Old touring bikes

Claud Butler and Viking Queen bikes. Looking a bit the worse for wear, in need of TLC. I wish I could still cycle but I’m not very fit and my hips are too stiff to get onto my bike. My hubby still uses his. But I have memories of cycling thirty or forty miles at a time, cycling in the pouring rain, trying to catch trains and missing them so cycling home in the middle of the night. Mending punctures when it was so cold that the patch wouldn’t stick till it got warm when the sun came up. Visiting friends and relatives, visiting beautiful houses and castles. Cycling up massive hills. Lots of memories.

Tiny Train

A 2-6-2, 3MT, Graham Farish, British Railways, mixed traffic, ‘n’ gauge railway engine. Modeled on a steam engine built in about 1962 during the last day’s of steam trains in Britain before they were axed in favour of type 2 diesel engines.

My hubbies latest train for his n gauge railway layout. It’s a very fine engine and has a very delicate mechanism. He’s happy. X

My box, hooman

This box?
Not too small at all….

When a small train arrived this morning for my hubby he took it out of its packaging in a flash. Discarding the box it came in. Boy cat pounced on it and tried to get in!

Much amusement and a few photos later! Here he is, the cat on the mat in the box. Box squashed flat! My hubby is pleased with the trains and the cat with the box. Win-win!

I apologise for using the term ‘hooman’ I see it when people post about cats. I guess it’s a fashion thing. Do you think it’s a bit too cutesie?

Might be worth reading Cat watching by Desmond Morris.

Jump on a train?

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Someone asked a question. If a person jumps up and down in a train carriage they land back in the same place. But if you do it on the roof you will not land in the same place. He wanted to know the reason? A lot of people replied including me. We pointed out that if the train is moving the air on the outside will be pushed aside by the train and anything on it.

I wrote ‘If you jumped on top of a train you would land on the same spot even if it was moving slowly. The reason why you might move is the air rushing around you exerts a force or pressure on you (the air inside the carriage is still). But unless you were travelling fast you wouldn’t move far… ‘.

I think it’s odd that people don’t know it. In the same way a dog who sticks its head out of a car gets its face and ears ruffled by the wind….

What my hubby bought!

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A train ground signal! Why? It cost £60, he got £5 off. Again Why? He’s going to hang it up in a tree and put a light behind it… Railway memorabilia from the 1960’s…He did have a garden railway but the track got covered by plants.

Men are strange, but I guess women are too. Some go out and spend lots on makeup or shoes. I think I’m just weird. I’ve never been that bothered…

I don’t know what will happen to his train signal. I guess eventually it will rust. But it’s made him happy… Ah well…. At least he’s not into football!

Man-cave

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Urban sketchers Stoke-on-Trent day 5, draw inside your shed or garage.

Where do I start. In my case our shed has had all the tools expelled to the outer darkness of our little shed. Instead some rickety pasting tables have been put up. The tops are covered with boxes, lengths of train track, bits of trains, engines, train trucks, stuff…. Plus he’s got different controllers to send power through the tracks. The pasting tables are so warped it’s like the trains are running through hills!

Then he’s got his bike bits, wheels, and a box that the stray cat sleeps in, which is surrounded with bags of straw… I’m allowed in as long as I don’t mess with anything… In the meantime he wants to upgrade things when the lockdown is over. We are going to buy some better tables. Exciting eh?

The lake

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A view of late summer. Riding on the Rudyard lake light railway train, along the length of the lake. I saw this sailing boat over the other side. Too far away and slightly misty to get a clear view. I love the romance of the scene. Its a long, thin lake. Sheltered by hills on either side. Actually a reservoir for the canal system. I don’t think it ever gets stormy on there. No tides, no rise and fall of water, unless there is a period of drought. A lovely, if busy, place to visit.

It’s out in the hills on a little side road, we have cycled there down steep gradients when I was a lot younger. One road to it is very narrow, with passing places. The other is on the far side of the town of Leek and means an extra twenty to thirty minutes travelling to get there.

One day I will take paints and a canvas to capture the views.

The things you find in old books.

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A train with pneumatic wheels that ran on the Paris underground? I didn’t know this existed, but it’s in the book my hubby is reading. It’s strange what you can find without looking at Google.

In the past you went to a library to find things out or research things, you took out the book and had your library card stamped, and a stamp put on the little form in the front of the book…..

Borrow for a week or two, then return so someone else could take it out. But beware, if you took it back late you could get fined! Books were sometimes sold off if they became out of date. Our bookshelves have some of these. The smell off a musty book, with slightly browning pages brings back memories of my school library, which for a comprehensive had a good big library, and our local, council library, with stern librarian keeping us all in order. Yellow or pale green walls and parquet flooring. Memories too of book covers with illustrations of dinosaurs or old fashioned atom symbols. I loved books on rocks and minerals and mystery stories. Craft books and origami. The library was the lace for ideas. Now many public libraries are gone, closed by politics not the Internet. Poorer people who can’t afford the Internet are kept away from knowledge. Sorry, getting political…..

Good memories…

Alien visitor

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WHAT Time Is The Next Train Due in? The creature barked out the words to a startled passenger. WHAT Time is it due? Its strange tinny voice was demanding.

Er? Have you looked at the time table? The man on the platform asked. He started looking for a way out. The pepper shaker shaped creature was waving what looked like a sink plunger at him with some menace. The other thin arm looked even more worrying.

WHAT TIME IS THE NEXT TRAIN? The voice was getting louder and angrier, the man cowered in a corner behind an advertising hoarding for “cool menthol” cigarettes.

Just then a 2.6.0 standard steam train pulled into the station. Taking a quick decision the man ran across the platform and wrenched open the door to the third class carriage and leapt aboard.

The creature trundled over to a first class carriage. Its tiny eye on a stick looked up and down, it saw the step up to the door. It noticed the door handle. No way to grip it with its too large suction cup. The train started to move, the creature (a Dalek) tried to follow, but the train sped up and left the Dalek floundering in its steamy wake…..

Dalek on a train?

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A few years ago we went on a train trip at Cheddleton in Staffordshire from Cheddleton Station to Froghall Wharf along the Churnet Valley line (a preserved narrow gauge railway.

At the Cheddleton end of the line were vintage second world war cars and vehicles and people dressed in vintage clothes. Then at the other end? A Dalek from the Sci fi show Dr Who, plus a tardis and other memorabilia. To see a remote control Dalek trundling up and down the station platform made me so happy. I’ve pretty much watched the show since the 1960s. Its a pleasure to have watched it and I’m loving the new female Dr Who, Jodie Whittaker.