Because we have a train-obsessed two year old, we often find a reason to have a day out on the local steam trains. As we wait on the platform to board, the steam will spill over from the large machine’s black funnel in billowing plumes and I’ll watch my husband fill his nostrils with the unmistakable smell. He nearly always turns to me with memories in his eyes and says, “I love that smell.”
And there is good reason. That smell reminds him of boyhood, of days out with his family, of happy memories made decades ago.
One of the many things I really like about living here is that I feel that there is an appreciation for what was. Nostalgia is real and alive when we board those old trains, take a sunset walk past a thatched cottage, and over the weekend when we popped into our local town centre for a vintage bus running day – a day that was completely free simply for the joy of sharing these old boys with the public.
Rows and rows of vintage buses of different sizes and character lined up near the town’s oldest depot. The Duchess’s eyes glittered as we approached and she soaked it all in.
We waited to board this open top double decker, dubbed Sir Humphry Davy (how great is that?!) and it became evident that the excitement wasn’t just restricted to those with little legs and excited eyes. As the bus pulled up, I experienced the worst example of queuing I’ve ever seen in this country as people rushed to board. You Brits would have hung your heads in shame had you seen it.
As we pulled away, tiny drops of rain began to spray us – the beginning of a passing shower. But when we heard people commenting on the memories the old ticket machine conjured and The Duchess proclaim that this was her best trip ever, we decided we didn’t mind the rain one bit.