Monday, May 26, 2008


It seems so unfair that even long weekends, like this one has been, seem to go by so much quicker than the working week. Still, I've had a good weekend and made the most of the nice weather, which lasted albeit just for Saturday. At the moment it is pouring with rain outside and it was raining earlier when I went out and the sky seems to have adopted and refused to let go of a shapeless overcast grey.

I had a day off work on Friday and had a new cooker delivered in the morning. The old one, which had been here even before I moved in was really at the end of its usefulness. Indeed, it rather spectacularly although not too seriously, caught fire just over a week ago. After that I refused to use it at all, which meant that last week was interesting in trying to get by with just the microwave for heating food. Lots of salads! Anyways, the new cooker is nice, has a separate grill, which the other one didn't and I am sure that will be useful. It looks nicer too, silver instead of white, which I found impossible to keep clean. I had a few jobs to do in the afternoon and a trip down to Bletchley, which is never the nicest of places to go, especially not on a warm, grey afternoon!

Saturday was the only day when the sun has shone all weekend and despite that there was still quite a stiff breeze, which took the edge of the temperature somewhat. Nevertheless it was pleasantly warm, especially in a sheltered spot. I took myself off to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway (GWR), which runs for about 10 miles between Cheltenham Racecourse and Toddington. Getting there was an expedition in itself as due to weekend engineering works, it was on the bus to Oxford and then trains from there to Didcot Parkway and on to Cheltenham Spa.

This was the first time that I'd been to the GWR and as heritage railways go, I wasn't that impressed. However, it was their 'Cotswold Festival of Steam' and thus lots of engines in steam - a roster of eight steam locomotives for the day, which is quite impressive. I won't go into all the details as I doubt anyone reading this is a steam buff but needless to say, I had a really good, if long day out.

Also arrived on Friday was a DVD that I ordered from Amazon about a week ago - volume 7 of the wonderful British Transport Films (BTF) collection currently being released by the BFI. These are excellent two-disc sets collecting together some of the best of the BTF output with a mixture of documentaries, information films, publicity and safety films. They're nicely packaged with an accompanying booklet which gives a background and context to the individual films. As an historical record they're interesting and particularly from a railway enthusiasts point of view they bring vividly to life a railway that has long since disappeared in the name of progress.

Today has been a fairly quiet day, catching up on some reading and coursework and listening to the new Indiana Jones soundtrack - seeing the film this weekend.

Just a short week back at work as I am off to York on Friday to the National Railway Museum to the 1968 and all that event. Looking forward to this very much as the last big scale event I went too at the NRM was Railfest in 2004 and this promises to be every bit as enjoyable. Just hope the weather is a little better by then, even if it is just that its stopped raining!

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