One of the advantages (or disadvantages) of not being able to drive is the time spent travelling on trains.
One of the advantages of that is the scenery.
As well as the beautiful countryside, with winding streams and rivers, the distant hills and the animals in Spring are the buildings and towns.
Carlisle - a walled City, not unlike York looks a great historic place for a visit when I'm not en route elsewhere.
Lancaster - another city with battlements. Although the thing that most struck me was the disused and derelict mills as you come over the river and the disused platform at the station.
What really strikes me though as the miles rumble on is the sheer damage done by Dr. Beeching all those years ago.
When travelling down to the Borders on the X95 bus you can still see where the railway used to be - something the government will need to tackle and rebuild to give Borderers better prospects again.
But today I have really noticed the volume of disused and abandoned former railway buildings - from signal boxes to maintenance huts.
The old tracks now abandoned that lead nowhere anymore.
Also other changes like solar panels to provide power for signals, a move to modernise the railway, a small but welcome innovation.
Let's hope the new cuddly coalition government puts rail at the heart of its transport policy and recifies these issues!
Thoughts among the dustbins - When I was a councillor we voted each year on the charges for collecting commercial refuse. Inevitably, one of the older Tories or Independents would get...