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?
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!
Grr, Microsoft. I was (notice the past tense) running Windows 7 and was perfectly happy with it, hiding behind my Firewall and Anti-virus, Anti-Malware, anti-everything softwares. And what does Microsoft do? While my back is turned, under the pretense of it being an 'upgrade' to Windows 7, they calmly change my operating system to Windows 10 without my permission and lumber me with software I don't want (but Microsoft knows better and believes I cannot live without) and a changed system that is so radically different that a number of the programs I already have won't work anymore.
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.
I have received complaints from readers this week. 'Not enough pictures' from one and 'no videos' from another. Well this is supposed to be a blog: if you just want to see pictures then I believe Tumblr may be more to your liking. But I shall try and appease all with a fair smattering of photographs and a little video.
I was tempted to start with 'Did anyone miss me?' but given the number of e-mails and text messages I've had, mostly worried that the tardiness of last week's edition was indicative that something untoward had occurred to me, I know that many did.
D'y'know, earlier on this week I composed a truly fascinating and thought-provoking opening paragraph for this week's blog, and here I am all set to rock the very foundations of my readers worlds and I simply cannot remember what it was.
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 -
A pile of drawings arrived from an e-bay seller during the week. Ostensibly all of '04' class locos, some of them were relevant to '03s', several were duplicated, and some turned out to refer to the unique Southern 0-6-0DM numbered DS1173 (but inexplicably referred to on the drawings as a diesel electric!) which was mechanically like an 04 but whose jackshaft drove onto the middle axle and had a more simplistic style of bodywork. Ah well, I'm sure it will all come in handy some time.