So here we are going into the second half of the year. After the drama of the last few weeks this edition should be rather quiet by comparison. On the good news side, the transfer of Andrew's site from one server to another was completed with only a few minor snags, and the site was back up on line before the weekend. It is this site's turn this week, so it will disappear temporarily on Tuesday and reappear around Friday. If you are one of my regular mid week readers, you either have remembered my warning last week, or this was why you couldn't find it!
So, the early bird may have missed the worm. If you read last week's edition of the blog before I got back home on Monday, then you'll have missed the 'postscript' I added after receiving pictures and news from Scunthorpe, where 03 901 took over a tour from an ailing 'Cranford'.
If you're one of those avid readers who visits during the course of Sunday evening (and generally I've had had the first four or five visitors before I've even had time to do the obligatory site back-up) then – shock news – I'm not here. If you're reading this in the course of Monday, or later, then normality will have been restored.
Sunday again. Is it just me or has someone pinched a day or so this week? I could have sworn it wasn't seven days since I was last thinking what to say.
Amongst the various comments I received after last week's edition was someone who revealed a secret passion for sinks – apparently ours is a 'Belfast', actually I thought it had probably come out of a signal box much nearer home – and a suggestion that a photo of a mechanics coupling would have been much easier to understand than my convoluted description.
And they were right of course, but strangely I hadn't got around to taking one, remiss I know but sometimes even I forget to bring the camera with me. So for starters I can at least correct that omission -
Early on in the week I had a phone call to say my two brackets were ready, so as early as convenient I programmed another trip to Sheffield to collect them. With luck, I thought, I might get the new header tank fitted at the weekend, but you know how it is...
As regular readers will know, the weekly title for this blog – other than it always begins with “Of ..” is often a complete blank right up until I finish the closing paragraph. This week however, the title became obvious by Friday night, and I will leave you to decide which of us resembles Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.
On Tuesday this week I donned a suit, not something I do that much nowadays, partly because the rules of “required dress” have changed (I used to agonise when going out on a call for Hills, or my own company later – should I put on a good suit to make a favourable impression, or something less sartorially sanguine lest I had to climb under a mud-covered, oil-dripping loco?) and partly because at my age, I don't think I need to make such an effort to fool people into thinking that I know what I'm talking about.
Ah, a portion of my faith in human nature has been restored. For in the latest Railways Illustrated has appeared a picture of 03 901 taken during the lunch break on the February 28th tour, and a write up to go with it that has managed to get all the details correct.
Obviously one of my regular readers decided to follow up on my plug for Fascinating Aida as he wrote to me during the week to say that if I ever bought a Smart car he would never be able to look me in the face again. While it is a proud boast of mine that I have never owned a car with a “boot” (the nearest I got was buying my former company car – a Ford Escort hatchback – from Thomas Hills in the 80s) I think that would be going too far. I did once tell someone that I thought my next car would be electric – that was about three or four vehicles back – but the technology hasn't quite made it. Well, not in my price range.