You know you’re finally an adult when the blue sky and sparkling white peaks across the river aren’t the Top Trump, “Giving it another day or two, ’til this bug is away” is.
I was watching Al Murray’s German Adventure show on BBC3 or 4, 4’s more likely I think. It was interesting in several ways, but mostly that the barman that Murray plays in his standup is a complete construction, it’s a character he plays from the look, to the accent, and as it turns out to the opinions too. He actually seems like an intelligent, articulate and thoughtful fella, and out of “uniform” kinda rather anonymous. I’ve never taken that much notice of his comedy in the past as I assumed it was just what it looked like, but now it seems like he’s just exploiting a few lowest common denominators with his tongue in his cheek, so I have a sneaky respect for the man now.
However, that’s not the main point, the one revelation was the steam tram chugging through the snow-bound German Baltic seaside resort. It was trundling away quite happily and after seeing the news earlier in the day where diesel and electric trains at home were all forlornly abandoned at station platforms and rail depots I was shaking my head.
I spoke to Jimmy next day and I said, I assume in the 50’s when the fireman turned up in the morning to light the fire in a steam loco there might be enough heat in the boiler so that it didn’t freeze overnight, and by the time the steam was up to pressure everything on the loco or near it was completely free of snow, ice or any sign of winter and it would just launch itself out the shed and along rails where the mechanically operated points didn’t freeze quiet so readily, and the the photies of steam trains blasting through snow drifts up north aren’t CGI?
“Aye, kinda” said Jimmy. Even in the 70’s clapped out old dieslels wsere cutting their way through drifts the height on the cab windows to get to the Highlands.
Progress is a wonderful thing isn’t it? It’s dragged from the barbaric world of the possible and the practical and delivered us into a Brave New World of useless incompetence designed by theorists who’ve never got their hands dirty in their lives.