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Blog 21 - Steam & Bluebells

The magic carpet has gone on strike and refuses to lift off, so I am reduced to coach and train today. It’s enough to turn anyone quite blue.

So.....the scarf of choice today is by JACQMAR and features blue flowers including agapanthus, irises and bluebells.

By now, you know I like going on coach trips to places I cannot reach easily by myself. On these outings, I am indebted to the U3A, Age UK and two groups V.I.S.O.R and Macular Support which support visually impaired folks, some of whom are totally blind. My scarf today reminds me of such a V.I.S.O.R outing last year to deepest Sussex to visit the Bluebell Railway. Doug, our volunteer driver, was well experienced and I was sure we would not end up in a ditch and require fire engine and ambulance assistance, as I have experienced in the past.....see Blog 12. All went well until near our destination when we came to a road block, requiring a detour. Doug followed the detour instructions for many miles and eventually drove down a very steep, narrow road which lead to a bridge, which in fact carried the very railway line we would travel on later, much later...... He approached cautiously edging towards the bridge, and stopped........ we were stuck under the bridge. No roof clearance. Now what? Slowly he eased out and then attempted a three point turn on dodgy looking verges. I remembered too clearly another coach on an apparently safe verge sinking and tipping over. It was evident there was not enough room to perform this manoeuvre so the only thing to do was to back all the way up this very steep hill, praying another vehicle did not smack us on some corner. Reversed safely at top of hill and proceeded back to road block. Our organiser Pat did a great sob story to the guys controlling the roadblock and they went out of their way to remove heavy duty machinery (I think they were re-laying the road) and we were on our way, wet tarmac splattering, white sticks waving.

We just made our booked train time with minutes to spare. The old steam train huffed and puffed, tooted and blew smoke at us and we gently, oh so gently, chugged along amongst the bluebells. I expected to see Inspector Poirot or at least some member of below stairs staff from Downton Abbey as we pulled back into our station. I guess they must have caught an earlier train.

I bought these bluebell earrings as a reminder of my day out. My sister picked the flowers yesterday and arranged them in a family heirloom, a bluebell vase as old as the railway itself.

Busy Bee, Scarf Face!

Blog 21.

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