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Ride’s here!

I am so sorry to have blown the Dead Pool this week. We played hooky and snuck off to the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch, which is a little line of 1/3 scale steam and diesel trains that runs along the coast.

It is a fine thing to do on a hot day, sitting in the open carriage watching the pretty English landscape roll by. We saw ducks and swans and several fine, fat pheasants. Some of the crops — the rapeseed — have been harvested already. Some — the hay — just coming in now. And the wheat and corn are yet to come. They were looking good.

We had an amusing conversation about National Trust properties with a drunken gay couple in the carriage behind us. A station master came by at St Mary’s Bay and quickly searched the carriages to “see if we had any owls.” Nope, no idea.

The English are prone to embarrassment and carefully avoid it in most social situations, but in certain narrow contexts, they give themselves a sort of permission to be foolish. I think this is why they like pantomime and dressing in costume so much.

They also give themselves leave to wave to, and from, trains. Especially heritage trains. The RH&DR runs past scores of back yards and in many of them, children stood and solemnly waved to us like visiting dignitaries. Cars at the RR crossings, too. You wave back. You haveta.

Afterwards, we stopped and bought some of the best fish and chips in the neighborhood. And long about then it dawned on me, Holy shit — I’m in England!


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: July 26, 2014, 12:00 am

Oh sweet. I always love the steam trains. These days, that means Lakeside amusement park or Cumbres and Toltec in Southwest Colorado..


Comment from surly ermine
Time: July 26, 2014, 1:32 am

Owls? Harry Potter reference?

Comment from Nina
Time: July 26, 2014, 4:54 am

I had my “OH MY GOSH I’M IN ENGLAND!!!” moment when I was walking around Stonehenge.

And again at Battle.

Scarborough Castle.


Okay, I pretty much felt that way the entire time I was there, so sue me.


Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: July 26, 2014, 5:15 am

The wheat is starting to be harvested here in the Badger State. I am still not quite used to 30 foot heads on combines! Man, that sort of thing cuts a mighty swath through the field!

Hasn’t Kent always been the center of owl smuggling in the UK?

Comment from mojo
Time: July 26, 2014, 5:44 am

Am I late?

I’m late, aren’t I?

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: July 26, 2014, 5:22 pm

Am I too late to get Barry White?

Comment from AltBBrown
Time: July 26, 2014, 6:37 pm

That 1%er Romney’s got his finger in everything, ain’t he?

Comment from Deborah
Time: July 26, 2014, 9:19 pm

I still wave at trains, though I no longer put pennies on the tracks 🙂

I also run outside when helicopters fly over, which happens regularly since I am right in the flight path between Fort Sam Houston to Fort Hood—and I wave at them, too.

And then! I live just down the road from the CenTex Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (located in San Marcos, TX) and get to see their airplanes come out to play—flying over the lake seems popular. So I stand out on my deck and wave like a fool when the B-25 flies over! You can hear a B-25 from a long way.

Comment from genghisJohn
Time: July 27, 2014, 2:36 am

I love you.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 27, 2014, 10:23 am


Comment from QuasiModo
Time: July 27, 2014, 3:43 pm

What’s wrong with this picture? :+)

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: July 27, 2014, 10:11 pm

This is a very weird thread…
Remembering Barry White, I had the impression that either he or Richie Havens was catastrophically injured in a motorcycle accident.

Comment from CrabbyOldBat
Time: July 29, 2014, 12:44 am

Steam engines are raaaaaacist, because some people don’t know the difference between steam, which is necessarily white, and diesel smoke.


Comment from David Gillies
Time: July 29, 2014, 9:06 pm

I love the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway. I always used to wonder if anyone actually used it for a commute. There’s no particular reason why you couldn’t.

The Kent Coast is wonderful, and so handy for the continent. If I lived there I’d be forever popping over to Calais for the day. Have you and Uncle Badger ever visited any of the Henrician forts like Deal or Walmer? I did my O-level history project on them – wonderful things. The one at Sandwich is lost to the waves now, sadly.

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