Diecast Collecting

A review of my 2014

2014 is only the second year of my life, when I didn’t spend any time in England (the first was 1998, the worst year of my life, which I spent entirely in Wales).

We only left Georgia once in 2014, way back in January, to visit Ephesus. If you like ruined cities, Ephesus is a must. We spent a week in the area.

Ephesus 093In 2014, I finished teaching at the French School and started working at Opiza school, time will tell if this was a wise decision. I also teach private individuals.

This is me teaching.

This is me teaching.

2014 wasn’t a particularly exceptional year. I turned 50 (as I grow older the years seem to pass more quickly). In the late Summer we visited Qobuleti on the Black Sea coast, for a beach holiday…if it rains in Qobuleti there isn’t much to do (luckily it only rained on one day of our stay).

When it rains in Kobuleti options are severly limited.

When it rains in Kobuleti options are severly limited.

We have a new grandchild, Lazare, born on 1st August. Our oldest grandchild, Ana, started school in September, she still likes it (wonder how long that will last).

Ana ready for school

Ana ready for school

As the time I spent on the metro increased, so did my reading. 29 books read in 2013 and 47 books read in 2014. Highlights included “Cathedral of the Sea” by Ildefonso FalconesIstanbul by Orhan Pamuk and “Dumb Witness” by Agatha Christie.

I took thousands of photos, sharing some on this blog and many more on Facebook.

I added around 240 model cars to my diecast collection and wrote about this in my diecast blog.

Three Corgi Cars from my collection.

Three Corgi Cars from my collection.

My Georgian Language skills made some slow progress, but I really need to resolve once again to learn Georgian seriously and consistently.

I posted 266 posts to this blog in 2014, regularly rising to the Weekly Photo Challenge, reviewing the books I have read, sharing my thoughts on the life of a foreigner in Tbilisi and generally writing about what interested me and I hope may have interested you, too.

I wish you all a Happy New year 2015.

Santas cycling.

Santas cycling.

2013

31 December 2013, a time to look back on the old year and reflect.

Travelling: Compared to other years we did very little travelling in 2013. In Georgia we just went out of Tbilisi to nearby Sighnaghi, Pasanauri, Lomisa and Rustavi.

We made the annual trip to England, where in 3 weeks, we visited London, Cambridge, Cornwall, Cheltenham, the Cotswolds, York, Bewdley and Worcester.

We also moved from Saburtalo in the centre of Tbilisi to Varketili on the outskirts.

Photography: I bought a new camera in England a Panasonic Lumix TZ40…every day I take many photos, most of which are posted on Facebook and some of which find there way onto my blog.

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Here’s a photo of my lovely wife, Khato in London. The London Eye giving her a halo.

Work: I continue to work as an English teacher but less in school and more privately than at the start of the year.

Blogging: this blog began in November and has quite a geographical spread of readers. USA, Georgia and UK being the source of most readers.

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Greetings to you dear reader wherever you may be.

I have a second blog about my hobby of collecting diecast cars. http://jimholroyd365d.wordpress.com

I added 175 diecast models to my collection in 2013 at a cost of 988 lari and 72 tetri (almost £350).

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Some of my Porsche models.

Reading: 29 books read (24 in English, 5 in French, still half way through my first book in Georgian). The reviews of the most recently read have been put on this blog. (2012: 24 books, 2011, 48 books).Highlights included “The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood, “Blood, Sweat and Tea” by Tom Reynolds and “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut. My reading has increased since moving to Varketili, because I have longer metro journeys. I have also joined a group “Tbilisi English Book Swap”, which meets once a month in a cafe in Tbilisi to swap books in English. A list of all the books I have read can be found here https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/5041353?shelf=read

Family is important to me but I don’t feel like sharing my thoughts about my family publicly on this blog.

I wish you all a Happy New year 2014.

Facebook Groups

I’ve joined too many groups, I should really go and get a life. I am in around fifty Facebook groups, some I use regularly others I wonder why I joined.

