By Tryfan46

Northern Chief in the rain at Dungeness

Doreen’s 94th birthday today. The weather was unkind, wet and cool in contrast to the hot dry conditions earlier in the week: Thursday 37c today 17c. The rain was very welcome, filled the butts, watered the allotment, but it could have come tomorrow!

Owing to the inclement weather we opted for a visit to the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway where Doreen could sit and watch the damp scenery go by. Always a treat to ride the RHDR although for quite a bit of the journey you ride between walls and fences of various states of disrepair which mark the back gardens of houses that are equally diverse in their appearance.

Eventually, you reach the shingle banks of Dungeness and the station with an aptly named Restaurant at the End of the Line which brings to mind the Restaurant at the End of the Universe in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

We travelled in style in the coach adapted to wheelchairs. An attendant positioned the ramp and we wheeled Doreen in and clamped her to the spot. They were very helpful and courteous making a fine contribution to a very enjoyable trip.

The engines are the highlight of course. The first part of the journey from Hythe to New Romney was in the charge of Southern Maid. Northern Chief took over from there to Dungeness. Rather fittingly, the engine that conveyed us back to Hythe was Samson, built in 1925, the same year as Doreen. Civility prevents me from drawing any further comparisons.

The outing ended with fish and chips at The Pilot, a well known and busy pub adjacent to Dungeness. I have to confess it was slightly disappointing. There has been a gradual decline in quality. My fish was rather thin and not as large as a large has been previously. Susan’s batter was rather too well done and had baked away the fish at one end. We’ll give them one more go else we’ll have to find a different plaice (sic), perhaps the longer trek to Hastings.

On another tack altogether I read today that Rees-Mogg, my equally least favourite politician, has supposedly issued a series of words, phrases and grammatical styles that must not be used: Quite apart that such a pronouncement would motivate me to use them more it set me thinking if there are indeed aspects of the spoken or written language which would benefit from being banned?

Here’s my first offering. “Good” as in “How are you?” and getting the response “I’m good“. I’ll leave that one with you.

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