Thursday, 10 December 2015

Trains, bicycles, custards, and wiggles,

Whatever does it for you....Do more of it....

This October I was in Yorkshire; cycling about in various weathers. 
During a brief respite from the Proper Northern Rain, this steam train arrived in Goathland on the North Moors.

 I could have got a better shot of it pulling in, if I'd been prepared to leap into the path of an oncoming lorry on the very narrow bridge; under which the rolling stock was passing. Obviously not enough dedication to the cause to attempt a third career in photo journalism.

This picture reminded me of something I only recently discovered about my father, when reading through some old papers of his. 
It was in a transcript of a speech that an old college friend of his had given at his memorial service. Apparently as a youth he was mad keen on trains (yes; even spotting them) and bicycles; something I really don't remember being made aware of as a child growing up.

It made me wonder at how many of our proclivities are absorbed almost by osmosis; rather than directly learnt..

Now, this may single me out as part of the 'Easily Pleased' coterie (no bad thing IMO); but loading a bicycle onto a train is probably one of my top ten thrills. 
Pregnant with the possibilities of new horizons; self directed travel (if they let you off at your chosen stop*) ; whilst at the same time combining two very elegant pieces of engineering.

My career path has been quite different to his; but I think I could credit him; and my mother too with the employment philosophy of "Find something you like doing, and are hopefully reasonably good at, and then work out a way of getting someone to pay you for doing it"

He managed just that; right up until his far too early death seventeen years ago today. 

At the time of his passing he was only twice my age. Having been something of a dilettante in terms of my own occupations up until then; I think his untimely demise somewhat galvanised my energies into 'getting on with life, and settling enough to something (or as it turned out several things) to see it through'.

Small mixed farming suits the temperament of someone in possession of multiple enthusiasms. There's never one job that goes on too long; and there's lots of stuff to find out about, involving a wide range subjects and variables.

Teaching yoga although completely different in some ways; still throws up many challenges and avenues to explore; in addition to being sociable, useful, and fun.

Pa' was a lifelong devotee of a good bit of quality food and drink, I remember his unfondly reminiscing about having grown up in the 'Arid Cake Belt' of East Sheen in the fifties.....
He was particularly keen on the cuisines of the Mediterranean and Middle East; tastes he had acquired through extensive travels in those areas for 'work'.

The legend is, in the world of academic specialisation that:
"You get to know more and more: about less and less; until one day you end up knowing everything about nothing."

Towards the end of his life however he had taken to studying archaeology in areas of recent seismic activity; in order to gain insights in his field of tectonics.

It may not have been entirely coincidental that these studies required him to undertake frequent trips to sunny; properly well-fed lands...

He would most certainly have approved these Sicilian Egg Custards baked by 'Cake Fairy in Chief' Cynthia for the Open Day here at the field, in July. 

Even with the less than conventional addition of her own home grown blueberries.
 How many now classic immutable recipes were 'invented' when something fell into a pot quite by accident. Leading to sublime combinations like this. 

Neither of my jobs is going to bring in vast monetary riches; certainly not with the way I keep accounts anyway;  but this region is so thickly populated with kitchen genii, and culinary craftspersons; that one is seldom left wanting in the delectable edibles department.

If I did have spare cash; I guess it could either be train tickets; more new socks; or possibly an addition to my already extensive (in deep need of rationalisation if I'm honest) collection of tractor implements.... Look girls! It's the spring tine cultivator....With following crumbler bar...... For those of us who just can't resist a bit of a wiggle....

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