Firstly,  I have a few connected to my interest in Diecast Car Collecting: 

  1. Pinoy Hot Wheels Collectors Club (PHWCC). This is a Filipino group with over 1000 members dedicated to collecting Hot Wheels. I often post pictures of my new acquisitions, and am inspired to look for what other members post.
  2. Hot Wheels Club (Philippines). Very similar to Pinoy group.
  3. Diecast Collectors Forum. A group of hardcore diecast collectors, who delight in showing photos of exquisite models in 1:18, often by AutoArt or Kyosho, where any model found under $100 is considered a bargain, as often they spend a lot more. My presence in the group posting much smaller cheaper models seems to be tolerated….update got kicked out of the group for posting a link to my blog… :/
  4. Matchbox e Majorette. Portuguese group for Matchbox and Majorette. Two of my favourite maunfacturers of diecast cars.
  5. MCCH-The Matchbox Collectors’ Community Hall. A group for collectors of old pre-Superfast (1970) Matchbox cars.
  6. Diecast Model Cars, Dinky, Corgi, Matchbox and More. Focusing on the British manufacturers of diecast models.
  7. Diecast Autoworld
  8. Diecast Collectors
  9. Matchbox Toys

I often share my diecast blog posts to these groups.

Then there are other groups…lots of other groups…

The Virtual Muser

This is a philosophy group, I was added by a friend and erstwhile colleague, Jim Cook, even though I have never studied philosophy and don’t know my Kant from my Nietzsche . This is a very active group with over a thousand members of different political and philosophical persuasions. I now have 40 Facebook friends in this group, of which only about 4 I have ever met in real life.

Some of the posts discussed now are:

Is medical intervention in the long term interests of a species?
Is it predictable that heavy reliance on such processes may lead to a specialised form of human being that requires a synthesised environment in order to survive?
Or has this already started to happen?” (Roland Mann)

Greed: Human nature or nurture?” (Mason Macleod)

Should happiness be our ultimate goal?” (Telegraph-reading admin, Ronald Green)

My favourite group is possibly The Forest of Serendipity, which is for artists sharing ideas and images on a theme. Currently they are sharing artistic images of chairs.

Autoshite, I joined recently. It is a large group over 2000 members devoted to crap cars…

AS012 (2)

like this Pontiac Aztek. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

Chez Pantalon Rouge created by serial Facebook Group creator Andrew McFall, is a strange group, which I’ve posted about before. Members post photos taken of folk wearing red trousers…it can be quite addictive…trying to capture our quarry can be quite a task and might even bring out our inner creep.

red trousers

Les Crimes Fashionnel, this is similar to Chez Pantalon Rouge,for posting images of fashion crimes…created by Sue Cowley, Andrew McFall is an admin, bringing out the Gok Wan in all of us.

Tbilisi English Book Swap, this actually is practical and relates to a group of us who meet once a month in a cafe in Tbilisi to swap English books.

The Marquee Club, Wardour Street a nostalgic group for a club I visited many times in the eighties to see bands like Fields of the Nephilim, The Wonderstuff, Twelfth Night and Magnum.

Lada UK Another group I can share my photos with, there being many more Ladas here than in the UK.

Best Medicine I am actually an administrator of this group. It is for jokes and funny things. Or “For stuck-up middle-aged men with no sense of humour…
and the women who loathe them.”

Gay Classic Car Group I’m neither gay nor do I own a classic car (or any car), but I do like the pictures they post of some lovely sixties and seventies cars.

Read All Abaht it and Weep Funny headlines and juxtapositions of images and titles in newspapers. An Andrew McFall creation.

Jim’s Cafe. Not my cafe, but Jim Cook’s for posts relating to motorcycling.

Pop Trash For trashy popular culture especially music.

The Club “Group created to be a place where people could post links to introduce people to different music, movies, books, and all other types of ART.
(Originally for the sole purpose of supplying me with a single place to look rather than having to search the internet for new and interesting stuff. Basically I’ve become sick of how much effort needs to be put in to find AWESOME things. lol.)” I had to check the description because I so rarely use the group.

MuseSick-al Mutants Another group sharing music like The Cure and Frank Zappa.

Andrew’s Irritating Earworm Emporium. For those tunes you can’t get out of your head like “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo. Andrew? Need you ask? Andrew McFall, again.

The Haringey Poetry Society. A group for stand up comedians. I’m not sure if I qualify, having performed only seven times.

I Saw a Classic Car Today 🙂 For posting pics of classic cars, although someone seems to be just posting images they find on the Internet, which seems to be cheating.

The Government is doing a jolly good job...A satircal site.  An Andrew McFall creation.

Kitapkokusu This is a Turkish group, I don’t know Turkish, but they do have some nice images and clips.

Eurovision Banter and Mischievous Malarkey 2013. Another Andrew McFall group. I seem to get dragged into all of them. About Eurovision Song Contest.

Slough 1980’s Nostalgia. This also makes me glad to have left Slough.

 Unknown A group about art and conspiracy theories.

HOT RODS TO HELL About cool cars.

Students of TESOL and Applied Linguistics Relates to my job as an English teacher.

