Tim and I curled up to read a book together at the weekend and slipped into a world that soothed and later sparked a loving conversation.
In the fifties, two gentle souls met and formed a friendship that lasted over thirty years as they shared their passion for steam and railways. The Rev. W. (Wilbert) Awdry is best known for his wonderful creation and books about Thomas The Tank Engine, which started life as stories he crafted for his children. One of his dear friends, The Rev. E.R. (Teddy) Boston, presided over his flock from Cadeby Rectory, Leicestershire, where he had a narrow-gauge railway in the garden and a wonderful collection of steam engines. What flowed from both men was quiet, deep compassion for others and their lives. A simple and loving purpose to gift care, bedded in their faith.
On Sunday, we travelled to a narrow-gauge railway deep in Derbyshire to help other volunteers running two trains for anyone who wished to travel to another world for a little while. Steeple Grange railway, nestling in the Peaks, is a magical place and the sun graced us all day with her warmth. The Steeplehouse and Dark Lane limestone quarries fell silent decades ago, gracing the railway line with rock sides and nature’s abundance in and amongst the trees. The heart memories are of the peace and the lovely people who gathered together with smiles, team effort, happy children and adults transported back to their childhood.
I am blessed to have a balance of different views and perspectives that I trust in my life. Tim has an open and abundant heart and always considers any opinions and ideas. I value his perspectives and advice, so when I had the idea of running a weekly advice column on my blog, it felt natural to ask him to join me. So, each Friday, there will be questions and replies from Tim and myself. You are welcome to send any query you wish by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will keep your identity private and I will post the questions and our replies starting this Friday.