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Our most diverse day of the week began slightly later than planned as neither of us got a great night’s sleep due to the moggie being on the bed –  as is usual nowadays. He’s slowly recovering from his illness but knows how to play his cards right. We don’t have the heart to kick him off the bed now and he knows it!

Getting up later meant that we took our time getting ready for our weekly mercy-mission and caretaking call over to Huddersfield but then we weren’t in any real rush. It’s not like we’ve got tickets to the Theatre or anything…

The trip out of the Calder valley was easy, although the roads do seem to get busier each time. Even so – it’s still anything but normal. I get the distinct impression that if people can stay at home – they will – with the obvious exception of a few Covidiots, of course. As usual, our first port of call was Sainsbury’s where the pair of us split to do different shops. There was hardly any queue and the place seemed pretty quiet. I’m assuming the weather had kept some folks at home. Afterwards we called in at Dawn’s work, the watertower at Huddersfield station. Whilst Dee sorted out some stuff I went for a mooch around town, just to see how things were developing as see if there were any photos to be had. Things seemed little changed since last week. No more shops were open, the queues were still outside the banks and the local street drunks were still doing what drunks do – shouting and arguing with each other.

I did grab a couple of record shots by the station but nothing remarkable. The skies were leaden with heavy clouds that threatened rain but never actually delivered. The one difference I dis note was that now Northern have ditched all their Pacer trains the Huddersfield – Sheffield service was worked by a former top-link 90mph, air-conditioned Class 158. Oh, the luxury!


Heading up to Dawn’s folks we dropped off their shopping and hung around just long enough for Dee to sort out their Netflix access which they’d not been able to use since my account was hacked some weeks ago. This meant Dawn had to go into the house, whilst I stayed in the car. Funny old world, isn’t it? Some people have aspirations and hack bank accounts or global companies, others Netflix accounts!

Our drive home was across country on roads that still weren’t very busy – which was great. Bak at the ranch the pair of us settled into our usual work routine and just ploughed on with stuff. I was keen to get as many old slides done as possible as earlier in the day I’d been in discussions with RAIL magazine about some articles. I’ve now been commssioned to write two very different pieces which will appearing the next couple of months – which is going to keep me busy as both require the same levels of research as the East London line article published last month. Not that I’m complaining. It keeps me occupied, I learn something – and it pays a few bills.

This means that scanning old slides will be taking a bit of a backseat once the current album from 1999’s done (hopefully by the end of the week). Here’s a sample from the latest batch as I’m about to turn the millennium from 1999 to 2000…

07385. 142037. 14.35.Liverpool Lime St - Wigan North Western. Prescot. 08.12.1999crop

It’s the 8th December 1999 and 142037 is arriving at Prescot on Merseyside whilst working the . 14.35 Liverpool Lime St – Wigan North Western. The low winter sunlight (coupled with Fuji Velvia slide film) adds some warmth to the picture and makes the place look quite attractive – which is no mean feat as the area was notorious for vandal attacks on the railways! Times have changed and this stretch of railway was electrified in 2014-15.

In the evening I indulged in a spot of cooking as therapy as I’d finally managed to buy some Risotto rice today. It’s been as rare as rocking-horse shit during lockdown and we’d used up the last of our supplies the other week, but I managed to grab three boxes today and celebrated by using one to make a seafood risotto which contained a lovely mix of home-grown herbs that included Tarragon. It’s a new recipe on me but I have to say it was delicious!



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