Here's another story of train collecting from 2016. Content warning: contains bitterness.
It was a terrible night, full of thunderstorms and astonishingly heavy rain. It crashed off the walls of the hotel and poured down into the car park at its centre, turning it into a pond within minutes. I was in a Travelodge on the edge of Norwich city centre and the weather had interfered with the TV signal. The only channel I'd been able to get with any clarity was Mustard TV, Norwich's ultra-local television channel. Luckily I'd brought a book.
I was on a high. Firstly, I was in a different city, and that's always exciting. Secondly, I had a couple of days of railway station collecting ahead of me, immediately followed by a week's boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads with the BF. And thirdly, as I'd crossed the road outside the station to head for the hotel, a man had looked at my M.Y. Disco Volante t-shirt (as seen in Thunderball) and exclaimed "James Bond!". "Yes!" I replied excitedly, and gave him a thumbs up, a deeply uncharacteristic move that I only break out in times of extreme joy. Things were going well.
Then I woke up.
It was the morning after the Brexit referendum, and I was discovering that 52% of the country had voted Leave. I sat on the edge of the bed watching BBC Breakfast and trying to cope with my churning stomach and rapidly crashing mood. It was horrible, horrible news, and I felt sick and confused and angry. Things were going to get so much worse, and the gurning face of Nigel Farage at that time of the morning didn't help.
Immediately it was clear that I was in a different world. There were boatyards and marine engineers around the station. Trees and bushes pushed their way into every view. There was peace. Something had changed on that train journey, a calm had descended. I felt a little of the stress fall away from my back.
Sadly I've not been able to find if Lingwood ever did win the award again. I hope so. Dedication should be rewarded.