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Steam-powered Britannia


Once and sometimes twice a year, on Hope Farm in Sellindge, Kent, Britain comes out to play. The old Britain. The steam powered one.

There are vintage cars and motorcycles and tractors and musical automatons and, older still, shire horses pulling the plough. There are people selling old screwdrivers and thumbplanes and tires (or tyres, if you prefer) and cakes and teacups and books. There was a Magic Accordeola playing Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”

And there are steam engines. Steam tractors, steam motorcycles, steam rollers.

We ate a good Dutch cheeseburger and listened to a bad garage band. Mostly, though, we looked at, listened to, smelled the bitumenous exhalations of and otherwise enjoyed keeping company with steam engines.

It was a happy end to a happy two weeks. And then the rains came. And the weather, which had been sunny and fine the whole time, turned mizzly and cold and entirely appropriate to my mood. London tonight in the drizzle, Boston tomorrow night in the…whatever.

Oh, well. That’s tomorrow.


May 28, 2007 — 6:44 pm
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