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Posted (edited)

'This is the night mail crossing the Border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,

Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner, the girl next door.'..................WH Auden

 

 

This page of letters, continuing themes.

Tell us your nightmares, and your dreams.

 

If you are a girl without a blog,

Or a boy who wants a dog

 

You're welcome to relay your news 

What you tell us you can choose.

 

We're here to listen and to chat.

It really is about all that.

 

We'll talk boats, and cars and planes

Unlike ERs, we welcome trains.

 

Show your pictures, good and bad.

Tell of the things that make you mad.

 

So come in here and show your face

All are welcome in this place.

 

 

The Night Mail is the antidote for Early Risers and for those who don't have to get up so early!

 

 

 

 

Edited by Happy Hippo
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Posted (edited)

I was a bit worried when I started this topic, as within seconds of offering it up for moderation the whole of RMWeb went down.

 

I may not have broken the internet, but I'm now wary about starting anymore topics.:mocking_mini:.

 

Anyhow welcome to the The Night Mail.

 

 

Jumping in at the deep end, I thought I'd start with the subject of Dreams and phobias.

 

Is there a link ,and are phobias related to each other?

 

Over the years I have had a number of recurring dreams the first was about falling and breaking my leg.

 

Eventually I did break my ankle, after a parachute jump and after that the dreams stopped.

 

For many years I had another recurring dream, that of coming home on leave and being sent back to school.

 

My arguments that I was only home for a fortnight fell on deaf ears and off to school I was marched.

 

Was this a subliminal message that I felt that I had not done well enough at school?  but they only stopped after I retired.

 

Finally there is the one that I still get, being trapped and crushed.  It usually happens if I get too tightly wrapped in the duvet, or even if I sleep with an arm wrapped around myself.  now this is more interesting because over the years I have developed ever more fear of closed in spaces:  That of Claustrophobia.  I cannot even crawl under a bed without feeling panicked, and If there is any tightness around the chest due to compression or something brushes my face I find it extremely uncomfortable.

 

For some reason, and I've never checked to see if it is a phobia that is related, I have developed Enochophobia, which is a fear of crowds.

 

Over the years I have found it increasingly difficult to go into crowded places, be it a pub, a busy street or even a railway exhibitions.  The only way I can do this is to go with some sort of serious purpose for the visit.

 

Going to a railway exhibition, I have to be going to make a specific purchase that cannot be made elsewhere, or to either exhibit or even demonstrate, where I have the physical barrier of a layout or a table between me and the rest.  Those that do see me at an exhibition will usually find me in a quieter area rather than in a packed thong.

 

When you read of the trials and tribulations others have suffered  because they have been in lock down during the  Covid -19 crisis, I can  fully sympathise, whilst at the same time enjoying the isolation that others detest.

 

However because of this apparent strange outlook, people think I'm odd. Yet I don't think they are odd for craving company and getting out and about.

 

So what does anyone else think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Happy Hippo
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Most of us are far more complex as individuals than casual acquaintance - let alone virtual acquaintance - might suggest. The person who doesn't have the odd phobia - and some are really odd! - probably lacks imagination, which is a distinct hindrance in our hobby. Many sportspeople, including those at the peak of their game, are superstitious, despite us all knowing there is limited scientific support for such beliefs. 

 

Does this stop us being real people? Are we a menace to others? Heavens - no! 

 

Carry on regardless of society's norms. Do your own thing, and as long as it hurts no others where's the problem? 

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Posted (edited)

I have found my modelling hobby to be the perfect antidote to lockdown. Head over to the shed and lose myself in a model, suddenley the hours just fly. So far I've managed to finish off 7 wagons and 1 loco. P,us betting the lsyout running well enough for a socially distant visit by 3 Brit and 2 French friends.  This has certainly helped me but people still think that railway and model railway enthusiasts are boring.  Perhaps it is because of their own insecurities and they are frightened of people who have absorbing hobbies that require, skills, research, knowledge and expertise.

 

Jamie

Edited by jamie92208
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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the comments so far.

