I Like a Lot More Stuff Than Just Computer Games, Trains, Models and Military History!

What Do I Do To Relax From Relaxing...

You know, sometimes your main hobbies - despite them supposed to be fun - do get a little on top of you. You may have just had a particularly tricky model session, or had a bit of a bit of a painting disaster or technical issue, or just spent a little too long on the one subject, so it's nice to take a 'time out' completely away from the usual hobbies so that you can come back to them refreshed.

I like to break up what free time I have and do something just a little different - which is probably why some of my projects take so long to complete 😏- and I do like to relax and watch something completely random on YouTube to rest those little grey cells.

Here's some of my favourite 'intermissions'...

5. Retail Archaeology - @RetailArchaeology

I had a big binge a few years ago when I got quite obsessed with 'Dead Mall' YouTube channels (video tours of dying or closed retail centres, mainly in America). I found these urban exploration adventures fascinating and indicative of the fragile nature of capitalism and our societies addiction to shopping.

Anyway, the whole 'Dead Mall' movement kinda waned after a while, I think because there was an limited pool of content and many of the channels were beginning to cover locations that had already been done (and because, I suspect, once you have seen a dozen empty shopping malls you've kinda seen them all)!

...But, one related but tangential deviation from the retail park video craze was the 'thrift store rummaging' video and this has remained a favourite watch for me as I love seeing what hidden gems channels like 'Retail Archaeology' can find amongst the junk. More so, because in the UK we do not have some of the huge thrift stores (what we call 'junk shops' or charity shops over here) that the USA has... 

One person's junk is another's treasure!

4. 4K Japan Virtual Tours: @4KJAPAN

I guess my fascination with Japan comes from two sources; the movie Bladerunner and my love of the Cyberpunk genre (which borrows heavily from the neon Tokyo aesthetic) and the rather more nostalgic animi classic works of Studio Ghibli.

The eye candy of Japanese architecture and landscapes never fail to give me inner buzz and I find the lazy tours around Japanese locations very soothing (as way as creatively inspiring). There's not much else to say really, except enjoy the immersive beauty...

Above: Note - this is a link to the @4KJAPAN Video. (Opens in new window.)

3. StezStix Fix? - Fixing (& Breaking) Electrical Stuff!

I have no knowledge whatsoever about wiring and soldering electronic stuff. I can barely change a fuse! But I do enjoy watching a interesting gadget repair.

No idea why, I'm definitely not looking to learn how this sort of thing is done nor have a broken gadget I want to repair myself and so need to know how... If it's broke I bin it! (Not very green of me I know!)

But there is something very hypnotic and relaxing about watching zoomed in circuit board work and the puzzle of finding which tiny part is actually the faulty one. 😆

I just sling one of these videos on, sit back with a mug of tea and relax!

2. Medieval Music Playlists - Elthin Ensemble: www.elthin.cz

One of my absolute favourite books is Barbara W. Tuchman's ' Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century', a history of the French and France during the 1300s. It is an absolute cracker and while the subject might sound a little dry to some Tuckman's writing style and cheeky humour make it a glorious read. I have lost count how many times I have read this brilliant book.

Anyway, this made me a bit fond of French medieval history and so I accidently got into listening to period music whilst I was doing other things.

One of my favourite 'bands' - Le LOL - is Czech (yes, not French I know) Medieval & Renaissance Ensemble called Elthin. This find was a bit of a rabbit hole for me as this lead me to building a 'medieval music playlist' as - believe it or not - there's a lot of medieval music channels on YouTube!

1. Dan Monroe - Movies, Music & Monsters: @MoviesMusicMonsters

A little more 'on topic' (kinda) than the others in this list, the Milgeek Blog has always included at least some posts about sci-fi and horror movies in the past. I love learning about some of the behind the scenes work that went on during the making of my favourite shows and movies from the past and Dan Monroe insider peak really does enhance your enjoyment of the small and big screen greats.

I don't know about Dan's background but he very obviously have one of this distinctive 'radio voices' that makes his shows a joy to listen to. He also does a lot of research for each of his shows and I always come away with a plethora of interesting titbits and cinema history fun facts!

My only tiny niggle is that Dan - naturally - focuses on classic American movies and TV shows and I wish we had something similar that covered British sci-fi and horror history in the same style.

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