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Well, that’s probably the quietest and weirdest bank holiday Monday I’ve had – certainly in the UK anyway! No travel, no socialising, no pubs, no meals out – just a healthy walk in the country.

Don’t get me wrong, over the years I’ve been in some interesting places at ‘interesting’ times. I’ve sat through strikes (Bandhs) in India where we’ve been through lockdown in our hotels for a night (or two). I’ve sat on rooftops in Kathmandu during a strike where the police are patrolling the deserted streets after shooting students dead – I even had to walk several miles out to the airport to fly out as the whole country was on strike the next day. I’ve been through coups in Thailand where Bangkok airspace was taken over by military helicopters like something out of ‘Apocalypse Now’ and I’ve watched the ‘reformasi’ (reformation) demonstrations in Java after the fall of President Suharto – but I never quite expected something like this happening in the UK.

Our day started much as normal, or what passes for normal now. The weather was good but bloody cold, we actually had frost on the cars outside today, but the mercury rose throughout the day until the temperature was actually quite pleasant in the sunshine. Not that the pair of us were going anywhere. The day passed more like a normal Monday as we tried to keep occupied with various chores and bits of work until late afternoon when we escaped for our daily walk. Being thoroughly bored with our normal circuit I took Dawn on the amble across the valley I’d discovered the other day, which certainly broke the monotony of trudging around Savile Park. The beauty of being on the other side of the valley is the views. You’re looking across to the South facing side which looks gorgeous when its bathed in sunshine, especially when you’re high up on the opposite side – as this view illustrates.

DG3418602. Northern Class 195s. Copley. 8.4.20.copy

Here’s a bit of information about the viaduct, which is Grade 2 listed. Built in 1851 for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company it crosses the River Calder, the Calder and Hebble Navigation and Wakefield Road. It’s built from snecked rock-faced sandstone, with 23 arches in all on tall piers: 15 semicircular, with rock-faced voussoirs brought to course and 4 at each end, wider, segmental, with similar voussoirs in Ashlar. The Easternmost arch over Wakefield Road (just at the right edge of the picture) is considerably flatter. There’s a plain band at impost and cornice level with parapet above. Railway Terrace, below the viaduct is also grade 2 listed. Built in the 1840s for Colonel Edward Akroyd, it’s considered an important early example of planned industrial housing.

As you can see from the picture, the woodlands are just starting to burst into leaf after what feels like a long, wet, winter. 2020 has certainly thrown some challenges at us. We’ve survived floods and now a pandemic. The only thing we haven’t seen this winter in any quantity has been snow (thankfully). Now the weather’s warming up, so if we have to say at home, at least we’ve got decent weather to do it in.