TERMINUS - IS IT THE END?
Terminus is the most recent in my Didcot Railway Centre series of images. It is possibly, or possibly not, the final manifestation in the sequence of paintings from that venue. It so happens on my latest visit there, on a glorious autumn afternoon, the adventure did not go well. For a start it cost me fifteen - one-five - Great British Pounds sterling to get in, including the concession. I was steaming! So, as it happened, was Didcot. The stupendous entrance fee was because it was a ‘steam’ day, and worse, it was Thomas the Tank Engine Day. I was stampeded over and trampled upon by innumerable perambulators and buggies, many containing small persons who peered at me with beady eyes. This was not the elegant Hauser and Wirth outing I had envisaged. Such was the mayhem I fled to the top of the coaling shed rise where I came upon the buffers you see before you. I skulked around there until sundown. For the gardeners among you, the larger plants depicted are spikus railwayembankus, a perennial herbaceous plant in the willow herb family, onagraceae. This is the genus that gives us rosebay willow herb, chamerion angustifolium, an all time favourite of mine, being a lifelong companion on the bombed sites and forbidden railway sidings of my childhood homeland wanderings.
Author, author, I hear you cry. Well, here goes. I come from haunts of coot and hern, I make a sudden sally… Hang on that’s not me, that’s Tennyson. Oops! Wrong copy, sorree. I’m James Kelso – and, actually, do you know what, I feel a tad awkward writing this sort of self-puffery. So, if it’s okay with you, can we leave it there? Thank you. I knew you’d understand. Browse on, McDuff.