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Here in the Calder Valley October began exactly where September left off – in the rainclouds! The rain’s hardly stopped all day except for a few moments when you feel emboldened enough to set foot outside, then it creeps back laughing and soaks you! I went for a walk up through our local woods earlier, all the paths had been turned into rivulets as the ground’s so sodden the water’s nowhere else to go. Apart from me, a few soggy squirrels and a couple of determined dog-walkers the woods were deserted. For the past few days I’ve been lucky to see the other side of the valley, never mind further afield.

I’ve not minded too much as I’ve got plenty to do at home. In fact, this enforced sojourn has allowed me to catch up on a huge amount of paperwork and also led me to have a bit of a clear out of stuff I’ve been hoarding for years but never looked at for decades – and certainly not since I left London. You see, this month hold a rather significant birthday for me. It’s my 60th, and it’s make me somewhat introspective. When you’re younger you collect all sorts of ephemera and stuff you physically clutter your life up with. I’m now of an age where I’m thinking “do I really need this stuff anymore? What value is it going to add to my remaining years”? It’s not as if I haven’t got enough to keep me occupied with all the pictures that I still need to scan so that they see the light of day after decades of sitting in albums. Some of this decluttering is actually a catharsis, allowing me to focus on what’s really important.

Tomorrow all this changes as we escape the valley and me the office to head down to Telford for the ACoRP awards. The weather forecast promises something other than continual rain, so I’m hopeful I’ll be able to get a few library shots to add to the collection as well as everything else. No doubt there’ll be a rolling blog or two coming your way at the same time. In the meantime, here’s a couple of pictures from last years awards which was held in Glasgow.

Compare Richard Salkeld (left) of LNER with Scotrail MD and awards presenter Alex Hynes.

Enjoying the drinks reception before the serious business of the night starts – the awards themselves.