In some senses this has been a frustrating week. I was hoping that by now Charlie's torque converter would be back with us, but by mid week the news was the the necessary bits wouldn't be in until early next, so maybe around Thursday next week I'll be able to collect.
I was a little dismayed last week when I came to post the previous edition of the blog – the readership figures had been somewhat down. Could it have been something I'd said? But no, it must have been the Christmas and New Year festivities as last week's figures are back to normal and even the week before's have picked up as presumably readers have logged and caught up. Could it be that many of you log in during breaks at work? Could it be mid-morning coffee, Pete's blog and bickies?
And welcome to a new year, and our best wishes to all of you for it. The gap between Christmas and New Year I always find a bit frustrating – due to years of being either self-employed or running my own business. All your suppliers and customers are shut down and you can't get anything progressed. Those customers who faithfully promised you a cheque – 'must be stuck in the Christmas mail' – are sitting back with their wine and turkey and I cannot tell them what I think of their latest little fib. But on the positive side, we have had the pleasure of having grandson up for the week, culminating in his third birthday last Saturday.
I am writing this having just returned from Christmas spent at our daughter's house in Darlington, and as we went there on Christmas Eve, there has in truth been not all that much put in to the collection during the week.
Welcome once again to this, the last entry in Weekend Rails before Christmas. I see even last year I was muttering about the Humbug of Christmas so I had better be all light-hearted and looking forward to the festive fracas. So imagine yourself stood outside the door of the Geoffrey Briddon building, a holly-wreath welded to the middle, whereupon it opens to reveal a cherubic father and son, smiling sweetly and wishing you all a Merry Christmas.
If you notice, I try to start off each week's piece with something sightly philosophical, a perceptive observation or maybe an insightful commentary on something topical. And guess what? I can't think of anything that fits into any of those categories this week. Ah well.
There really ought to be a fanfare at the beginning of this week's blog. Not because there is some magic number (actually it's the 282nd edition) nor interval to celebrate, but rather, the cladding contractors have done their job and departed.
Apologies if you had trouble finding last week's blog. Poor old Bill Hyde has had his work cut-out trying to ascertain what has been wrong, and whether it was 'my' fault or some corruption that had crept into the database, but for a while the entry from what is now two weeks ago disappeared again, and last week's entry could not be found under either 'Latest Post' or 'Blog' but could be found by going through 'Categories' (down the left). I guess from the number of people on the site many of you must have popped back in later to see if things had been restored. And they were - eventually.
It is appreciated, but certainly not obligatory, that the occasional visitor comes bearing gifts. What with Roger W arriving with fire extinguishers and such a couple of weeks ago, this time our favourite ex RR service engineer, Neil W popped in during the week and presented me with a box full of R-R genuine oil filters and a few old lift pumps that seemingly had been cluttering up his loft. I was quite happy to show him around the progress – or lack of it – on the building at Darley Dale.