Each of us needs some form of relaxation.

For instance, two years ago, I started two

small vineyards in our family garden in Prague.

The original vineyard in the area apparently

disappeared in the 18th century, but there are still

local names associated with wine production.

I purchased young plants of the Cabernet Cortis

(red) and Solaris (white) varieties and planted

the vines following the advice of an experienced

neighbourhood winemaker. My winemaker

friends amicably assure me that I won’t make

my first good wine for another ten years or so.

Since I had never grown anything in my life

besides food mold, no one in my family believed

anything would grow under my hands. I must be

doing something right, because the vines are

thriving and not suffering from mold or other

diseases and pests. And I don’t use chemical

sprays, I’ve only applied nettle leachate once.

Anyway, I’m happy with the vines, although

I don’t have much time for them this year due

to the failing health of a family member. When

I can work in the vineyard, it's a surprisingly

relaxing experience. Thanks to the vines,

I have also had several positive experiences

with winemakers from Moravia, Austria and

Germany. When I mentioned that I had started

a small vineyard, they immediately wanted to see

photos and started passing on helpful advice.

They took me as a junior colleague, whereas

I saw myself more as a disoriented beginner.

I found the winemakers to be a very friendly

international community. But unlike them, I have

August 2023

Text: Jan Bobek

the advantage that my micro-vineyards are

a hobby and not a source of livelihood.

Plastic modelling is a source of income for

our company and should also bring relaxation

to our customers, although in this case with

abundant use of chemistry. In addition, there

is a community associated with our hobby that

is mostly friendly and supportive, although

there are sometimes individuals who take it too

personally and should probably use some other

form of relaxation.

A former colleague of mine from another

field, named Štěpán, didn’t pick up plastic

modelling as a hobby until he was about thirty

years old. He works as a process engineer and

when he gets off work, he has a full head of

worries. So, he started looking for a pastime to

clear his head. He did something of a selection

procedure and plastic modelling came out the

winner. Building model jet fighters keeps his

mind so busy that it really helps him relax. We

just don’t have enough kits on offer to suit his

taste unfortunately.

Many modellers may not see plastic modelling

as a relaxation because they simply like history,

or they have been involved in the hobby since

they were young and they keep enjoying it.

But I think they still relax with it, even if they

don’t know it. Plastic modelling can even have

a positive influence in serious life situations.

In some countries it is part of the therapy for

war veterans suffering from post-traumatic

stress disorder. My admiration in this regard

goes to the people who are involved in our field

in Ukraine, whether they are manufacturers,

traders or modellers. They are trying to carry

on in wartime conditions that are in many ways

unparalleled since the Second World War.

Recently I read in a Facebook group comments

under the post of a Ukrainian modeller who

is sharing this hobby with his son. He posted

a photo of a new model with the comment

that they continue modelling regardless of the

terrorist attacks by the Russian state. In his

opinion, thanks to this relaxation, they are more

able to cope with the war induced anxiety and

stress. Surprisingly, one discussant from across

the Atlantic objected to the Ukrainian modeller

bringing politics into the group. He got a rather

intense response from other discussants to the

fact that plastic modelling as a means of mental

relaxation from cruise missile raids is not really

about politics.

In the area where these Ukrainian modellers

live, there have been over 1,300 air raid alerts

since February 24, 2022, each lasting about

one hour on average. Statistics show that the

Russians conduct airstrikes evenly on any

day of the week, with most being declared

around midnight and around noon. Perhaps this

discussant from across the Atlantic could visit

Ukraine and try out forms of relaxation when he

has to take refuge in an air-raid shelter two or

three times a day ...

INFO Eduard