It was all planned out this week. The rails were to be collected from Wirksworth on Thursday, as was the due date for the arrival of the roof-lights, which at least had the advantage of my being at the shed for two reasons rather than one (remember, it requires locos and wagons to be moved to allow access to the forklift). Did it all go to plan?
With the drama of getting the orders placed now behind me, this week has been something of an anti-climax. For one thing, the accountants have been nagging to get my paperwork ready for their audit, so that has taken precedence. But on Monday Andrew had seen on e-bay a chap advertising an office type 6ft cabinet at a good price, and although it was located south of Grantham, it was worth going after if it stayed low. At least I thought so, and bid for it and then set off to collect some bits from Sheffield. When I returned, I was the proud owner of another cabinet. After an exchange of e-mails graduating to texts, I arranged to go down on Tuesday to collect.
Normally, this blog recounts what has happened during the week, but this week it might give me more to say if I tell you what hasn't!
I did say a couple of weeks ago that I would be reporting more about the inspection of the Mattersons after Allianz had decided to up the rate for LOLER inspection because it wasn't '4 locomotive jacks', rather 'a locomotive lift and two beams'. Well fairly early on Tuesday morning I was back at the Shed, opening up for another inspector.
It has always been a British tradition not just to talk about “the weather” (“Britain has no climate, only Weather. Discuss” was an exam question that my old geography master used to trot out about once a week) but to mock the efforts of those whose job it is to forecast it. Meteorology (which surely ought to be the study of meteors, not weather) in the UK probably reached its nadir when Mr Fish declared that there would be no hurricane, but over the last few years I have come to the conclusion that they doing it pretty well.
Golly, Sunday again already. It hardly seems a week since I was sat here writing this. The grandson was returned to his mother's on Tuesday, restoring tranquility to the Briddon Country Pile for another couple of weeks, and you'd think from that all manner of things could progress once again, and you'd be right, and then again wrong.
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.
So, back to normal timetable and with the nights drawing in, a slightly earlier start to this week's edition. Several times during the week I have driven over the level crossing at Darley and glanced across to check all was well on the site. And there, forlorn and exposed, has been my forklift, which as you will recall from last week, got so far up the site alongside the shed before effectively becoming marooned in the soft, dirt and ash surface. And as it quietly slumbered, its sheer weight has assured its slow but apparent settlement into the ground as if it was taking root. I did not want it to do so.
Sunday night again. Another week going in to winter and have we much more to show for it? Judge for youselves.
The clocks have gone back, the atmosphere has turned distinctly autumnal, and on the final run of today's trains with 14 901, I turned the headlamp from “Day” to “Night”. Darley Dale looked almost Christmassy with its station lamps lit as we went through south bound.