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I’ve just returned from a long walk at dusk, right as the valley is disappearing into the low clouds and the drizzle accompanying them. It’s a very still night with nary a breeze, but the clouds still managed to appear from somewhere! It may be July but the cold and damp has encouraged folks to stay indoors in the warm. One of the cottages in our row has lazy wisps of white smoke emanating from it to merge into the mist.


After a day where I’ve been spent mostly glued to a computer and a screen it’s lovely to get out and enjoy the countryside – even if it’s not exactly behaving like the height of summer. The roads and paths are covered in shredded leaves and branches of various sizes as a result of the gales we had last week. The heavy rain’s merely added to the carnage. I’ve not even plucked up the courage to start sorting out the battered front garden yet – but then I’ve not had the time either.

Despite the fact we remain in lockdown it’s a busy time as I’ve several projects on the go. Yesterday I chose the shortlist for the photography competition at the Community Rail awards, with 97 photos whittled down to a handful. Next week I and the other judges will pick the final shortlist via Zoom. Despite Covid and the chaos it’s caused we’ve had no shortage of entries this year. Now i’ve the ‘It’s your station’ category to sift which has also had a record number of entries. Myself and Mark Barker (my fellow judge) are having a busy time going through all the entries before we start talking to the entrants.

As if that isn’t enough I’ve got several articles in the pipeline, including another one which has come about as the result of my last blog on the impressive progress with the new High Speed 2 railway.

All this means that I’m going to be glued to a desk and screen pretty much all of this month. Then I’ve household stuff to sort out – and an eBay account I’ve set up which I’m slowly loading with various railway goodies before I spring it on an unsuspecting world. Trust me – I’ll let you know when I do. To make time for everything else I’m taking a break from the time-consuming job of scanning old slides. After all, they’ve been waiting 20-30 years to see the light of day, another month isn’t going to matter!

OK, let’s head over to todays picture of the day, which (this time) comes from glorious Greece in 2001. It’s a place Lynn and used to visit regularly, especially when she ended up managing Actionaid’s Athens office for several months back in 2004.

I love Greek island hopping by ferry and here’s one place that’s very impressive when you arrive by sea – Santorini. This is the view from Fira town, with a couple of cruise ships moored in the flooded caldera of the original volcano, whilst tourists relax by one of the swimming pools built into the crater sides.

T11902. Swimming pool and crater. Santorini. Cyclades. Greece. 26.9.01crop

I must admit, on a damp July day like today, I’d love to be right here, right now…

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