According to the counting system within the software that runs Weekend Rails, this is the 200th edition of the blog, which began back in July 2010 on Railnuts. It has become a part of the Briddon family tradition over that time: indeed, we often find ourselves hunting back through it as a means of checking dates when things happened. If you are a new reader, feel free to trip back down my memory lane. If you have been with me for all or most of that time – well, I'm touched, but you should consider getting out more!!
First of all, let me thank all those who e-mailed during the week offering their best wishes after my daughter's nuptials. She and her husband are now somewhere in Japan and hopefully enjoying every minute of it. For us though, it is back to normal.
Well, by rights there shouldn't really be a blog this week. I mean, on Wednesday I popped down during the afternoon to meet D8 as it rolled in to Rowsley, as the Operation Director was on board and he would have with him his plan for utilising 14 901 during May. Basically this has the loco in use every Saturday and Tuesday after the first week, but I might as well have saved myself the trouble, for within an hour or two of me getting home, someone had put it out on the WNXX forum anyway.
As we drove back this evening, Andrew and I were trying to work out exactly what we did each day this week and were struggling to slot it all into place. The trouble is, he has had the week off (although you wouldn't believe it from the number of phone calls he's taken) and I had sort of agreed that I would keep pace with him, so let's see if I can get it right and in logical order.
As usual there's a hec of a lot to get through, so here goes....
(SPAD – of course UK readers will know, but for the benefit of my overseas readers [Hullo Sweden!] means Signal Passed at Danger; a cardinal sin.)
Readers who go through this prose with the proverbial comb will have noticed that there was no tally last week on the number of columns grouted, and that was because, with contractors busy digging and rolling, and the weather, we had not had opportunity to get any more done.
Firstly, my apologies if you have had difficulties getting on to Weekend Rails this week. As I write this, people are telling me that they are getting server error messages. Now I “check” WR (and Andrew Briddon Locos) every day, a legacy of the trouble that has been caused by past hacking attempts (as a matter of interest, there have been over 500 spurious attempts to “log-in” to my side of WR this month) but I do so by means of the monitoring package which has been unaffected, so remained unaware. Hopefully it will not take long to fix.
This week seems to have been directed very much at “the shed”. On the one hand I have not quite kept up with an average of grouting one column per day – the weather has not been kind and some of our foundations, being 300mm below surrounding ground level, do not drain readily after rain. But anyway, on Tuesday I headed over to the planned cladding supplier to go through the specification and requirements for the roof.
Those of you who are regular readers will have twigged that my titles usually correlate in some manner with the text. Indeed, usually when I sit down to write this, the first bit I commit is “Of ?” and I return when I have got to the end and work out what common theme(s) have escaped from my musings to become proper prose. So, you might have wondered, why did the word “jacks” come in to the title last week when there was nothing much about jacks in the text. Ah. Well, there was, and then Andrew observed that I committed something of a faut paux, and it was much easier just to delete the entire bit and so I did, but clean forgot the tweak the title.
The Briddon Country Pile is far too posh to have a house number. Our house has a name, and is said to be on a road, but if you arrive by Satnav, it takes you up the road and you have already passed the side turn where we are before the voice announces you have reached, etc. This week the new fan for Libby was delivered – by a neighbour. It seems that Tuffnells, having taken the consignment correctly addressed to the house name, decided to allocate it a house number on their consignment notes, and better still, a number that is at the other end of the road. The (not-so-near) neighbour accepted delivery, but then asked the postman where this house was – Bill, our postie, directed him to us!
First thing Monday morning Andrew and I zipped down to Darley, arriving on the dot of 07.30 and finding a tractor, trailer and a small 360 degree Kubota excavator sat outside, and Paul on the phone wondering where we were. We got him in on Darley yard and set up, then left him to it.