Just look at this! Genuine, 100% not a reissue 1960s Classic Plastic! Oh, joy, oh, glory! Just looking at the box took me back through time and space. My main late 1960s/early 1970s source of kits and Airfix fighting men was a sports shop called Haskins in the small North-West town where I lived, but to buy FROG kits I had to walk to the next town, Hoylake (from where the asthmatic, Dutch-speaking King William III sailed to the Battle of the Boyne). I would walk down the cinder path between the railway and the municipal golf course, with the electric commuter trains (the carriages dating back to the 1930s, I think) droning past, and then I would emerge by the signal box and level crossing with its red lamp hung gates. Across the railway line and a bit further on and there was another sports shop, and this one was a FROG dealer, not an Airfix one. I'm not entirely sure now, but I think FROG were more expensive than Airfix. But, in any case, I can only remember buying a FROG 'Uhu', a Griffon engined Spitfire and V1 flying bomb, and a FAA biplane torpedo bomber (not a Swordfish, something a bit earlier). So, for me, my Father's Day gift has an aura of exotic expensiveness about it, as well as a distinct feeling of happy nostalgia. Thanks to my son.
And just look at the marvellous industrial, mass-produced, one size fits all, full employment, homogeneous perfection of the box contents:
Instructions (or, as my grandson calls them, 'constructions') on one sheet. And:
With the parts displaying minimal detail (and no internal detail). Aaaah, bliss.
But how is the Arado getting on? Slowly. For a simple 1970s mould, it is proving tricky. The canopy (in three parts) required a lot of careful masking:
Sadly, on completion of the masking, painting, then removal of masking, I found that paint had bled between the parts, sullying the finish from inside the cockpit! Aieeee.
But that's not all. The moulds might be from the 1970s, but the decal sheet is much, much more recent. Of course, my overall hellblau finish means that I will not be using the main markings, but there are more than enough stencils that I will be using. Just look at the stencils for the floats:
I managed to get a bit of work done on my allotment plot this weekend, and I even had a few moments sitting in my little garden, which, despite the chilly, wet weather is doing reasonably well. At least it comforts me. This is the view out of my downstairs window (I live in a terraced house with one room downstairs and two and a half up - England is a VERY crowded country with a bigger and bigger gap between the economic elite and the rest of us). I sit by this window and drink my pre-work coffee every morning:
Work. It's late Sunday evening now, and work in the morning. I could do with a permanent three day weekend - there's so much I want to do. Oddly, it occurred to me recently that my life is really a case of 'Work, Family, Country'. A fine slogan, except that it has been used (and abused) before. Just like all the others - 'Peace and Bread', 'Bread and Freedom' etc. But, for me, my life is, in fact, 'Work, Family, Country'.
But in my Arcadia the yellow, climbing roses make a 'wall':
And, outside the kitchen door, by the drain, my Alpines dream of high pastures and rock faces:
Every time I water these pots by the kitchen drain I am reminded of the bit in one of George Orwell's books (it is probably The Road to Wigan Pier) when he sees, from a train, a young, dispirited woman poking at a blocked, back yard drain with stick. Happily, I have more than a yard (in the English, not the American sense), but I do remember the yards of my childhood, where my grandfather grew red, red geraniums, and the old mangle stood, rusting.