Archive for January, 2009

Busy weekend

January 27, 2009

Suzie at the KWVRSuzie at the KWVR

Having to work at the weekend is a bit of a mixed blessing. having to go to work is not good, but being away for the weekend means lots of scope for Suzie time from leaving the office on Friday – until Monday.

There is lots of planning to do in order to make the most of the weekend,  finding out what is open, what events are on, the route from one to another.

Fortunately I found a couple of Model railway exhibitions that are reasonably local, and the KWVR is running as well. I was hoping that I might have company but there was no response to my post on the Steaming TVs Yahoo group.

There is more to the weekend than just the daytime, so when Rachel posted about the Les Femmes meeting at Club Xes in Sheffield on Friday it seemed like a good idea, and there was some confusing mention on Angels of a Transpose celebration on Saturday which turned out to be at the T-ladies meeting in Toga Toga in Northwich.

So friday evening started with the trip over the pennines to Sheffield. I wore my black layered skirt and  Long Tall Sally top and arrived a little after eleven. I parked right outside  Club Xes,  which is in a quiet industrial area not far from Meadowhall, and was made very welcome. It is a nice venue with a pub area where girls can talk, and a disco area. I managed to find Rachel OK and say “Hi”. As the evening goes on the music gets louder and the disco gets busier. Photos are taken (not by me, I forgot to take my camera! Thank you Joanna.) and e-mail addresses are exchanged. A nice evening in a nice venue. Back across the Pennines home on cruise control followed by a shower with lots of hair conditioner and bed.

Saturday morning and time to get ready, being aware that it would be a long day. Black George suit with a white top this time. It is probably a bit of a cliché but the smartest girl at a railway exhibition is always a T-girl which makes us easy to spot, even those that are not nearly 7′ tall who pass completely.

Back over the Pennines to Pontefract. A bit of a walk down the hill from the car park which is not ideal in heels. Lots of nice but little layouts, the outstanding layout for me was Market Roundham. Not only was it based on the 1500V DC Woodhead line which is a good start, but it was very inovative in being basically circular but the tight radius of the track was not obvious because there was no straight track to make the curve stand out. I will have to get a copy of the August edition of the Hornby magazine where it was featured. Nice to see more DCC layouts. Mostly Lenz and NCE systems with one Multimaus. DCC forces good operation with the built in inertia preventing sudden stops, starts and enabling slow running.

After a cup of tea it was off to Oxenhope. I had a quick look around the carriage shed before I got the train to Haworth. As I opened the door to exit the train a nice man said “I would have got that for you love.” Little things brighten your day.

KWVR Infrastructure train at HaworthKWVR Infrastructure train at Haworth

At Haworth the KWVR infrastructure train was in action slipping out between the service trains. It is nice to see freight trains running on preserved railways.

I had lunch in the Platform 4 café across the road from the station, very intimate dining with just the two tables, before rejoining the train to keighley and back to Oxenhope. A nice ride through some pretty countryside.

Back across the pennines yet again to get changed for T-ladies. This time it is my black tutu that I got from Affleck’s Palace with the LTS black top. Drive to Northwich and find the venue eventually by asking in Sauna Sauna if they know where Toga Toga is. It is of course the same place!

Ten quid to get in seems a bit steep, but it is a very nice venue, the drinks are cheap, and there is no rif-raf – a very nice feature! A very friendly bunch and I am immediately introduced to everyone. I dance a bit and chat and then Teela arrives with the girls who have been to a meal in Manchester. Complimentary chip butty time followed with cake to celebrate Teela’s aniversary. I mention to Teela  that I have the boobies that I bought from her earlier in the week.

It gets late and girls start to leave, so I make my way home too. It is early morning again so very late to bed after a shower.

Sunday morning I oversleep. Get ready in white top, jacket from George suit and Helium Girl leather skirt from TK Maxx and I am out by 11:30 and in work ten minutes later. Walk through the deserted call centre and get to my desk. Only a few testers in up the other end so I don’t need to explain that Suzie is substituting for Bob in order to comply with IR35!

I like wearing the leather skirt to work after working at a previous firm in Basildon where they introduced a permanent ‘smart casual’ dress policy, then subsequently revised it to require the wearing of ties (casual tie? a bit of an oxymoron methinks) then they further extended it to exclude the wearing of PVC and leather clothing (it was Basildon, PVC was normal office wear around the turn of the century). This was subsequently followed by a memo to allow the wearing of leather shoes and coats! Some managers just don’t have enough to do.

New software was installed, so time to head back down to Cheshire again and this time to the Crewe Heritage Centre for the second model railway exhibition of the weekend. Again lots of small layouts, with several DCC layouts and at least three with on-board sound locos. The sound really does create atmosphere on a layout, just a shame that the layouts were too small to give the trains a good run. A variety of DCC control systems in use, including one layout being operated with a £30 Bachmann E-Z command like I have for Underground Ernie. Digital control is now very inexpensive.

The star layout of the show was again quite inovative, it was the ‘Cheshire layouts committee” modular layout, the name a pun on the Cheshire lines Committee that was set up to build shared railway lines in the area. Members of the group had each built their own individul modules and they had all been laid out on tables and joined together to form a long layout. Modular layouts are nothing new, but this one was inovative in having a distinct scenic break at each end of the module to seperate it from the adjacent module and builders had used a lot of imagination to create variety.

had a look around the heritage centre. Nice to get a look inside the cab of the APT-P and see the Class 87 that was saved from being exported to the balkans.

After  that it was back home via the drive in restaurant for tea, and a rest.

Back to work on monday in Bob mode felt very strange, especially wearing bifurcated garments again. Not long until wednesday and clubbing though.

Suzie x


Rail Travel

January 19, 2009

Suzie with her luggageSuzie with her luggage

While it is nice to go to the the girls club and spend time with other T-Girls, it can be a very artificial environment, and, especially of you do not normally visit a pub let alone visit the scummiest parts of the inner city, can be very alien.

Getting out into the real world and doing what you normally do is a lot more fun. For me that is visiting to odd model railway exhibition, preserved railway or museum.

So far I have visited the Manchester Museum of science and industry (nice restaurant), The East Lancs Railway, The North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Wigan and Manchester model railway exhibitions. Planned visits are Pontefract and crewe exhibitions and the Keithley and Worth valley Railway this weekend.

Suzie x