Like Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory, I love trains. Have done since I was a kid. I used to travel between Salisbury and Southampton on a regular basis, from quite a young age, and became fascinated with everything to do with the railway. A little later, a group of friends at school were heavily into trains and trainspotting. IMG_0918For a time I really got into all of that, and would happily travel around the area searching for rare and unusual trains to spot. It didn’t last long, a couple of years at most, because then I found my true calling… HOCKEY! Having been introduced to hockey at club level, nothing else compared. So it was that my love of trains was consigned to a little cupboard right at the back of my mind, a little forgotten but always still there. Living close to the railway, IMG_0940I can sometimes tell when something special comes through the station. The occasional steam train, the odd speciality, is given away by their particular sound. It’s not often that I travel by train, because in general I only ever travel with my wife and kids, making the train a more expensive option than the car. But there really is nothing like travelling by train. I love it.
This week has been half term, so of course I get to look after my kids even more than in a regular week, which just thinking about it, doesn’t seem possible. With my wife having a rare day off on Tuesday, which was an absolutely gorgeous day (a little cold in the morning, but no coats, just jumpers in the afternoon), we wandered, nice and early (as is our way) down to the lovely town of Swanage in Dorset.
As well as the fantastic beach (which we had a lovely walk along with the tide as far out as I can ever remember seeing it, in the afternoon) the fabulous shops, the great parks, the one thing I love doing while I’m there, much like some of the characters in my books (they do exactly the same thing) is visit the renowned steam railway. IMG_0920What a great adventure. You wouldn’t think it was possible to get so much satisfaction from an hour on a train (up to Norden Park and Ride and back, past Corfe Castle). But I did. The steam locomotive, the carriages, leaning out of the window to take some pictures… all took me back to my youth. It was wonderful and I’m sure if allowed, or time and money were no object, I would be very happy to just go up and down the line, never coming off for weeks at a time. Perhaps instead of a retirement home in my future, a retirement carriage on that railway should be what I hold out for. Anyhow, if you’re anywhere near, I can thoroughly recommend Swanage as a day out or more. Even if the sun’s not shining, there’s still plenty to do. A lovely day was had by the Cude family, with the children singing their usual hymn when it was time to go. “DAD! Do we really have to go? Can’t we stay just a little longer?”
Until next time. TOOT TOOT!

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