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Work hasn’t been at the forefront of my mind today, mainly because it’s my Birthday and Dawn was determined to make it a good one for me – despite the awful weather we’ve had today which has rendered any idea of a long walk in the country out of the question, unless you fancy pneumonia for a birthday present!

Instead, after a lazy (ish) morning the pair of us went out for lunch to La Luna in Halifax as a rare treat. Due to the madness off this year we can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times we’ve eaten out recently, especially as the increased restrictions have meant we’ve had to cancel plans several times.

Despite it being a Tuesday lunchtime La Luna was very busy which was good to see. They’ve stripped out a lot of tables inside but they have another seating area undercover in the arcade outside so they still have enough seats to make the place viable economically. We shared dishes off the small plate menu and mixed a Greek Meze plate with Singapore Crab Springroll (fresh white crab seasoned with chilli, ginger, coriander and served with sweet chilli jam and avocado mayonnaise) and Gambas Pil Pil (pan-fried extra-large king prawns with paprika, chilli, garlic, lemon, parsley & olive oil served with ciabatta). I washed it down with a rather nice glass of Merlot (well, it is winter!) whilst Dawn had a Peppermint tea. The portion sizes meant three dishes was plenty for us and the quality of the food and the presentation was very good indeed. It was such a lovely break from what’s become normal life.

Afterwards we drove over to Wakefield as Dawn wanted to buy me a new waterproof walking jacket, sadly the selection on offer at Go-Outdoors wasn’t what I was looking for but hey ho – we’re not going to buy something just for the sake of it. On the way back the appalling weather caught up with us. Wind and driving rain made the trip back fun to say the least as the cars windscreen wipers went into warp factor 7. The views from the hills above Huddersfield can often be very attractive – but not when rain reduces visibility to a few hundred metres and drops light levels to the equivalent of dusk. Even the giant Emley Moor TV transmitter was lost in the low clouds.

Back at Bigland Towers we’ve settled in for a quiet evening at home in front of the fire although we did decide to take a risk and book a long weekend away in Hexham, Northumberland next month. It’ll be the only time we’ll have this year to get away together and – as it’s an apartment – we’ll be self-contained and independent if any more restrictions kick in. I’ve always wanted to explore parts of Hadrian’s wall and more of the Tyne Valley, so this seemed like the ideal opportunity.

The rain’s battering the window as I write this so we’re both happy to relax and enjoy a chicken stew that’s been simmering in the slow-cooker whilst we’ve been out, which meant we returned home to some delicious smells! We might even stretch to something as adventurous as a play game of Scrabble, or even watch a film. The outside world can take a backseat for once. Anyway, we’re being sociable (at a social distance) tomorrow – so this is our time. After all, I’m only Sixty..X once!

And so to the picture of the day, which has been chosen totally at random by putting a name into the ‘search’ facility on my picture website, and it threw up this…

Here’s the main hall of the old Berlin Templehof airport, just a few weeks before it closed in 2008. Built by the Nazi regime between 1936-1941 it’s an impressive building that a few of us were determined to visit during one of our regular German forays.

The site and associated building have a fascinating history. You can read more about them here. Sadly, I never got to fly in or out of Tempelhof, but I’m glad I saw it before it closed.

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