Fa – the Green Dragon

A Place for the Odd Musings of an Expat Bristolian

Escuchar el silbato del tren



Freight trains on the move

Mournful sound nearing crossing

carried on the wind

Author: Cethru Cellophane

I have reached the regrettable realization that I may have squandered my life. I did a quick count recently and figured that I have visited about 66 countries, and lived for more than 3 years in 3 of them. During this time I completed 14 corporate moves (relocations) and have changed my address more than 23 times. I should have settled on a profession that would have kept me in one place with no packing and unpacking. When I think of the time I have spent bundling my life into and out of boxes. Ah well, it's all water under the bridge. But I am grateful for the experience. At the end of the day I will be able to say with a certain authority, "been there, done that". A note about this site’s Header Image The Header image for this site is of the Smith Avenue High Bridge. The bridge was built in 1889 and carries Minnesota State Highway 149 across its span of 2770 feet, 160 feet above the mighty Mississippi River. The picture was taken from the river looking to the north-east and downtown Saint Paul. The bridge is about 1040 miles from New Orleans. One of the reasons I like this view is that I come from a city which has a spectacular bridge. It’s the Clifton Suspension Bridge http://www.ikbrunel.org.uk/clifton-suspension-bridge which spans the Avon Gorge and the River Avon in Bristol, U.K. It’s about 1350 feet long and stands 245 feet above the river below. Sadly it has claimed the lives of more than 400 people who have committed suicide by jumping from the bridge. As a side note, not all attempts were successful. two small girls thrown off the bridge by their deranged father survived the fall when they were fished from the river by the crew of a passing pilot boat. The bridge was opened in 1864 and was designed by the 24 year old architect, Isambard Kingdom brunel. It took 35 years to complete.

11 thoughts on “Escuchar el silbato del tren

  1. This reminds me of visiting my Aunt Mamie when I was a child. She lived across the street from the Southern Railroad’s tracks in a small Alabama town. When I heard that mournful whistle I ran to the front poach to watch the train go by.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ina, I think it was Aristotle who said, “How can you call yourself a writer if no-one reads your stuff?’ Which is exactly why I have come to like WordPress as opposed to say Facebook.
      Facebook’s goal it seems is to gather as many friends as possible regardless of what you post. WP on the other hand allows for random expression of thoughts, ideas and experiences. Some people on WP have thousands of followers but it seems not many read what they write. I have relatively few followers but I appreciate the ones who like you connect a memory or an experience. In short , I find it somewhat therapeutic and the way to stay on track for an albeit aging but healthy mind. Thank you for your continued presence.


      • You’re welcome. I’m happy you find my Word Press presence meaningful. I feel the same way about connecting with you. I would not want the responsibility of having a large “following.” I’m a less is more sort of person.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ha exactly. There is a saying in French: toutes les meilleurs parfums vient dans les petites bouteilles. All the best perfumes come in small bottles. It is by the way a compliment for women who are small of stature.


      • I forgot to tell you that as a kid I too made it a ritual each evening to watch the GPO (General Post Office)Royal mail night train heading north from Bristol to somewhere in Scotland. It carried mail and gathered mail without stopping at stations along the way. It was sorted and delivered by early morning. The same train returned by morning with mail for Bristol. The round trip toook about 9 hours.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You create a great atmosphere in this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Stephen. Here’s the story. I live South of saint Paul which was a railroad head. BNSF Burlington Northern and the Santa fé lines run on the west bank of the Mississippi the SOO line and CP rail run on the east bank. The BNSF runs about a mile from my house and cross a few roads on their journey southwards to Burlington in Iowa and Santa Fe in New Mexico (routes have changed but these were the original .routes). At each crossing Federal law requires the sounding of the train’s horn (not actually a whistle). At 2:00a.m it’s something you get used to.

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      • I’ll have to check Google Earth.

        Liked by 1 person

      • South of Saint Paul is South Saint Paul and south of that is Inver Grove Heights. The name derives from two towns which were amalgamated, namely Inver Grove and Inver Heights. We are situated just off the Mississippi River about 1,030 miles from new Orleans and about 760 feet above sea level. I am not 100% sure but I think there are about 31 locks and dams from St. Paul. St. Paul BTW is the furthest navigable point on the Mississippi. as a footnote, the Mississippi rises from s spring in lake Itasca State park. At one point there are stepping stones to cross it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I had a little virtual drive around Inver Grove Heights… lots of single story homes with nice gardens. What an incredible river the Mississippi is.


      • Hi Stephen, thankyou for your visit to my new home town. The shingle-story homes you saw we refer to as ranch-style. It is a style of architecture designed to withstand tornadoes by having a low profile

        Liked by 1 person

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