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*Warning, blog under construction*

There wasn’t much chance of a lie-in today as Dawn was up with the larks as part of her ‘virtual retreat’ course. She was up before 06:00 in order to get ready for a yoga and meditation session that started at 06:30 so I seized the day and started working in the office, preparing the next batch of slides for editing and scanning and also catching up on some blogging. But my main focus of the day was going to be other than work. I’ve been trying to up my fitness levels by increasing the distance I’ve been walking and today provided me with the ideal opportunity as it was a mix of DIY, shopping and photography.

One job I’ve been meaning to finish for quite some time (no, not the bathroom – another job!) has been repainting the back of the cottage. As we’ve had such fantastic weather (and today was the hottest so far) it made sense to concentrate on that, so I was out quite early but not so early that my activities might piss-off the neighbours! A few hours of vigorous sanding, cleaning and undercoating later and the pipework and guttering looked pretty good. The glossing would have to wait for a day but as I needed to buy some white spirit to clean the brushes that wasn’t a problem.

My next task was to wander down into Sowerby Bridge in search of said liquid, plus some food supplies. It was a gorgeous day for a stroll so I took the camera with me in order to be able to get a couple of  shots that would help tell the story of the impact Covid-19 is having on the railways. Walking down the hill into town I was struck by just how busy it was traffic-wise. There were far more cars on the road than I’ve seen since lockdown started and I’ve no idea what they were doing that caused them to be there. ‘Essential’ journey’s? I don’t think so – not for many of them anyway. Still, I’m not going to preach. If someone’s self-isolating in a motor vehicle and breaking the monotony of being stuck at home by going for a drive without putting anyone else at risk…

As Sowerby’s only DIY shop is shut for the durations my first port of call was a shop I never use – B&M bargains. The queue to get in was tiny and it only took 5 minutes to get in but my time was wasted as they’d sold out of white spirit. What are people doing with the stuff, or is it folks like me who’re using lockdown to catch-up on some DIY? My next port of call was going to be Tescos but time was tight as there was a train due that I really wanted to try and get shot of so I ended up at a deserted railway station and realised there were other topical shots to get too. Here’s one.


A pair of Northern Class 195s pull out of Sowerby Bridge station on their way from Manchester to Leeds. There were less than half a dozen people aboard. The station car park is deserted. Before the Covid Pandemic empty car parking spaces here were as rare as rocking horse shit. Now?…

Meanwhile, this is what I was after. The Calder valley’s gained a regular Trans-Pennine express service – although it’s non-stop! Here’s 185130 powering through Sowerby bridge whilst working 1P73, the 11:10 Manchester Airport to Redcar Central. There are now two trips each way on this route.

DG342103. 185130. Sowerby Bridge. 9.5.20crop

Having got the pictures in the can I nipped over to Tescos to pick up the shopping I needed. The queue was only a couple of dozen long so it didn’t impinge on my day. Suitably stocked up on non-alcoholic fizz for Dawn I wended my way home up the hill, which certainly gave me a bit of exercise. In fact, it made me keen to stretch myself further. As I hadn’t been able to get any white spirit I decided to throw caution to the wind and head into Halifax for the first time since lockdown started. Having seen just how busy Sowerby Bridge was I was concerned about what I might find in the town centre. I needn’t have worried. In fact, it was far quieter!