You may be aware that I get a number of comments, observations, mickey-takes etc about this blog during the week and many of them – most really – come direct through one of my e-mail addresses as most 'regulars' have long since got to know them. I sometimes forget though that others use the 'contact page' on the Weekend Rails website and occasionally this can give a spot of bother.
Several readers speculated, after my teaser at the end of last week's edition, whether things had kicked off with Peak Rail's management again, which was logical but actually not so. 'It' has had a significant effect on events this week though, and resulted in the title being apposite (not a house move, but count them!). Plenty of pictures too, so should be a colourful edition.
The first week of September has seen us having to turn our temporary lights back on inside the shed by nine pm and mourn the passing of yet another summer. It doesn't seem that long ago that we were able to work outside as late as half-nine at night, but the nights are drawing in quite markedly, and the need to crack on with the proper electrical installation to get those ceiling LEDs not to mention the various sockets around the shed that will obviate a multiplicity of extension cables, is, well maybe not uppermost, but always in the back of my mind.
Welcome back. Traditionally the Bank Holiday weekend marks the end of the summer season on heritage railways, and services reduce as the schools return. The nights have noticeably started drawing in (and I did promise myself we'd have the lights up before this winter, but there's still time): and maybe this is all because I've been feeling a touch morose.
I said last time that I thought that this week would be a 'strange' week. It didn't really work out quite that way I had expected, but you can judge for yourself.
Apparently my opening remarks last week about the joys of being self-employed struck a chord with a few of you – not least one of my regulars who texted me in support of it before 7am Monday morning!
For those bemused at my recent reports of mileages accrued in the course of trying to earn a crust, this week has only clocked up 750. Quite relaxing in many ways, and hopefully slightly fewer in prospect this week (though events might dictate otherwise). At one time, or rather, in the early days of the Geoffrey Briddon Building concept, I saw myself commuting the seven-eights of a mile, there to potter on with some clean and tidy project – perhaps wiring up a loco here, programming a PLC there – with a return to the Briddon Country Pile for a leisurely lunch. But it doesn't seem to be working out like that. And if you're thinking how nice it would be to be self-employed, your own boss, out of the rat race, etc., etc. Dream on. You're at the beck and call of all your customers, you can't pass the buck to anyone else and you spend an extortionate amount of time in administrative work, worrying about when certain big companies will get around to paying you and when someone asks you 'where you're going on holiday to this year?' you are tempted to punch them on the nose – well I am.
It's been a long hot week up here in Derbyshire (and the other places I've been to for that matter) and I especially enjoyed being sat on the M25 Tuesday evening after two cars and a foreign forty-footer closed it at Junction 25 when they all decided to occupy that bit of raod at the same instant. OK, not as bad as the poor souls stuck overnight in their cars trying to make it out of the country through Dover, but why is it that traffic always seems to increase, never matching the rise or fall of the economy?
Sunday again. I've driven over 1000 miles this week and I'm beginning to feel it. It's an age thing, obviously. Back in the '90s, I once did 800 miles in 24 hours, starting in Germany in the morning, back home through the Channel Tunnel, pick up my tools and bits for one of my fitters in Warwickshire, meet fitter just off the M6, carry on up to Sellafield, fix a loco, leave site only to decide it was too late to start looking for a hotel so drive back home to Sheffield (Briddon Towers as was), arriving as the sun rose and ending up in the office at around 10.00. But you do that sort of thing when you're young and (insert your own adjective). Nowadays it's - have I really got to drive all that way?
After starting rather later than intended, the move of Weekend Rails to new servers was duly completed and judging from my visitor stats, hardly anybody noticed. This week my own site is on the move, and probably nobody will notice that either...