A slightly alarming number of readers commented early in the week how much they were looking forward to hearing about part two of our fork lift truck training. It never fails to amaze me what peculiar interests you all display, but who am I to deny you the full story....
I can't believe that it's less than two weeks to Christmas. For one thing, I don't feel at all “Christmassy”: although, to be fair, I never really do feel Christmassy. I have told people in the past that Christmas lost its appeal for me after 1997, when my mother died of cancer in the early hours, but it probably goes back farther than that.
Firstly, my apologies to anyone who had difficulty finding last weeks' entry – once I've uploaded it I normally check it by going to Categories and finding it on the current quarter's list. This I did and all appeared normal, but then Andrew complained it wasn't “up” and when I checked on the “Blog” or “Latest Post” headings it didn't show: in fact it did show on the RSS tab (upper left) so that was but 2 of the 4 places which you normally should find it. Whether it will happen again this week, I don't know. It may be a side effect of a recent “security mod” or just summat quirky. Either way if it happens again, try one of the alternative routes just in case. Of course if it does happen again this week this public service information will be of no use at all as you won't be able to find it...
So, back to normal timetable and with the nights drawing in, a slightly earlier start to this week's edition. Several times during the week I have driven over the level crossing at Darley and glanced across to check all was well on the site. And there, forlorn and exposed, has been my forklift, which as you will recall from last week, got so far up the site alongside the shed before effectively becoming marooned in the soft, dirt and ash surface. And as it quietly slumbered, its sheer weight has assured its slow but apparent settlement into the ground as if it was taking root. I did not want it to do so.
Judging from the website statistics, quite a few of you came in last night and this morning, looking for this week's edition, but I did say I'd be out, and by the time I got in, with songs like Boomerang Kids and Spending Nigel's Bonus still ringing in my ears, it was too late to even think about writing it last night.
Originally, I believe, 14 901 was due to return from Loughborough on Monday, but as Allelys had their prefabricated ramp in place to take the 66 back to Brush (from where it can rejoin the National network) the move was postponed to Tuesday, and as Reid's couldn't make Tuesday, a compromise was reached and it moved on Wednesday.
As I am only starting this week's edition of the blog at 11.00 pm on Sunday night I shall be dividing it into two parts, so that I am not up all night writing it.
Well, I suppose I had better start from the beginning. On Monday, as forecast, Andrew set off rather later than planned for Scunthorpe, but rather fortuitously as it worked out, as the repaired spring for “Tom”, which I had arranged to pick up later in the week, arrived outside the Briddon Country Pile during the morning so we were able to hand-ball it straight out of the lorry and into the van. While he was over there, he refitted the buffer with a replacement spring (further information came to hand which revealed that the buffers on 03's should have but a single spring, not a nest of two as I had surmised, but that someone had bodged a completely incorrect spring into the place of the failed original).
“Last week's Weekend Rails was rubbish”, declared one of my regular readers in a spirit of constructive criticism. And I am not sure that he will be much more satisfied by this week's edition.