Thursday Night is Music Night – Virtual Album Listening Club. Group members choose an album to listen to together on a Thursday night. The album is usually Heavy Metal or Prog Rock.

Castleview Scool Langley 1960s-1970s Nostalgia for old school :/

Signs that Fascinate and Intrigue. Odd signs

Is There a DFS Sale on at the Moment? Yes (there always seems to be a sale at DFS).  An Andrew McFall creation.

ANi’mUS ANIMALS! cute..weird, whatever..
with some kind of photographic elegance if possible.

Super Snobby Film Snobs about films

The following I haven’t used recently and know little about:

Musers Talk

Yamaha Enduro Appreciation Group

Ethnicity and Nationalism in the Caucasus

Cyclepaths

BM Photo

Comedians’ Comedian Podcast with Stuart Goldsmith

60s, 70s and  80s COMEDY CLASSIC CLIPS

Items for sale in Worcester

Laughing Cows Comedy – Manchester

and finally my own group:

Special Friends of Iago Created for myself and some very special friends. Iago was the name of my avatar in Second Life. This group is not very active.

Hot Wheels Haul

hot wheels 002

I have had small diecast cars for as long as I can remember.  On my first birthday cake was a Matchbox racing car, so I’m told. Then there was a Matchbox Pickford’s Removal Van with sweets in the back, occasionally restocked by my mother. My earliest actual memory is being on a train holding a Matchbox Racing Car Transporter, I would have been three at the time.

I don’t have any of the models I actually played with in my childhood. But I do have some of the same models picked up more recently at Car Boot Sales and markets. When I came to Tbilisi, I only had two suitcases for all my worldly possessions including half a dozen diecasts which I hadn’t sold or given away before leaving UK. Now I have around 300 mostly bought in Tbilisi in markets and toy shops, supplemented by those found on trips to England found in Boot Sales and  Shops and a few found in a Paris fleamarket and even some bought at the Airport Shop in Istanbul.

Now in the era of social media I find myself in groups of fellow collectors on Facebook…a couple of Philippines Hot wheels‘ Clubs, a couple of Matchbox Groups  ….

My preferred brand is Matchbox but Hot Wheels are more readily available here and the two rivals are both now owned by Mattel. My preferred scale is 1:64 as they are relatively cheap and easier to store and display. I don’t have any 1:18 models, they look fantastic but can cost around $200 a time….I wouldn’t spend that much on one car. My largest model is a Maisto 1:24 Chevrolet Corvette (1970).

Yesterday I was excited to find the four Hot Wheels in the photo. I love the cars of the late sixties and early seventies. This maybe because I  was a child then and these were the first cars I recognised or it maybe that these are simply the most beautiful. Three of the cars yesterday were from the sixties:…

  1. A VW Beetle in the “Herbie” livery…one of the first films I saw was “The Love Bug” (“The Italian Job” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” were also among the first films I ever saw, my parents clearly recognised my love of cars).
  2. A Toyota 2000GT, I have been looking for this ever since I knew Hot Wheels made one. In James Bond’s “You Only Live Twice” there is a 2000GT driven by James’ girlfriend Aki, in the film it was made to look like a convertible, as Sean Connery was too tall for the roadster. Toyota never made a convertible of the 2000GT.
  3. An Aston Martin DB5. This should be a Matchbox model imho. A similar Aston Martin is associated with James Bond and also in the Italian Job an Aston Martin DB4 Convertible was pushed over the side of a mountain (a cruel film for car lovers a Lamborghini Miura and a Jaguar E-Type  were also destroyed in the film).
  4. Mars Curiosity Rover. In contrast to the others this is very twenty first century. The first “car” on Mars. Whilst it doesn’t look particularly beautiful, it is a fascinating vehicle and it is extending our knowledge of our neighbouring planet.

Top of my Hot Wheels‘ wants lists now are:

  1. Honda Civic EF ✓ (found in a three pack Feb 2014)
  2. Datsun Bluebird 160
  3. USS Enterprise ✓ (found in Kusadasi, Turkey Jan 2014)
  4. BMW 2002
  5. 1969 Ford Mustang
  6. Mystery Machine (Scooby Doo) ✓ (found in Smart, Nov 2013)

I’m sure in future blogs, I shall reflect on my collecting…I am 49 years old going on 8… yesterday finding these four, I felt the same excitement I did when I was eight years old finding a model I really, really wanted.

Reflections on why I collect diecast cars

Four months on from this original post and I now have doubles of all of these except for the VW “Herbie.”

Hot Wheels Haul update

Hot Wheels Haul update