2018 has been an interesting year. Attending Hunslet 125 at the Ffestiniog Railway was a great memory that complemented a previous attendance of Hunslet 100 in 1993. The spring also featured a lot of singing, with four successive weekends in May and June, and attendance at the Vocal Inspirations course at the end of June..
The beginning of the year was heralded with a full moon.
In the middle of January, we made one of our regular visits to London. Walking through More London, one of the highlights is the Rill which runs, or rather ran, from City Hall to Tooley Street. Later in the Spring it was filled in.
On a happier note was the restoration of a statue on Woodland Road in Glasgow, “Lobey” with “Rank Bajin” in handcuffs
Our newest arrival, Poppet – The Chocolate Tabby, was slowly gaining her confidence. One morning, we discovered she was exploring the shower.
Later in the month, the snow arrived.
By the time the cars had been dug out, it was lunchtime.
With the local snow, followed by the “Beast from the East”, the UK was cloaked in snow. With less snow than the previous day, digging the cars took less time and it was them possible to carefully make our way to work.
Later in the month, after the snow had thawed, local theatre group, Theatre South Productions, put on the Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5
After Easter, there was another trip to Porthmadog in North Wales. As always, the window display at Glosters was recorded.
Later in the month, it was back to London and a visit to Mail Rail
Based at the Mount Pleasant Mail Depot, the Post Office Railway is no longer used for transferring mail, however it is now used a visitor attraction with battery trains taken visitors down to the Mount Pleasant platforms to see the displays of the Royal Mail and the Post Office Railway.
We followed this up with a visit to the London Canal Museum.
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May was a month of singing in two Cathedrals. Firstly in Durham Cathedral on the 19 May with RSCM Scottish Voices, featuring a scaffold cover on the main tower for repairs.
The following Saturday, there was singing with Glasgow Cathedral Choral Society.
The following day was Trinity Sunday and Three Choirs Choral Evensong, also in Glasgow Cathedral. Whilst not singing, opportunity was taken for a visit to the Necropolis.
June started with two more choir engagements in two more Cathedrals. With RSCM Scottish Voices, the first weekend was at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Dundee for the RSCM Scotland Triennial Festival.
To conclude four successive weekends singing, there was a visit to Dunkeld Cathedral with Glasgow Cathedral Choral Society.
After a weekend away from singing, there was a brief visit to North Wales for the Hunslet 125 event at the Ffestiniog Railway, but visit a visit to the Bala Lake Railway to see visiting locomotive Palmerston, due to all the resident Hunslets visiting the Ffestiniog Railway.
The following day, the Hunslet 125 Gala started at the Ffestiniog Railway and on the Saturday evening a birthday party was held with the Birthday Girls Linda and Blanche in Minffordd Yard.
Leaving Wales, it was unto a Vocal Inspirations course at Blencowe Hall near Penrith in Cumbria.
July brought another visit to London, and this time we stay close to Tower Bridge and St Katherine’s Dock, where we saw Tower Bridge opening for the Barge Rolfe Judd.
Later in the month, we received the first of the Mugs from Glosters Mug Club.
August meant a return to the Ffestiniog Railway. With sunny evenings, long walks were the order of the day. One evening walking across the Cob, there were skenes of geese flying overhead.
The good weather, meant that the fruit in the garden was plentiful. 2018 was the first year that the Victoria Plum had fruit.
It was not only the plum that was fruiting, the raspberry canes produced a plentiful crop.
Later in September we undertook a tour of Skye and the North Coast of Scotland.
We included visits to Glencoe, Glenfinnan, Dunvegan Castle, Portree, Eilean Donan Castle, Courthill Chapel in Kishorn, Gairloch, Scourie, Cape Wrath, Durness, Tongue, Reay, Thurso, Dunnet Head, Duncansby Head, Forsinard Flow Country, Dunrobin Castle and Dornoch Cathedral.
One memorable point was encountering a bull in a passing place between Durness and Tongue.
After eleven months with us, Poppet has become more confident and has enjoyed being able to go into the garden.
October also meant a final visit to Porthmadog for 2018. A day trip south took us to Harlech, and afternoon tea at the Plas Restaurant.
11 November marked the 100th commemoration of the Armistice. At Glasgow Central the clock was provided with a silhouette of a soldier bowing his head.
Over the year, the collection of ceramics from Glosters increased including several intended for the tree in December.
And so the year comes to an end, with another visit to London. Walking along the south bank of The Thames, we visited Gabriel’s Wharf between Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridges.
The following week, we were in the Scottish Highlands, in Pitlochry. Whilst there we visited Port-na-Craig Restaurant which had decorated tree.
And so 2018 is coming to an end, and a final image is Balgray Reservoir which has been drained.