Sunday, 2 December 2018

Mixed Bag Blog (1)

Dignity And Impudence
Edwin Landseer (1869 to 1944) was a celebrated painter of animals (e.g. The Stag At Bay) and one of his most popular is these two dogs, entitled "Dignity and Impudence".
Since Landseer the epithet has been applied to a whole range of subjects where distinguished large are seen alongside a cheekily small version. Here are cars ...
... coaches ...
... and planes.
Now here is a challenge for this blog's readers. When fbb was just a lad he remembered a face-on picture (in a book) of a Bakerloo Underground train alongside a Watford DC electric. The picture was monochrome and, like all the above, simply entitled "Dignity and Impudence".

It was similar to the picture below ...
... but with the trains lined up perfectly.

OR, replace the modern sub-surface train with an Oerlikon set (both in monochrome) ...
... and you get the idea. fbb thinks the original was that old!
 Please let fbb know ( if you have a copy of the fondly remembered picture.

Irrelevant (But Tasty) Nostalgia
Remember Spangles? Double wrapped to keep the flavour in and the dirt out?
Old English; always fbb's favourite!

Not A Train Set But A Road Set!
Minic Motorways were a development from Scalextric slot racing (still, to this day, usually wrongly pronounced as Scalectrix), this was an OO sized version, available as a racing set ...
... or an urban roadway system.
You could even get a Motorail set, allowing you to drive your limmo up a ramp and on to a truck ...
... to be whisked away on to your trainset layout.

From memory, the cars went far too fast, were not very controlable and "deroadments" on the corners were frequent.

The modern (but pricey) alternative is the Faller Road System where battery powered cars magnetically "follow" a wire buried in the road surface.
Only continental HO (3.5 mm to the foot) vehicles are currently available, but keen modellers have prised off the German body and replaced it with UK designs, as above. The speed is uncontrolable so calls at bus stops can be detrimental to the health of any OO passengers!

If you have the dosh, a jolly addition to your model railway. fbb doesn't!

The "track" should work outside, though.

When Bus Routes Were Advertised!
Very rarely these days are bus services promoted as a "good ride" or a means of getting to a tourist destination - it's all about shoppers and commuters.

The 81 no longer runs to Windsor ...
... but terminates at Slough.
Once the prerogative of single deck vehicles ...
... you can now ride in double deck luxury (?).
Courtney Buses will take you onwards to Windsor with a sporadic service 2 ...
... or you could use First's 8 which continues "the back way" to Heathrow.
Not quite the same as going all the way for one shilling!
Often pictured carrying a Christmas Tree ...
... the green Father Christmas reveals his pagan origins. That winter solstice festival was all about celebrating the shortest day and looking forward to more sunlight, renewal and regrowth in nature. We see this origin very clearly in the "Green Man" tradition, a pub sign favourite.

The spooky "creature" ...
... was often represented as the "father" of the festivities (often very "naughty") thus the character slipped neatly into being the "Father OF Christmas" and began to merge with another festive "character".
Maybe this guy DID wear a red cloak?

The green "father" did not GIVE gifts, he expected to receive them or something very nasty would happen. Historically he (it?) would not have said "Ho, Ho, Ho!"

Of course, the concept of  "new life" is at the centre of  Christianity. In the darkest days of the old testament, when God's people were at their lowest ebb and facing annihilation, Jeremiah (a notably miserable prophet, with good reason) offered this hope for the future.

The new covenant that I will make with my people is this; I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people.

CHRISTmas is all about personal renewal.
  Next mixed bag blog : Monday 3rd December 


  1. Or Green Line 702 / 703 from Reading Buses also covers Slough to Windsor several times an hour.

    1. Indeed and very much advertised at the leisure market - certainly not just FBB's commuters and shoppers - see for example