Today was about personal satisfaction and "shes".
Ignoring she remarks about "playing trains again" I was determined to get to Toddington earlier than usual on a Saturday. I wanted to enjoy the build up atmosphere of the first scheduled steam train to run our full line since that telephone call from Neil Carr advising of the Gotherington slip. Its been rough since then.
Duly at 9.45, the delightful 5542 responded to Station Master Colin Dymock's (so nice to see him back following surgery) signal, whistled and losing steam from a coupling (which created great atmosphere) went "woof" (I bet there is a technical term which of course I don't know) and the GWR was back. I felt very pleased, proud and satisfied. A job done. Had a personal moment.
A few words with our new SM in training (she) then off to W for coffee in the Pot (all women again, I felt duly inadequate), a quick look at PWay finalising the track in the new Paint Shop and back to Todd to see the return from Cheltenham. This time she was carrying enough bodies to settle my FD instincts.
She left for Laverton (another first of course) and we waited. Platform 2 we were told. The bell and there she was offering what I now sense is one of the views of the line, the train curving in from the north with the loco working.
We are back, we are in better infra structure shape, we are now much more of a team, we have our finances sorted, we have an exciting timetable and programme of events and the largest capital programme ever. Its going to be a great season and I hope everyone gets fun, pleasure, fellowship and satisfaction.
So what else today. Had my pic taken with Henry Howard and the footplate crew, a few words with the team finalising the new reverse osmosis waterplant at Todd, a discussion with Neil C on a rising problem which I hope will go away and finally a review meeting with Alan Bielby. In the Development Manager's Office (she wont like it but I was cold) we discussed the ongoing actions required on the new Paint Shop and sought to satisfy my instinct to move a little faster.
Next week another birthday. I've come to dread them but feel the last year was a good un.