 

This topic is open to all kinds of discussions, and you don't have to wait for something to be said before you reply.

 

So don't think that it is going to be pointing in any one direction, but will go with the flow.

 

Sometimes we will move on, but there is always the opportunity to revisit past discussions and add to them if necessary.

 

If you have anything you want to explore, or get off your chest, or just have a general chat, this is the place to do it.

 

If you don't have your own modelling thread but wish to show of your work, feel free to post pictures here.

 

Despite my own like of anything from Swindon, other railways are equally welcome.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Happy Hippo
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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Happy Hippo said:

Despite my own like of anything from Swindon, other railways are equally welcome.

 

No wonder you gave phobia problems if you like things from Swindon. Everyone knows that engines should be red.

 

My own phobia is rice pudding after being forced to eat it every Wednesday at school by a sadistic house master. I used to have to visit the vomitorium aka the Crystal palace after dinner.

 

Jamie

Edited by jamie92208
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As Ian has mentioned, phobias come in all shapes and sizes.

 

I am fortunate in that I like rice pudding, but that pales to insignificance if I'm offered a macaroni pudding instead.

 

I have a nice  red engine, however, it required a little bit of modification to the exhaust before I cured it of it's rather vulgar habit of spitting at me.

 

This was in the form of large gobs of boiling water and steam oil from the chimney when starting off from cold.

 

The cure was to fit a cap which looked similar to a top hat; fitted over the exhaust pipe, and acted as a deflector.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I have been asked why I chose 'The Night Mail' as a topic heading.

 

One has to blame Jamie92208 for this when were we in discussion yesterday as it was not first choice.

 

However, Jamie's suggestion won the day as there is more chance of contributors joining  who imagine the romantic view of  this:

 

 

image.png.6a82a4b35466f54dc6eea613d3cf014e.png

 

To the other alternative which was 'HH's Muddy Hollow' which realistically looks like this:

 

image.png.8f0a035ddd6843c7f8470ab069248919.png

 

Edited by Happy Hippo
I've just realised it's a red engine: Now I'm on the rocky road to hell.
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I certainly haven't struggled with lockdown in the way many others have. And that does give a clue to my reclusive tendencies, which would not have been obvious to colleagues wherever I worked. Seeing cleaner Alison twice a week for a few hours - and hearing this week's rendition of the eternal struggle to get fully together with her married boyfriend - has been nearly enough. Of course at least an hour a day is spent on the phone, or now Zoom, with Sherry, so human interaction is not entirely missing. And when Sherry gets here on 15th July things will be even better, of course, as we bade farewell on 9th Feb, which is plenty long enough ago for a married couple. 

 

The modelling, in my limited way, has come on a bit, with major track alterations in the fiddle yard, including installation of two cctv cameras to see what is going on. Timetable working is now a more realistic prospect, although the Summer 1956 WTT I chose needs far more SKs than I possess, and rather fewer BCKs, so I am likely to change periods slightly. Not every layout envisages shunting and marshalling of passenger stock with people in it - finally mimicking that is a real joy. 

 

Richard mentioned a wariness about exhibition crowds. I don't have a phobia there, but have often missed viewing layouts that simply had too many onlookers for me to penetrate. Perhaps I have always preferred some unspecified social distancing? 

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54 minutes ago, jamie92208 said:

My own phobia is rice pudding after being forced to eat it every Wednesday at school by a sadistic house master. I used to have to visit the vomitorium aka the Crystal palace after dinner.

An old boy from my boarding school told me that an abusive matron forced him to eat baked beans which he hated. She then told him to fetch her a cup of tea so he did so - while he was carrying the cup to her, he burped up a few beans into her cup! He gave the cup to her and she drank it all without noticing!!!

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If you get the chance to take some photos Ian, I'd love to see what you get up to in your shed.

 

Preferably pictures of the railway, and not spiders rats, mice or snakes..............

 

No, snakes are fine, I like snakes!

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Phobias? - Pot-holing - I can't even watch it on telly.  Maybe it's because I am no longer as agile or flexible as I used to be.

