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Thursday’s the highlight of our week in some ways as it’s the day we escape the Calder Valley routine and sally forth. Well, as far as the next valley anyway! It’s the day we venture over to Huddersfield to do John and Norah (Dawns parents) shopping. Both of us were curious as to what we might find as this was our first trip since the lifting of some of the lockdown restrictions.

The pair of us were up early in order to get everything done as Dee needed to be home for yet another Zoom meeting (love ’em or loathe ’em) so we were heading over to Huddersfield in what would normally be considered the ‘rush-hour’. Only it wasn’t. Yes, there’s certainly more cars on the road than there have been in recent weeks, but the days of being stuck in a queue of traffic up the by-pass to Ainly Top are unlikely to return for a while. It was the same with the run from the M62 junction into Huddersfield. Busier, but not busy.

In fact, we were really surprised when we arrived at our first port of call, which was Sainsbury’s supermarket. The past few weeks on a Thursday the queue’s been massive. Today it was tiny and the car-park much emptier than usual. It only took a few minutes before we were ushered inside. As usual, we’d split up to do different shops. Dawn to do her parents whilst I did ours. To be honest, apart from coffee and alcohol (my bad) there wasn’t much we needed, although I did pick up some of their veggie specialities in the form of Tempeh and Tofu to be used in a stir-fry.

Shopping done in double-quick time we headed over to the station so that Dawn could pop into work for a while to check on the place and access stuff she can’t at home. The weather was gorgeous so I took the time to grab a couple of rail shots such as this one.


One of Trans-Pennine Express new Class 802 units (802208) arrives at Huddersfield whilst working 1F58, the 0834 Scarborough to Liverpool Lime Street arrives at platform 4 which is unusual in itself as Westbound TPE service always used to use platform 1 as 4 was used by terminating trains from both East and West.

I didn’t have time to venture far from the station. Even so, I saw a couple of things that caught my eye nearby. The sign of the new normal. One pavement is closed off by roadworks in order to allow appropriate social distancing so that workers can stay safe.

Whilst I was taking this shot I noticed a ‘to do’ the other end of the roadworks so went to investigate – and found this…

With the fact our roads have been so blissfully quiet accidents have been rare, and half this road is closed because of the roadworks in the previous sign, so you do have to wonder…That said, it’s quite possible that some drivers have become lazy and inattentive for the very reason that there’s less traffic out there.

As soon as Dawn had finished we headed over to her parents to drop their shopping off and have a chat. Considering the fact they’re both pretty much confined to barracks because of their age (apart from getting out for a walk) they’re bearing up well. The pair of them are both pragmatic and phlegmatic – and incredibly appreciative of the fact we do their shopping for them. I really feel for the members of their generation who we see in the shops who obviously don’t have anyone to do this stuff on their behalf. OK, one or two whom you see are just sheer bloody-minded and don’t understand the risks, but others are obviously fearful but have no other choice. This is not the ‘blitz’ – this is a far more insidious killer, which makes the government’s advice all the more stupid. How can you be ‘alert’ to some thing you can neither see, smell, touch, hear or taste?

Having done our duty we drove back home in time for Dawn to join in her online meetings whilst I disappeared upstairs to scan yet more old slides. At the moment the process is even more of a pain in the butt than normal as I’ve hot a vein of old Kodak slides that were sent back from their lab in cardboard mounts. They’re a sod to break out and still keep the slides dust-free for remounting so there’s lots of muttering under the breath going on whilst I did it.

I won’t miss this job!

Come late afternoon we did manage to get out for our usual stroll and keep the exercise going, although this won’t be a vintage week for me as I’m already behind all last weeks targets. Trying to juggle work and exercise sometimes means a ball’s dropped. I’ll just have to pick it up and run with it next week…