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How on earth did the UK get in the state it is? How did we transform ourselves from the wonderful days of the 2012 Olympics, when we showed our best, most creative and tolerant side to the world into this mad little island? An island where racism is rife, and we look like we’re about to elect a serial liar and all round incompetent as our next Prime Minister. Our international standing is in tatters as the rest of the world looks upon us as if we’ve gone crazy, which isn’t far from the truth. We’re certainly deluded. The idea that we should be pursuing a no deal Brexit is absolutely barmy, as is the idea that we’ll be better off after Brexit. Many of the people vying for the Tory leadership are the living embodiment of this madness, yet many folk lap up the lies.

Once the circus come to an end the time of reckoning can’t be far off. But what damage will be done to our country? How I wish I was 30 years younger and could get the hell out of this place before that happens…

Instead, I find myself heading to Huddersfield to pick up a folding trolley I lent to ACoRP which I’ll be using to cart around all my kit for tomorrow’s 3 peaks by rail adventure. It will be a pleasure to spend the next two and a half days volunteering with so many positive people, raising thousands of pounds for the Railway Children charity. The atmosphere on the train’s wonderful and the camaraderie amongst the volunteers is excellent. I feel honoured to have been invited to be involved and I’m looking forward to my hat-trick of trips. The whole operation’s a logistical as well as physical challenge and it’s being made more complex by the weather, which is causing chaos across the rail network. The West Coast Main Line north of Penrith’s been closed by a fallen tree and the Crewe-Chester line’s closed due to flooding. This could be a problem for us as we’re due to pass that way tomorrow evening…

My trip to and from Huddersfield has been on one of Northern’s Class 144 Pacers. I’m making the most of it as these beasties will soon be but a memory. Driver training on the new CAF units is due to start at Huddersfield next month.

I know the majority of ordinary passengers loathe Pacers, but I and some train crews will miss them. That said, I suspect affections will soon be transferred as I’ve heard many favourable comments about the new trains from rail staff. It will be very interesting to see the reaction of passengers when they finally enter service.

Having picked up the truck I’m heading home on the same Pacer as I’ve got a busy evening ahead. I’ve shopping plus a load of work to do as well as packing for the 3 Peaks. It’s going to be a busy evening…

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