RDP: Whiff

A Whiff of Smoke & Steam

Isn’t it funny how a whiff of a certain thing will turn your mind to other times?

For me it is the smell of a steam engine. When we were young and used to go on steam train excursions we used to love that smell. Not because it is a particularly nice smell but it was all part of the experience of steam. You don’t just see a steam locomotive, you hear it ,you breathe it and sometimes even get soot in your eyes.

M Class steam locomotive and train. Tasmanian Transport Museum.

Even now if we are out somewhere and we smell the distinctive odour of burning coal we start looking for the source. I think that’s how we found the location of the Tasmanian Transport Museum, we smelled smoke and heard a whistle.

Of course steam locomotives aren’t the only things that are steam powered. One day on the Hobart waterfront we smelled smoke and off we went, just like we used to, in search of a steam engine. There are no train lines there but we did find a boat.

Steam Yacht Preana built 1896

There are other steam powered things that we like too, carousels, calliopes and traction engines come to mind.

Our days of riding on steam trains in the 70s, 80s and 90s are times we look back on fondly as some of the best times we ever had so for Naomi and I a whiff of steam always brings back pleasant memories and the anticipation of making new ones.



I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.

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