I'm not sure to what extent my letter I reason to be cheerful is based solely on childhood memories as opposed to being something I like and find charming even now. I'm not even sure that matters.
Anyway, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present Ivor the Engine. If ever I'm feeling a bit confounded and knocked about by life then just sit me down in front of an episode of Ivor the Engine and I'll soon feel a lot better.
Yes, for those who don't know, Ivor the Engine is a children's animation about a small green steam locomotive who lived in the "top left hand corner of Wales".
The animations were the creation of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin and were delightfully low-tech. The noise of Ivor going along the track was made by Oliver Postgate with his mouth. This has the advantage that all of us who have watched Ivor the Engine can have a go ourselves at making the same noise. Hours of fun, as you can see.
It might suggest dreadful insecurities on my part that I find Ivor the Engine so comforting, but in a world where evil people do evil things and then gloat about it, the chance to immerse myself in a world where all problems are gently resolved, often with a cup of tea, is one I accept gratefully.
See whether Ivor the Engine calms you down by watching this episode.
Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin also made another children's animation that I particularly like, namely Noggin the Nog. This tells stories about Noggin who is basically a kindly Viking king.
I love the theme tune to Ivor the Engine, which features a nice bit of bassoon, but I thought I'd like to put something a bit more raucous as the music to go with this post. I've chosen 5:15 by The Who. Anything less like Ivor the Engine than The Who's brass-heavy blast about a pilled-up Mod heading for Brighton on the 5:15 would be hard to find, but it's a great song.
Question: Do you like steam trains? If you know about Ivor the Engine and Thomas the Tank Engine, which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments section.