Day 39

It is peaceful and I am not in pain. Overnight, however, I start to dwell on the operation which lies ahead and a serious worry starts to gnaw at my mind.  It takes a force of will to wrench my thoughts back to the present. So….it is peaceful and I am not in pain!

A trip to Tanfield Railway. I love this preserved railway with its collection of industrial

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I love the atmosphere in the Engine Shed

locomotives and its outside field full of unusual and occasionally rare rusty locos and rolling stock awaiting restoration.  I stroll around the engine shed alone with my thoughts.  There is a strange kind of reverence in the shed in which visitors speak in hushed tones.  It is more akin to a religious space than a long standing place of work. But I soak up the atmosphere in which Rembrandt would have been completely at home. We go for a ride on the train with its little wooden carriages. On the way back the little loco (an 0-4-0 Tank built in 1948 by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn) works hard against the upslope.  There is a lovely feeling of little pushes as the two cylinders fight and win their battle against

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Outside the range of colours and textures is wonderful


I am bored by stately homes. Give me an ex industrial site any day where you can wander round and touch the venerable survivors of a bygone era. I guess I am just a pleb at heart – I wish Andrew Mitchell had accused me of being one.  I would have thanked him!!!

I stop off to buy a new miniature drill and a fresh set of pliers!

With joy, I discover a new BBC podcast from ‘Elis James Feast of Football’. This needs a little explanation.  I am not really a football fan – rugby, yes, but again as a lad from South Wales………..etc etc. OK. Elis James is a standup comedian and actor from West Wales and his podcast also includes ex Welsh football internationals Danny Gabbidon and Iwan Roberts. I discovered it when, at Christmas, I suffered from the infection which I now know was a forewarning of cancer. I get comfort from this podcast in the familiar accents along with the interaction between the three participants which is supportive and illuminating. I have discovered all sorts of interesting things about how football actually works. The sort of things which the overpaid, egotistical and largely incompetent television pundits ignore.  Put simply, Elis James podcasts helps me understand the attraction of football which no-one else has bothered to explain. While never replacing rugby in my affections I have a lot to thank the podcast for in sheer comfort value in this difficult period of my life.

All sorts of odd things documented in this blog!