Dreams - I am often playing in a football match - nothing too prestigious, more a local game in the park, but so often my dream skills are much better than my actual skills (which I consider to be not too bad although I only play 'walking' football these days (well, not these actual days, but you know what I mean).

 

Modelling preferences - GWR/WR, but also green & blue diesel and soon to be blue diesels in Scotland (somewhere like Cullen, near Lossimouth).

 

Lockdown has not really affected us, as I'm working from home, but the potential time I could be modelling is frustrating when I have to work instead...

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Posted (edited)

I too have quite wide interests where model railways are concerned.

 

Scottish blue diesels have a particular charm, and even as I write this there is a 4mm scale blue class 37 and about two dozen  16 ton mineral wagons sitting on the dining room table whilst I plot another possible scheme.

 

Like most of my schemes it will never see the light of day, but I do enjoy the challenge of tying to create something just a little different.

 

I blame Brian (br2975) who keeps sending me his South Wales inspired track plans, and encourages me to meddle with them

Edited by Happy Hippo
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Funny that you should mention pot holing Stubby. Though as school I hated the bullying and insistence on team sports that needed ball skills that I didn't possess, I got the chance to go potholing and loved it. I hated rock climbing but could climb underground. We are a strange breed.  For some reason potholing just did it for me and I even ended up as a member of the local Cave Rescue Organisation. 

 

As to HH's pictures that one of a red Duchess also does it for me. One of these days I'll get the Finney7 one on the shelf made. I've just got 3 other red engines to build first.

 

Jamie

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7 hours ago, Happy Hippo said:

If you get the chance to take some photos Ian, I'd love to see what you get up to in your shed.

 

Preferably pictures of the railway, and not spiders rats, mice or snakes..............

 

No, snakes are fine, I like snakes!

I’d don’t like snakes or slugs, especially slugs. Think it’s because many years ago I saw a Dr Who episode and the ‘aliens’ looked a bit like giant  slugs .urgh.

Did manage to watch ‘Snakes on Plane ‘ , it even made me laugh!
 

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Pannier tanks.

 

There, I made the first ever mention on this forum of the dreaded P word, even though I regard them as an invention of Satan. Well, not really but they're not my favourite model railway locomotives - oops what did I just write? Oh, it's OK, there's no awl on this forum is there? Just large pachyderms. Ah, but pannier tanks are much loved of hippos so I must still be careful? Life is complicated isn't it? At least I seem to have Jamie here to accompany me in the Crimson Locomotive Appreciation Select Society or CLASS.  

 

Snakes. Got used to them living in Singapore when a neighbour found a cobra's nest in his garden then a 14ft python got up into the nosewheel bay of a Lightning. The only way it was removed was when a bright aircraft mechanic fired a large CO2 fire extinguisher into the bay, which chilled and stupefied the snake so that it could be pulled out. The most toe curling instance of snakes, though, was when my No. 2 in a pair of Phantoms flying out of Cyprus suddenly said he had to return to base. The back seater had been complaining that his helmet was uncomfortable and he was taking it off for a moment to see what was wrong. When he did a small snake fell out and disappeared beneath the instrument panel heading for the front cockpit. This news was not received well by the pilot to say the least as he was ophidiophobic (yes, I had to look that up), hence the hurried RTB. It took ages to find the snake and it turned out to be harmless (unless you were a gecko or similar) but it was a horrible experience for the crew.    

 

Today I got some topographic (AKA big lumps) modelling done on my layout using lots of foamboard and cereal packets. Tomorrow may well see kitchen roll and plaster being employed. It's like being a kid back at primary school and will probably get very messy. 

 

Anyway HH, I've gone and done it now - started posting in yet another forum; one that looks as though it could turn out to be quite interesting though.

 

Time for a read in bed with a muggacocoa then the daily eyelid inspection. Night night everyone.

