OK, fanfare,roll of drums. Seven years ago this evening I plucked up courage to write my first blog entry under the umbrella of Pete Waterman's Railnuts site.
No, not a hitherto unknown Col Stephens type railway but a selection of visitors that have passed through our doors this week.
Every so often we pass a milepost – some event or other that marks the next stage in shed development or a loco restoration. Some give a sense of satisfaction, even elation, while others just leave you with a feeling of 'well at least that's over'.
We are now into the second half of the year, the nights have started to draw in, tennis is about to monopolise our screens (boo!, unless you're into Andy Murray et al, in which case Hooray) and this blog is nearing its seventh anniversary.
Nearly half-way through 2017 and where has it all gone? I've started getting letters telling me that I need to make a decision about when and how I take my state pension, a point in life - retirement - that I have long concluded could never happen since Barclays Bank made 'an unfortunate mistake' in 2001 and forced Yorkshire Engine Co into Liquidation. But oh dear, some of their senior executives may be in legal trouble, it was announced this week. I must have a whip-round for them. Anyone got a whip?
As usual I like to start this blog with a thought-provoking commentary on an aspect of railways or our daily lives. But it's too hot.
Maybe it is better to live in blissful ignorance, unaware of just how many young people have decided that Darley Dale yard is some sort of Adventure playground just made for them.
As you will have probably gathered, last weekend had us on a family get-together at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest over near Edwinstowe, so the posting was written in advance and automatically published at the set time: this week it's back to normal.
Sunday once again, April is half-over, Easter is in full flow. I used to say that on Bank Holiday weekends I'd leave the blog until Monday, but – well - at my age I can get confused enough and can't remember which day I did what sometimes. So Sunday it had better remain, even though, as I finish editting this, the clock has ticked over past midnight anyway.
I have had the feeling over the years that a lot of railway enthusiasts also have a partiality to Land Rovers. I used to put this down to them being the nearest thing to a loco on rubber tyres, but then in the 1980s I discovered minilok, and realised that they had a long way to match up. You'll know if you've stuck with this blog for any length of time that we've had two Land Rovers, a short wheelbase that lingered in our garage from about 1986 and finally was sold when we left Briddon Towers, and a long wheelbase Defender that Andrew bought from RMS Locotec and finally left in a container for the USA. But once you've owned a Landy, not possessing one leaves a hole, and when Steph declared she'd like another in place of her Micra sometime, we needed no further excuse...