In The Interest Of Balance

Many times in the past few years, if I’ve had a bad time, or been going through a down-phase or similar, I’ve often turned to social media and this blog to vent some spleen. So it’s only right that I try and bring some balance, and put up a post about when things are feeling good.

Right now, I feel good. Personally, and I know this is just me, but I feel good in myself right now.

Work-wise: I’m in a job that’s reasonably straight forward, with people I enjoy being around, in a location close to where I live, with a decent wage. It’s not a creative role, but right now, I’m happy to go along with the “9-5” thing because of everything else. It’s a stability I’m happy to accept for now.

Health: I’m more active than I’ve been since I was 16. I’m not losing a dramatic amount of weight, but I’m in better shape from visiting the gym 2 or 3 times a week, and I’ve started going for longer walks, and I can feel the difference. I feel stronger, my chest gets less tight less often, and I just feel more active. My skin has been in a sustained place for a while – still dry and cracked here and there, it’s never perfect, but it’s the best it’s been in a ¬†while. I generally feel good about it all. I’m trying to hold my posture better, and project more confidence, and I think that’s working too.

Creativity: I’m finally coming out of a horrendous creative block. I’ve been dipping my toes back into some colouring work on Dr Who, I’ve been dabbling in some freelance stuff… Lou Scannon issue 8 finally got finished, and has got some of my favourite colour/shading work in it. My own writing endeavours with the non-fiction Cardiff Railway book has been invigorating me too, and I can’t wait to get stuck into that properly, assuming I can secure the funding.

Masterpiece Megatron: They made a new Masterpiece Megatron, and he’s awesome. Nuff said.

TV: I don’t watch much TV, but there’s new Archer, Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul, Brooklyn 99 and Red Dwarf on this year. Immense pleasure!

Social: I love my friends. The Thursday games nights are a great ‘blow off steam’ session, and huge fun. They’re a real highlight of the week now.

I know it’s not all brilliant. There’s upcoming job security and financial issues. Stuff needs fixing in the house. One of our cats is very old now, and I worry for her health. Most importantly, my wife is struggling massively with mental health issues, issues that I’ve no hope of relieving. All I can do is be there and be supportive. I try and encourage her to exercise, I try to take off as much pressure as I can… but I’ve accepted that I can’t ‘fix’ that.

But overall… I feel like I’m in a good place. The most relaxed and content I’ve been for a long time. And I intend to fully embrace this feeling while it lasts.

 

 

Cardiff Railway Book Update #3

More progress is being made on obtaining the variety of vintage and modern photography needed for the book – I’ve had some further conversations with local photographers Ceri Jones and Dave Hilling and secured some great pictures from the 1980’s through to the present for the Nantgarw – Tongwynlais portion of the book.

I also had a very nice meeting with Keith Jones and got to look through his extensive collection of photos and negatives, which will be immensely useful to the project.

Several print houses have been contacted to get a variety of quotes, so I have a much better idea of what the final print costings will be. I’ve also been looking into the postage costs as well, and I’ve been building the Kickstarter page with all this in mind.

The National Library of Scotland have come back to me with details for using some of their vintage OS maps, so that’s another key set of illustrations for showing the old route sorted.

I’ve also been in touch with the National Railway Museum, and isolated what are (I think) some photos of interest. However, I’ll need to go to York to view them, and as that’s at least a four hour drive away, I’ll wait until the book’s funding is confirmed before committing to that! Ironically, I cannot afford to use the train to get up there. Privatisation, eh? It’s BRILLIANT.

At the moment, I’m leaning toward launching the Kickstarter at the end of May. I’ve got some leaflets prepared to place in local libraries and museums, so hopefully between that, social media, this blog, and word-of-mouth, I can drum up the funds.

Stay tuned!

Cardiff Railway Book Update #2

Preliminary work on my Cardiff Railway book project is still moving ahead. I’m still in the process of trying to nail down some solid pricing quotes for the book, from both local and national printers – it’s that tricky compromise between cost and quality. I don’t want to skimp, I really want this book to look and feel premium, but also be affordable.

I’ve also been very fortunate to source some fantastic pictures from some local photographers, and I’ve got chats and meetings scheduled with a few more over the coming weeks. Pleasingly, some very rare images have also shown up from some places, which I’ve been very happy to see.

My next step is to create a full first chapter of the book, which I’ll be presenting during the fundraising stage both here and on the Kickstarter site, so people can get a better idea of what the final product will be like.

More info soon!