Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Apparently, Christmas is Coming

It has just hit me that Christmas is right around the corner and that I've done nothing to prepare for it.  I've had a lot of distractions, from replacing my old car to helping my mother move into her new retirement flat.  Plus, my employment situation was still unclear until earlier this month when an ongoing issue I can't discuss was finally settled, (the non-discussion is part of the settlement, but suffice to say that, in effect, I won, even though I don't actually feel victorious as all that has happened is that the status quo has been restored for the time being).  On top of all that, it just hasn't felt like Christmas so far.  I know that I say that every year, but every year it feels less and less like the festive seasons of my youth.  Sadly, that's all part of growing up - once you become an adult, the feeling of excited expectation that Christmas brings ebbs away, as you realise that it is now your responsibility to buy the presents and make the preparations which stoke other peoples' expectations.  Which is what I've spent this evening doing.  In a blind panic that I hadn't actually sorted out any presents, I decided to start with my younger brother.  He might be an adult, but he still likes building plastic kits (which is fine, I enjoy playing with my model railway), and now that he has been forced out of our mother's house (she sold it) and is once again living in a place of his own, I can safely give him these things as presents, secure in the knowledge that they won't be cluttering up mum's house.

So, I've spent the better part of the evening trawling through page after page of plastic kits in search of something suitable.  It's all so bloody complex. First I had to decide on a subject matter - I started with early British jet fighters, but finally settled on late World War Two fighters - then a scale (1/48, as the 1/72 stuff just doesn't seem big enough to give as presents), a complexity level (he's a pretty experienced modeller) and finally a price range (I've found that plastic kits are way more expensive these days than they were when I was a kid - too expensive for kids, in fact).  In the course of this, I've discovered that there are now all manner of new manufacturers on the block, many from the Far East, others from Eastern Europe, all of whom offer kits of decent quality and complexity at lower prices than the old favourites like Airfix, Revell and Monogram.  In fact, these latter firms still seem to be banging out kits so venerable that I remember them from my youth in the seventies, but now charge premium prices for them.  Newer firms like Hobby Boss, Eduard and Academy are turning out far newer and more detailed kits for significantly lower prices.  Anyway, the end result is that, by early next week, I should have two 1/48 scale aircraft kits to wrap up for my brother.  Next up, though, is the tricky business of organising presents for my great nieces.  Not only is there the challenge of keeping up with what they are into at this moment in time (it changes very rapidly), but also the fact that they are living in the US at the moment, which means I have to go via US suppliers.  Yet more seasonal joy to look forward to...

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