Life Yesterday I travelled by steam train.
The Steam on the Dock event is taking place this weekend at the Albert Dock as a way of celebrating the re-launch of the SS Daniel Adamson, a century old tug boat which has recently been restored. The busy, complicated life of the boat can he read here.
But sensing that a steam event wouldn't be right without featuring a locomotive, a fully working Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland steam train has been installed on temporary train tracks up the length of the side of the dock where the boat resides, between The Pumphouse and the bridge which you must cross in order to get to Tate Liverpool. The one which turns around on occasion.
Apparently, I travelled on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland railways as a child. We have photographs. I don't remember, largely because I don't remember much of anything which happened in the seventies. I was too young.
Spending a lot of my time missing the news of anything happening in the city unless someone sends me a press release and sometimes even then, passing into the Dock for reasons, I had no idea that there even would be a steam train, let alone one on which it was possible to actually have ride.
On realising this and also noticing that the doors to the carriages were about to be closed, I ran across the cobbles, almost tripping over in the process. True to form, as always happens, even when I reach a non-platform in front of a train which isn't going anywhere in particular, the doors closed.
I leaned against the fence, accepting my fate.
"You'll have to wait for the next one." The volunteer guard said. To be fair, this would be in about four minutes. But I must have looked disappointed because the other guard opened the door for me anyway.
I wedged myself into the empty space on the bench and waited, the smell of the mechanics of the steam train wafting into the carriage. Century old train travel means tiny space with little foot room and no glass in the windows. Thanks goodness it wasn't raining.
Seconds later we were off at a pootling speed up the dockside, followed by a range of cameras and smartphones. If the NSA became bored with the other stuff, they could probably piece together a short film or panoramic image of my journey through all of these different photographs.
The last thing I was expected yesterday afternoon was to be sat in a train carriage going backwards and forwards with the front entrance of the Liverpool Maritime Museum as the view, especially having walked the same journey many times. There are no new insights to report as to its appearance.
But it was fun and even more fun when after the first trip, we repeated the journey, because the organisers know that adults are just children plus cynicism and what we really need sometimes is to be reminded of what it was like when we had shorter legs and always wanted to have another go of anything.
Then it was over.