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
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
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
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 ...