Thursday, 15 October 2015


Not mine, which is as glacial as ever, but progess in the world of 16mm narrow gauge railways.

Here is my first new 16mm live steam loco for over thirty years. An Accurcaft GVT loco commisioned in conjunction with Anything Narrow Gauge and made in China.

I haven't steamed it yet, and my out of the box impression is that is rather nice, apart from the usual abomination of having a hard to ignore pressure gauge facing forward in the cab. At least being a tram loco forwards actually means backwards when running. The lining is a little OTT as well.

Here, in total contrast, is my very first 16mm loco, a Merlin/Beck Midas  hauling a GVT coach buit from the old Association GVT coach "kit" on a Mamod chassis.

Possibly a fairer comparison is with the Gosling GVT loco that I lusted after as a schoolboy.

Monday, 5 October 2015


Trees are funny things. Except when they are a little bit scary or spooky. 

Or Ents. I can't imagine an Ent telling a  joke, and if they did the punchline would be a long time coming.

This twisted example is to be found high up on the Burren and I took the photo on a particularly brutal day off from cycling around County Clare and missing evidence of the West Clare.

What has really made me think about trees is first of all the recent excellent BBC documentary on a year in the life of an oak tree  This includes some incredible statistics and should be a must see for anyone contemplating realistic trees. DId you know they have 700,000 leaves?

The other thing is watching our new garden as Autumn approaches. There is a point where we seem to lose the ability to look at individual trees. One tree, two trees... four trees, five trees....lots of trees.

I actually still haven't counted how many trees we now have under our care, but as they begin to change colour I'm finding it easier to pick out individual specimens,  I could stand and look at them for hours,