SHALLILO - FOREVER YOUNG

SHALLILO - FOREVER YOUNG

Older people can remain active and thoughtful and have the potential to grow. There are many role models. Mistakes happen, often hilarious. Join me on an ageing trip to places and moments.

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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Fire, Steam and Dynamite


eThe highs and lows, things that went well and loads that didn't
                                                         

2007, Atlantic Books, 318p, £19.99

Enjoyable and informative, even for the committed rail enthusiast. It's easy to get lost in all the old railway companies - nearly 200 - and it's hard to see how else to do it. The going is less tough after 1922; the formation of the big four and British Rail. Then privatisation brings back a little chaos.

Some nice themes. The rivalry between and within companies. The dividend payments at the expense of customer service, safety and employee welfare. The uneasy, often hostile relations with government. The rise in power of the workforce, unions and the birth of the Labour Party. The role of rail and women during the two world wars.

So lots to go at.

My take on it is the waste. There doesn't appear to have been any planning and okay, there were economic downturns. But successive rail managers and governments missed opportunities. I was an avid trainspotter in the 1950s and revelled in those Pacific Locos at Crewe and York, but really - electrification and the diesel multiple units were always more economic and environmentally friendly. (Hm - diesel may not be as wonderful as it once was). And this extravagance occurred at the time of the expanding road network.

It reminds me of how large expensive organisations and all the personal agendas within them can be subject to relentless political and government meddling. It's a tribute to them that they work at all.

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Ground coffee is a great alternative to grinding your own. Small amounts, quick turnover and chance to sample lots
We haven't been down to Slaithwaite for a while to get some Darkwood's beans, but there are perfectly decent alternative ground coffees. They come in small amounts and it's easy to try a few without breaking the bank. We find the best results err on the strong side and keep close to the gold standard - 60g per litre.

The Guatemala Fair Trade at the Coop was decent. There is a lovely little stall in Scarborough's refurbished market which is worth a visit in its own right. I didn't make a note of the coffee but we are going again soon. En Route in Holmfirth is on my list to visit when the snow goes. A cafe that encourages sampling.

Our latest was Hot Java Lava. Taylor's extra dark roast. You've got to try it, even if you return to a No 4. They style it as 'explosive' and 'dynamite'.

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Latest of our sheep images
 Our sheep are surviving the snow. The last we saw of them on the blog, they were sheltering from the sun, in the shadow of the three trees.

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