 

Dave 

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Ah, so that’s where the idea for the film came from. 
On a similar but dramatic  theme, when I first started work, in the time before mobile phones , I got a frantic phone call from my pharmacy chains head office asking if I’d had a visit from my area manager. I hadn’t and he didn't turn up that day as planned . Later that week I and the rest of the company found out what had happened. News spread fast even in those days.
He lived above one of the branches in Sheffield and one of his ‘pet’ snakes had escaped and found its way into the pharmacy below and the staff refused to return to work until the snake had been returned to his flat. Hence the frantic phone calls to try to find him.

i bid you all a good night.

Robert

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I tried so hard not to mention the P word, being an acolyte of Swindon.  I even posted a picture of a nice red engine to show my ambiguity.

 

Yet it was no less the Chairman of the venerable Midland Railway Society that raised the P word, and on the first page too!  I hope his nightly cocoa has not curdled and given him stomach ache!

 

This evening I was introduced to a drink known as Southern Comfort.  Having  now drunk a considerable amount I'm looking forward to a pleasant dream about Bulleid pacifics and a couple of Q1s.

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I'm hoping that the thread heading also allows posts in the wee small hours, when the letters would have been in the process of being sorted in the TPO, as it swayed slightly to and fro, rushing through the darkness to its destination.

 

Enough of this romantic imagery, already!

 

Phobias...

 

I'm not keen on heights (so it is just as well I am not exactly tall!) :D

 

I only really have one, but for me it is a biggie... needles!  As in, hypodermic or injection needles! :scared:

 

Warning: for those of a nervous disposition skip the following paragraph, as I believe this to be the trigger for my phobia!

 

I've never liked injections. I didn't like the assurances that, "It won't hurt," whether by a doctor, nurse or dentist.  Because, in short, they [email protected]@dy well did. Every, single, time!  (Years later I learnt the interesting fact that red heads, like myself, have the lowest pain tolerance of all people, so needles did hurt! Why do you suppose there were so few red-headed spies throughout history? No pain tolerance!!). I digress. So, I was quite young, at primary school. And couldn't pronounce "th" due to being tongue-tied, so I had an operation scheduled to sort it out, courtesy of the NHS.  Come the day of my op, a male nurse giving me my pre-op sedative noticed I tensed before he had started, and so told me to relax or it would hurt.  I believed him, did as I was told, and it didn't hurt like I expected. Until, that is, he hit muscle ie my glutimus maximus ... and then it hurt like hell!  I got collected a short time later for theatre, sore and livid.  I remember being wheeled down the corridor past people waiting to visit (it was just before visiting time) and people smiling at me, encouragingly.  I simply scowled back!  I reached the pre-op waiting area - "Have you had your injection?" they asked the nurse. "Yes," I piped up from the trolley. "And it really hurt.  And he said it wouldn't!"  Smiles and banter between the nurses, and an angry little boy listening to it all, waiting for his operation.  "Bet you are feeling nice and sleepy now aren't you, though?" they asked me.  "No. I am wide awake."  I was not being funny - I really was!  (In retrospect, I suspect shock, adenaline and pure anger were to blame!)  "Well, we'll give you another little injection to help you feel sleepy," they said, and shortly afterwards they gave me one in my arm, once five of them had wrestled me back down onto the trolley!  By this time I remember being literally furious!  I'd been lied to about an injection not hurting, and now this mob had stuck another one in me without even asking if they could!  Shortly afterwards, I was wheeled into theatre, and transferred onto the table.  I remember lying there, looking up at very bright lights above me, and being aware of several figures wearing gowns and masks gathered around me.  "Ah, all ready for your operation then, are you?" asked a kindly voice behind a mask.  "No," says I. "I was given an injection in my bottom, which hurt when he said it wouldn't, and then they asked if I was sleepy, and I said no so they gave me another one in my arm, and that hurt too!"  Chuckles around the table, then the kind voice (which sounded like cigar smoke - don't ask why, it just did, that is the memory!) said, "But I guess you are feeling sleepy now, aren't you?"  Probably not the best thing to say to an angry child - "No, I am wide awake!" Masked chap turns aside and asks about dosage and stuff and I interupt to say, "I had a pre-operation injection when I was on the ward and another one which they said would help me calm down outside just now and they have had no effect on me at all and I am wide awake and I am not having any more injections because they hurt!"  Again, chuckles and then kindly voice says that I won't have any more injections but how about some gas to make me sleepy?  Obviously, the sedatives must have had some effect because I agreed, and the rubber mask was placed over my face and gas was fed through to knock me out... At which point, I probably made them jump by sitting up on the operating table and pushing the mask off my face and telling them it tasted horrible and smelled of burning car tyres!  Kindly voice said they would sweeten it, so I lay back down and they applied the mask again... This time, it was sickly sweet and I tried to push it off my face to tell them so but they were having none of it this time, holding it on my face and counting down 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 ... "You asleep yet?"     BLACKOUT     I awoke with a dry mouth back on the ward, with a nice nurse waiting with a sick bowl!!  My parents arrived shortly afterwards, and were shocked when the same nurse told them I had been shouting at the top of my voice before regaining consciousness - and my mother saying she did not know where I had learnt language like that! (Years later, she told me that the nurse had said I was calling the surgeons fit to burn with language to make a sailor blush!)  The tongue healed, I could say "th" instead of "f" and the experience was behind me.  But not the memory. That was burnt into my brain. Forty years later, I retell that story as if it were yesterday, down to what was said and by whom.  It left a mark.  It scarred me for life.  I have found it difficult to trust medical personnel ever since.  Especially if they are wielding .... a needle!

