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Best laid plans and all that: I’m currently sat on a train to Leeds with my wife as Dawn’s having to have an ultrasound scan on a shoulder injury, so I’m going with her for a spot of moral support. It’s a pain in more ways than one as time is flying by at the moment and there’s so much to do before we fly out to New Zealand.

Mind you, the concept of time seems to be relative if you’re a member of the Tory party, especially if you’re an MP. Despite the sands running out rapidly on the article 50 date and us getting ever closer to crashing out of the EU in a no-deal scenario, they’ve found time for another round of the interminable civil war to stage a no-confidence vote in the PM. This is proof (were it needed) that the majority of the Tory party only cares about itself and the wealth and ambitions of its members. The rest of the country can go hang. I can see I’m going to indulging in a lot of spleen venting in these next few weeks as these fools take us ever closer to the edge of the precipice.

Whilst my spleen’s up to speed, I’ll have another gripe? What is it about some people who clearly have all the awareness to their surroundings as an amoeba? Here’s an example from today.

These two women have the whole bloody platform to stand on and a waiting room to sit in. So where do they choose to stand? Right in the middle of the doorway! Despite several people having to try and squeeze past them (and being typically British, they never said anytbing to the women) it never entered into their tiny minds that this wasn’t a great place to hand around! I’m beginning to despair of the English and I’m constantly reminded of an old NUT badge from the teachers strikes of the early 1980s that said “if you think education’s expensive, try ignorance”…

From Leeds we had a spin on one of Northern’s Class 170s which have been cascaded from Scotrail. This one was working the 11:55 Leeds-Selby. They’re certainly an improvement on the 158s!


For Dawn, this has been time well spent. Her shoulder injury is capsulitis which was diagnosed by ultrasound. A Corticosteroid injection was administered directly into her shoulder capsule to help ease the inflammation, so I came in useful as a hand-holder! Dawn was given advice on exercise and posture. We went private, so it cost £150, but it was worth it.

The clinic’s in Garforth, to the East of Leeds. It’s a place i’ve never visited before although I’ve passed through the station dozens of times. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact it still manages to retain a functioning High St. I was also interested to see clues to its past in the name of a pub (The Miners) and this building.

Those days are long gone. The last colliery (Rothwell) closed in 1983, the year before the bitter and destructive Miners strike of 84-85.


We’re now in Huddersfield. Slightly later than planned as the Trans-Pennine service we caught was (to no-one’s surprise) delayed. The stopping pattern of the Hull-Manchester service we used has changed, it no longer stops at Batley but the automated announcement still claimed it did, much to the Conductors annoyance!

As we left Garforth I spotted this historical plaque on the Miners pub.

Whilst Dawn’s returned to work I’ve been having a mooch around Huddersfield, looking for a few bits for our New Zealand trip. It’s bleeding freezing tonight, the temperature may be rising in Westminster but the hot air’s certainly not reaching West Yorkshire!

This festive season the town’s gained a new attraction in St George’s Square, outside the station. It’s a tent based pop-up pub (I saw the same thing in Lincoln last month).

I popped in to have a look but didn’t stop for a drink as we’re meeting up with Dawn’s parents for a meal later at the wonderful Thai Sakon.


The food at Thai Sakon was excellent as usual and so were the staff. Here’s my starter: deep fried crispy noodles with prawns in a sweet and sour sauce.

It was a lovely evening with Dawn’s parents. We shared food and laughter. We’re now making our way back home on one of Northern’s less attractive trains.