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Today was another good day and it even had a touch of variety! It started well as the pair of us were up early following our productive routines of exercise and meditation. Dawn doesfar more exercise than I as she follows a regime via social media where she’s part of a group. Me? I stick to weights and walking – although I’m missing the workouts I used to get from carrying a 12-13 kilo canera bag around all day. It’s nearly two months since I last did that and I expect it’s going to be a shock to my knees to be picking up the strain again once this is all over and I can get back to travelling.

Somehow I suspect It’ll be a while before that happens. Whilst the railways started running an expanded timetable yeaterday the Government advice is still to stay away and there are plenty of unanswered questions over how the hell you manage social distancing on a busy public transport network as it will kill capacity. Not just on trains but at stations too.

All these matters are discussed by my colleagues in the latest edition of RAIL magazine which is available tomorrow. I have an article in there too but mine is a look back at 10 years of the reopened East London line. I lived and worked in that neck of the woods for over 10 years, from 1986 to 1997 before moving to North London for another 13 years, so I know the lines of old.  

As usual, a large chunk of my day was spent scanning slides but later in the afternoon the pair of us decided to nip out to a local farm shop as we both fancied something freshly cooked rather than relying on provisions from the freezer – even though that’s all home cooked meals. There’s no processed or ready-meals in our larder!

The first farm shop we called at only did phone in orders, which was our mistake as we should’ve checked first. Instead, we drove to our usual source of goodies at Bolster Moor, which we knew was open as we’d called in the other week. They’ve done a good job of working out social distancing space and their was no queue to get in, so shopping was a delight in the circumstances. 

I came away with some sirloin steak to use in a Thai salad as well as some chicken thighs. Oh, and one of their sublime pork pies which was still warm from the oven – although we were good and shared it between us!

Rather than drive straight home we took a detour via some of the local country lanes. Why not? Traffic’s light, it’s close to home and Dawn knows the roads. so it was lovely to break the monotony of the same routes we’ve been sticking to for the past two months.

En-route home we popped into the Tesco supermarket in Sowerby Bridge to pick up some alcoholic and non-alcoholic supplies. The place was quiet and the queue was short, so it didn’t take us long. Unless you’ve just arrived from Mars pretty much everybody knows the drill by now.

Back as Chez Bigland we buttoned down for the evening but first there was time to enjoy a drink in the garden and listen to the birdsong emanating from the stand of trees opposite the house. They’re a popular spot for all manner of our feathered friends including Wood-Pigeons, Crows, Magpies, Jays, Blackbirds, Finches, Tits and even the occasional Sparrow, although for some reason Sparrows are seen far more often at the back of the house than the front. The Tits are tarts, they get everywhere, as do the Magpies. 

Once the sun had set Dawn adjourned to the kitchen to prepare the Thai beef salad whilst I disappeared into the office to finish of some slide scanning before supper. The wait was worth it…thumbnail_20200519_222646

To be honest, neither of us are big red meat eaters. It’s something we have on rare occaisions, but when we do something like this is right up our street as the meat is simply one component of a dish with fantastic flavours. 

I have a suspicion food has become far more of a focus for many people thanks to the situation we find ourselves in. As we both enjoy cooking it’s actually good fun and we can honestly say that throughout lockdown we’ve not eaten a single take-away. Mind you, even before lockdown we’d only order a take-away once every Preston Guild. But we did enjoy visiting restaurants. I can’t see us doing that again for a while…