and take a look forward to next year.

It seems strange to focus on railways in a year when Covid-19 has caused so much trouble. My heart goes out to everyone who’s been affected by Covid-19, those who have lost family or friends, suffered long illness, lost their job or suffered economic hardship. I wish everyone a healthy, prosperous and a better, much better, 2021.

In 2020 modelling was a little haven where I’ve been able to retreat, shut out the unpleasant aspects of the world and focus on something positive. From what I’ve read and heard others felt the same, and many people have realised the benefits of having a hobby or pastime they can become absorbed in.

Unsurprisingly, I visited fewer exhibitions in 2020 (just two compared to 11 in 2019) and fewer railways (three compared to seven in 2019). I’m sure it was the same for many of you.

I believe exhibitions will return, although it will take some time, and they probably won’t be exactly the same as before. However, I am concerned when I read of the significant financial problems many heritage and preserved lines are facing. I am not sure they will all ‘bounce back’ unscathed. I wish I could think of something I could do to help. Suggestions welcome….

Turning to blogging, I wrote over 15000 words, published 82 posts and visitor numbers were higher than last year. Thank you all for visiting, reading, liking and commenting, it’s always great to hear from you 🙂

When my work nosedived in the first lockdown I reintroduced adverts on this blog and tried to earn some money from them. Let’s just say it wasn’t a success. Plus, I realised I didn’t feel comfortable doing this, it’s not what this blog is for. The ads are not coming back. However, I gained a whole new respect for people who earn a living from blogging, vlogging, tik-toking etc – it is a lot more difficult than one thinks.

From a modelling perspective in 2020 I made more rolling stock in both 009 and O9, finished my layout ‘Thomas and Sons’, and restarted work on the ‘Granta Valley Railway’. Some of the most enjoyable things were the small things. I am still very chuffed with the 1:43 scale tool box I made. Sometimes, even I’m surprised what floats my boat!

For 2021, it seems foolish to make big plans when things are so unpredictable. Perhaps this year it is wiser to adopt the Buddhist philosophy and accept that it is better to travel well than to arrive.

I want to keep modelling, it gives me a lot of pleasure. The blog is likely to be more focussed on making models this year. And that’s the only plan I have…

My very best wishes for 2021 to you all.

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