 

Remember the films warning about Rabies?  We had to watch an instructional one at primary school.  I was the only kid who had to leave when they showed a needle being inserted into someone's abdomen in order to administer medication.  I just made it to the toilets, to be as sick as a parrot.  When they came to check on me, they found me with my face pressed to the tiled floor because I felt "hot"...  

 

I had to have multiple injections at the dentist for fillings, as I had (have) genetically "soft" teeth, with microscopic fissures prone to decay.  My dentist, Mr Feingold, was brilliant and foreward thinking for the time, especially about preventative dentistry.  But all his fingers were like thumbs, short and stubby!  And he was "old school" when it came to administering an injection ... select target area, screw needle in like a bradawl until sufficiently close to the nerve, then deliver the sedative in one heavy handed plunge... it always felt like my gums were expanding like a balloon, ready to pop!  This did not help with my fear of needles.  When informed that I would have to have two eye teeth out to fit braces, I was absolutely fine until the needle hove into view... I don't remember it myself (due to blind panic) but apparently I exited the surgery at warp speed and was half way out of the front door before they caught me!  My mother, the surgery receptionist and two assistants had to pin me down in the chair, and I put up such a fight that Mr F decided to forego the sedative and simply pulled out both my teeth with his bare hands without me noticing!  Adrenaline, eh?!  (Before anybody calls malpractice, they were already a little loose and this was the late seventies!!).  For years after, I had dentistry without injections, even deep fillings - I found singing (should that be gargling?) opera extracts a good way of getting through those occasions, although one locum dentist got a shock once as I launched into "Ride of the Valkyrie" mid drilling!!

 

So, there you have it!  Needle phobia.  I can reason that it is psychological, that the reality is not as bad as what I imagine, but pull a needle on me and it is basic "fight or flight" instincts that kick in!  I thought numbing gel at the dentist (like they use on kids) was the solution, but the phobia simply got worse... now, I need gas and air and be totally off my face* before a needle can approach!  In danger of sepsis a few years ago from an infected horse fly bite, I requested gas and air so they could put an antibiotic drip on me!  (As a total aside, it took three attempts, the last by the senior aneathesist at the hospital, to find a vein to plug into!  At one point, a nurse checked my pulse at my throat because she couldn't locate one at my wrist!  I told her I was so phobic of needles that I could, like the Fakirs in India, control my blood so that it ran away from the needle!!)

 

On the plus side, there has never been a danger of me becoming addicted to anything injectable, nor am I ever going to consider having a tattoo!  (The thought makes my buttocks clench in horror!)  

