"Right, because you like gadgets, I thought we could visit the National Railway Museum in York," she suggested: "After all, gadgets don't come much bigger than trains."
My face lit up, but then I suddenly thought about the consequences; "but people might call me an anorak, and assume that I wear tie-dye clothes and drink lesbian tea," I pointed out, before adding, "especially as it's not so long ago that I went birdwatching. It all adds up you know."
"What the bloody hell is lesbian tea?" asked Sarah perplexedly.
"That revolting fruity stuff with no caffeine in," I told her. "All the hippies love it, but I've got an iron-woman image to preserve."
"You're weird," Sarah said. "But despite your protestations we are going to go to the Railway Museum and if people start thinking you are a hippy, you can always republish those photographs of you with the guns ...... you know the ones."
"Bally good point!" I hollered, "let's depart for the Railway Museum post haste."
And so Izzy, Sarah and I jumped into my bling-mobile and set off for the ancient city of York, where the National Railway Museum was based.
And because I am kinder than Ghandi (but more coiffed), I have got some photographs for you .......
Pic.No.1 This was the entrance to the National Railway Museum in York. It looked small but it wasn't. That boy looks pissed off
I would like to draw attention to the fact that the National Railway Museum is in fact FREE (yes, it's totally gratuis dahlinks) to enter. They suggest a donation of £3.00 but it is not compulsory. And that makes it one of the best days out in terms of value .... considering it contains hours of entertainment.
I love free stuff I do. Mainly because I am a tightwad. Anyway, I digress ........
Pic.No.2 Once inside we entered a large hall that had been made to look like an enormous train station. In fact it was an enormous indoor train station which contained trains from different periods in history. This is a picture of the station clock
Pic.No.3 Here are some old trains moored / parked (?) on the platforms.We were able to walk right up to them and peer through the windows. It was great. I felt like a legal perv
Pic.No.4 The whole place was oozing period ambience ..... even the advertisements on the walls were from the 1800s / early 1900s
Pic.No.5 A bloody enormous steam train which had been impeccably restored. As you can see, Izzy's fingerprints were now all over it
Pic.No.6 How about this for travelling in luxury? This was the Queen's former 'bedchamber railway carriage' (did you spot Izzy and Sarah reflected in the mirror?!)
Pic.No.7 This was the Queen's former 'Drawing Room Carriage'. I tell you what, it does not resemble anything to do with travelling by train today. The minimum cost per journey is circa £150, and for that you are lucky to get standing room. Soon train travellers will be hanging off the roof like they do in India. Damned tricky with a briefcase
Pic.No.8 Izzy peering inside a catering carriage. They probably used to make the legendary soggy ham and lettuce, or egg and cress sandwiches in there (If you are visiting from over the pond, I need to point out at this juncture, that in every aspect, British railways are at best diabolical, and at worst, third world .... actually that is probably an insult to the third world)
Pic.No.9 There was rather a lovely eating area on one of the station platforms, but I noticed that people were still steering clear of the railway food
Pic.No.10 Atmospheric. More oldy-worldy advertisements ....... Not very catchy are they? In fact they are shit. I could do better and I haven't got an artistic bone in my body. But 'Nectar Tea' isn't going to be too hard to beat
Pic.No.11 Look, a whole load of Bullet Trains! Now that's what I call cool .... all roundy and fast looking. See that bloke with the stripey woollen hat and camcorder? That's what I was scared of becoming
Pic.No.12 Three Thomas-the-Tank-Engine type trains. As you have probably guessed, that was not a technical description
Pic.No.13 I spied this sign on the wall. Although I hadn't done anything wrong, I still felt guilty. As though I could potentially be that person
Pic.No.14 Look, it's me and Iz! Standing in front of a bloody huge black train. The trains were awesome ... enormous .... majestic ..... powerful ...... huge grunting workhorses. There was no way you could look at one and think 'crikey, that's a bit tinny'.
Pic.No.15 This is a statue of George Stephenson (click to read his amazing biography). And man alive, was this chap was a brilliant engineer? (if he wasn't dead, I would do him). He built the first ever public railway line. He also established the width of the world's railway tracks (the world's standard gauge). But even more amazing, the guy was illiterate until the age of 18, but realised the value of education, so he bust a gut and paid to get an education as a young adult
Pic.No.16 And then when he got bored of designing standard gauges, in his spare time, Stephenson designed the 'Rocket'. After seeing it first hand, I can confidently comfirm that it was a big yellow train
Pic.No.17 These are the controls that you need to learn if you want to drive a steam train. In terms of ease-of-use I would rather learn to operate a steam train than try and contact Paypal support
Pic.No.18 Looky here - these are the carriages that were pulled by the Rocket. The yellow one looks all lovely and comfortable, but look closer at the one behind. It has no roof ..... it's almost like it was designed to carry animals. Blimey, not too far removed from UK trains today, then
Not only did the National Railway Museum have a plethora of indoor exhibits, it also had an outdoor area ..... which we had skirted around (because it was really cold), but subsequently decided to take on the chin .... mainly because there was a Harry Potter train out there.
Pic.No.19 The Harry Potter Steam Train - called the 'Wizard Express'
Pic.No.20 This is Izzy with her superhero crush, Sarah. Izzy has loved her since she was born .... but even more amazing .... I managed to take a picture of Sarah looking good (i.e. normal) ... no squinting, scowling, or wandering off! Go girl!
Pic.No.21 Then to top the day off, all three of us took a ride on the minature railway. This is Izzy showing off her wobbly tooth on the ride. Minging
So all, in all, despite my worries about being labelled as a hippy or nerd, it was a fabulous day out. I can't recommend it highly enough (apart from the fact that you will have to brave going up north where the weather is cold and everyone talks funny).
Dahlink, tell me ..... if you could choose an 'ideal day out' what would it be? Ummmmmm?