I don’t believe it!
Bobby and I went to Brighton. By train. Given that this is Southern Rail, a certain amount of optimism is needed. Or blind faith. As we approached the station, a posh woman on the train intercom announced we were arriving at Gatwick Airport. We all laughed and acknowledged that Southern were introducing humour to cheer us up.
We had a lovely day with friends, preceded by a cloudburst near the pier. This was, after all, the first day of the school holidays. The sign said DON’T FEED THE BIRDS. So the children did, and evoked scenes reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece.
But, of course, we had to go home by train. Just 50 miles from Brighton to Dorking, via Gatwick. Our designated train was “20 minutes late due to signalling problems”. So we took the Thameslink on platform 6. Ignoring the electronic sign which had clearly forgotten that this is the end of the line. The buffers. The sea. Or the ghost train in the amusements. Ha ha ha ha ha.
The shiny new Thameslink train was also a little confused being not in service apparently. Despite being full of people going to Gatwick.
This was the slow train stopping everywhere. Quickly overtaken by the fast train that was not twenty minutes late. Ha ha ha. I love you Southern. It meant we missed our connection at Gatwick and found that the next train to Dorking was one hour and ten minutes later. Excellent. We could sit in the airport and relax. Watch all the very large people with even larger suitcases. Have you noticed that the clippety clop two wheeled versions are gradually succumbing to much larger four wheeled plastic boxes? Some people pushing two, three, even four. Some needing a fork lift truck to lift them. What on earth are they taking to Ibiza? If it’s anything like Love Island it would all go in one pocket!
One thing is certain. At ten o’clock on a wet Saturday evening there was universal gloom on what must be the world’s most ghastly international airport. As we ascended a working escalator to be told not to stop in the “landing area” and passed the bench that said “shoe repatriation area only”. And M&S had run out of sandwiches. Just getting back to the station is an adventure, as the different platforms have novel obstacle routes to find them.
We finally did arrive back at Dorking Deepdene station. Three hours after we walked into the wonderfully historic Brighton Station. About the same time as Villach to Venice. 200 miles through the mountains.
Lighting a Candle for Diddley.
Lighting a candle at St Nons Chapel near St Davids. On the Pembrokeshire Coast path facing St Brides Bay. She loved it here.
Bob the Big Noisy Engine.
This is the story of Bob the Big Noisy Engine. A tale of triumph over adversity. Honesty over lies and deceit. Contentment over greed. Happiness over anger.
It is a true story. All the characters are real. Bobby wrote it in 1999 on a bike ride. In his head. The card and story were posted as part of a legal requirement. Always hoping that the opportunity would arise one day to publish it. Bearing in mind I was part of the adventure and ultimately best man at the wedding in Scotland. This is that opportunity. The reader is asked to consider Sir Walter Scott”s famous words:
‘Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive’.
Dear Friends of Bertie. This is the second Seaside Holiday special.
In the previous one “Whitby”, posted November 2016, we mentioned Diddley’s 60th birthday in Whitby. Including the special cake which was made by the wonderful Yorkshire bakery E Botham.
The Birthday was a seaside special birthday, where the holiday cottage was decorated with prints of saucy postcards prepared by her work friend Nikki. Many adorned in the “60” with Diddley’s grinning face. There was bunting, balloons and seaside music.
Thomas the Tank Engine
Oh Mr Porter!
Dear friends of Bertie. This is a holiday special.
I hope you like old films. Bobby loves Will Hay. None more so than that classic of British Comedy. “Oh Mr Porter”. If you have seen it, watch it again. We have just done that. So with a bit of suggestive music hall thrown in – here you go…
Way back in 1954 Bobby’s dad, Sid, bought him an Ian Allan Train spotting book. He still has it. That, allied to Sid’s own keen interest in all things mechanical, led to his son’s enduring interest in such things. Given that being a trainspotter was the main hobby of schoolboys in 1954 it is hardly surprising that that generation is still prominent today. Heritage steam railways, traction engine rallies, bus rallies, airshows all have their committed supporters from those halcyon days. It’s an interest that endures to this day and explains Bobby’s unusual preferences when travelling abroad. (more…)
Back to Lammersdorf.
In Continental Railway Journeys Austria, you heard how Bobby got the idea of coming to a less well know part of this wonderful country from English people in a Country Walking Magazine article. Amazingly, but due to his being an obsessive collector, as a result of that heatwave, staying indoors, sorting out junk, he discovered he had kept the article!
Bertie: “It so bleeding ‘ot! (Sarf London). Can’t put up with this heatwave much longer. How about you Bobby? Bobby? BOBBY? What’s the matter with you? You do look a bit cream crackered. Even Uncle Dick.”
Bobby: “Uhhhhh. Given up. Made an executive decision. Had an outbreak of common sense. I’m giving up!” (more…)
I would like to introduce you to Alexis, from the United States of America. She wants to be a dancer. With her determination and clear love for her passion I am sure she will succeed. I spoke to her mum Debra who told me that all her daughter had ever wanted to be was a dancer. (more…)
Continental Railway Journeys in Germany.
Well here we are back in Lammersdorf, Austria. Writing blogs from an idyllic office.
Tom is the new owner of the hotel. Upholding the recent tradition of Dutchmen owning it. He has agreed to be interviewed by me later in the holiday. (more…)