 

Negatives?  Well, the benefits of acupuncture will forever remain a mystery to me!  And, sadly, as much as I want to (and I really do want to), I simply cannot give blood.  Sewing machines ... *shudder*

 

Steve S

 

 

 

 

 

* First time I had gas and air, I was very woozy afterwards and had to sit in the reception whilst the effects wore off.  There was a politician being interviewed on the radio, and in my sh!tfac3d state I remember listening and thinking that he was talking sense. As the effects slowly wore off, I became increasingly aware that I was listening to total [email protected]@cks from some politician on the radio, and I couldn't understand why on earth I thought he was making points I felt I could agree with. By the end of the interview, I was fully compos mentis and annoyed with everything the politician was saying! The DJ finished the interview - "Thank you, Prime Minister, for talking to us today" ... so to this day I believe David Cameron only makes sense when the listener is inebbriated! :laugh_mini2:

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Steve, if it's any consolation (which it probably won't be) , I knew a number of very big and brave soldiers, one of whom had a QGM, who melted at the sight of a needle.

 

I agree about Tattoos.

 

The only one I would ever consider getting would be the Kerr Stuart 0-4-2ST variant for my garden line.

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Steve:

I'm not that bad with needles; I can get them as long as I don't have to look. I have TV news which shows people getting injected. Agree about the addictions and tattoos.

I just had a horrible thought: If I had taken science (physics and chemistry type) would I have had to qualify in biology as well to teach school? One year of high school biology was too much for me.

In my kindergarden year I had my tonsils out. I was wheeled screaming to the operating room and remember the horrible smell of alcohol before they suffocated me with a big rubber mask. I can't take the smell up close to my nose to this day.

One of my dentists worked at doing as much work as possible without freezing.

 

I'll count three bridges and twenty rail joints then post this reply.

 

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15 hours ago, Happy Hippo said:

 

image.png.6a82a4b35466f54dc6eea613d3cf014e.png

 

Love it! For a couple of years I got up early to see a train on the Paisley Canal line. It ran behind the other side of our street and there was a train that was often hauled by Coronations both Red and Green. We could tell what was coming from the exhaust beat as it pulled out of the station.

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Not sure if it's a phobia but I now find it very difficult to watch dramas when it becomes obvious that something bad is about to happen, and not necessarily because somebody is going to be seriously injured or bumped off. It might just be that someone is going to be in a very difficult situation - which is exactly what drama writers like to do. I usually switch to something more documentary. Historical dramatizations with people getting their heads chopped seem to be OK.

 

MrsID and myself seem to be quite happy with our own company. Our children and grand children all live far from here although it will be nice when we can finally meet them in person again but I think that's at least a year away. Between us we have more hobbies, toys and playrooms than we could possibly shake a stick at and we couldn't imagine living anywhere else so we are very fortunate. It will be a bit hectic here this weekend but things should calm down next week.

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Fortunately I don't suffer from needle phobia but do have a real fear of choking and not being able to breath. The only time I have had an endoscopy, the stupid Dr decided to go further than he had briefed me about with the endoscope. I'd only had the freezing spray in my throat. When he suddenly started on the exit sphincter from my stomach, without warning I tried to pull the flipping thing straight out as I couldn't breath.  It took both him and the nurse to stop me ripping the thing straight out, which would apparently have had serious consequences for me.  I will have to insist on a general anaesthetic if I need another.   Even though I have no fear of dentists I can feel the edge of panic when the chair is laid too far back.  

 

Anyway, thanks to Andy for repeating the photo of the red duchess.   It restores the soul.

 

Jamie

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2 hours ago, AndyID said:

Love it! For a couple of years I got up early to see a train on the Paisley Canal line. It ran behind the other side of our street and there was a train that was often hauled by Coronations both Red and Green. We could tell what was coming from the exhaust beat as it pulled out of the station.


I’m intrigued! What Canal Line stopper was hauled by a Duchess from an English shed? (Polmadie only ever had green ones.) 

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