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Actually, today was a little more normal in some ways, but very surreal in others. The pair of us pushed the boat out and had a lie-in until 07:00, partially because our aged moggie (Jet, who’s now well over 18 years old) has rediscovered some of his youth and remembered how to leap onto the bed and wheedle his way between the pair of us to make the bed his own. We’re not sure if it’s the medication he’s been proscribed for his arthritis or the fact Dawn’s been giving him catnip! Whatever it is, it’s working wonders – for him, but not doing a huge amount for our sleep patterns!

Once up we headed to our respective offices to sort out some work. Mine’s in the back bedroom whilst we’ve set Dawn’s up in the living room. I managed to finished editing 60 old railway slides and stick ’em on my Zenfolio website before we had other things to do as today was a bit of a ‘mercy mission’ to get shopping for Dawn’s parents.

John and Norah are 85 and 79 and there’s no way we want them traipsing round supermarkets, so we’re doing their shopping for them. Yes, in theory, all this can be done online. In practise it’s nigh on impossible as some supermarkets have stopped taking new sign-ups and even if they hadn’t the delivery times are so long the best thing you could order right now is your Xmas hamper.

As her folks live just outside Huddersfield we killed several birds with one stone. Dee needed to pick up some paperwork from the ACoRP office by the station, so we called there first. It was very strange seeing the square outside the station so deserted, but it did allow me to get this picture. The only occupants of the square were the statue of Harold Wilson and an elderly street-drinker on one of the benches…

Our next stop was the local Sainsbury’s. I’ll give them full credit as they’d got a very slick ‘social distancing’ organisation in place. Barriers had been erected outside and people were supervised and kept at the right distance by several members of staff who were limiting the number allowed in at any one time. We only had to queue for 5 minutes, although it was hardly an ordeal as it was a gorgeous spring day anyway.

Once inside we found that most shelves were well-stocked, so there were few items on John & Norah’s shopping list that we couldn’t get and alternatives were available for the ones we couldn’t. The only shelves that were still taking a pasting were the toilet roll isle (why? Haven’t you all got enough now? Ed) and the booze shelves.

There were some surreal and amusing moments in the supermarket. It was a veritable ballet performance as people tried to choregraph their shopping trolley maneuverers around others whilst still trying to maintain social distancing! That said, no-one was kicking off about it or being arses. A few people still struggled to understand the difference between 2 feet and 2 metres, but otherwise…

Shopping done, we dropped off the goodies at Dawn’s parents whilst maintaining our distance – which felt very strange, but the habit’s starting to become hard-wired now. Bizarre, isn’t it? If someone had told you two months ago this is what we’d all be doing, would you have believed them?

Driving back we passed a perfect spot for photography in ideal weather conditions, so I stretched the boundaries of the lockdown just a teeny-weeny bit by stopping for 5 minutes to get a couple of shots of Trans-Pennine services running through the Colne Valley.

Whilst the level of services have been cut the ones I saw running had all been strengthened from 3 to 6 cars.

Heading back home we had two more calls to make. Firstly, at out local Tesco’s to pick up some bits we’d not been able to get over in Huddersfield. Since our last visit they’d also introduced a queuing and limited access system – although it was a little more ragged than Sainsbury’s. I did the shopping whilst Dawn stayed in the car as there was no point in us both being exposed. Our final call was to pick up something from a friends house. This…

Having a friend who owns a brewery has its advantages! As Tony can’t sell the beer he’d already produced he’s passing it on to friends and we’re all making a donation to local charities as payment.

We almost felt guilty by the time we got back home as we’d been away for so long, but it was all for very good reasons and we’d strictly adhered to all the social-distancing protocols. The bright sides? Dawn’s folks don’t need to risk going anywhere near a supermarket and neither do we for a while. Especially as I now have this in the kitchen…