We used to believe that the last weekend of the month was the one where everything went wrong and the first was that when everything went right.
The eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed that the url line for Weekend Rails has changed a bit. It is now an https rather than just a mere http, which means I apparently have an SSL certificate for it, as I also seemingly have for both my commercial site and Andrew's loco site. You might think that this means I'll be out buying picture frames so that I can have them in a line on the wall. Sadly no, it's not that sort of certificate.
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.
After the all-action report from last week, perhaps something a little more calm and laid-back would be in order. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let's begin....
How nice to have a quiet Sunday night at home. The last two Sundays have of course, seen me beetling down the M1 in the dark to some hotel or other having bashed out a few snippets of prose in the hope that it will serve. Tonight it is business as usual.
I thought I'd start off this week with a service announcement. If you are a Virgin Media customer, you may have had difficulty getting in to Weekend Rails for the last month or so. A while ago somebody tried to hack in to Weekend Rails from a VM account, and the security software banned their IP address. But as Virgin Media uses a generic IP address, it effectively banned all of VM from access.
That's it, all over for another year. Presents have all been opened, food consumed to excess, and now it's back out for the Sales for all those things that were priced twice as much only yesterday.
Are you feeling all Christmassy yet? Can't say I am: just been trying to work out what effect it will have on cash flow for those customers whose bills are due on or about the 31st December. Will they pay up before they break up and thus let me have a good Christmas? Or will they get boozed up at the office party, fall asleep and wake up in time to go home early and s*d paying anybody until well into 2017? Yeah, that's my guess too.
It has, as usual, been a busy week at the Briddon Country Pile and whilst I managed to take a few hours “off” on Friday afternoon I still felt guilty doing so: which is one of the penalties of being self-employed – no paid holidays, no sick pay and that self-reproach that not 'getting on with business' is letting down one's spouse and family.
Winter seems to have arrived: we've burnt the last of 2015's kerosene in the space heater and seen snow on the hills between here, Sheffield and Buxton. But the Geoffrey Briddon Building continues to provide a tolerably warm space out of the cold and wet as we slowly get things straightened out and maybe squeeze a bit of loco work in now and then. If a lot of our time seems taken up with shed-work and not enough loco work, well, the locos will benefit from the more productive facilities (we've become conscious that overall, we are getting more done than hitherto) and the time and money allocated to getting the building right is well-spent.