Well, I am still persevering with my daily walks, even though it’s a bit of a chore, and I have to force myself sometimes - OK, a lot of the time.
But occasionally, it pays off, with a bit of unexpected colour.
Today, I took one of several regular routes, along by the railway. As I crossed one of the bridges, I noticed a lot of people with cameras and tripods, so I asked: “Is there something special coming?”, and they said: “Yes! The steam train, The King Edward, but he’s already ten minutes late”
So I thought it was worth hanging on a few minutes, but then a regular diesel came through, so I knew he couldn’t be immediately behind that.
I was heading down to the station anyway, which is just behind my house, on the homeward leg of the walk, so I took a chance that if I walked briskly, I might be in time to see him at the station.
I was listening for chugging and whistles all the way, and hoping I wouldn’t be on a stretch obscured by high hedges or fences. But on the way, I passed several people still waiting with cameras, so I knew I hadn’t missed him.
I made it to the station, where there was quite a small crowd gathered, and waited there with them - minus camera, as I hadn’t gone out expecting any photographic opportunities.
I hadn’t been there more than five minutes, before I was rewarded with a distant whistle, and we knew he was coming.
The train then snaked into view, and came through whisting loudly, and all its passengers waving - on a special St. David’s day out. What a lovely day they’ve got for it!
All on the platform waved, and clicked the cameras, and said: “Wasn’t that fun?”
Which bizarrely, it was! I don’t know why it’s still exciting to see a steam train. I’m just about old enough to remember seeing one of the last ones in regular service, before they were withdrawn in 1969 - so I must have been under 3. Maybe it’s that childish nostalgia of watching for the train with Daddy, that still makes it thrilling today.
A bit better than my normal boring walk. If you force yourself, just occasionally, something happens to break up the monotony. If I’d decided I couldn’t be bothered to go out today, I wouldn’t have had my few seconds of excitement.