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To say that this hasn’t been the most exciting day of the month would be an understatement! The weather’s been uniformly crap all day, we’re still in tier 3 so there’s nowhere to go or people to see – so I’ve stayed warm and dry at home, scanning yet more old Indian rail slides. Only now it gets difficult. Many of the latest batch have very visible scratches on them. This is due to the conditions I was taking them in and not being experienced enough to understand how film cameras needed the film backplate kept clean – a lesson learned too late as these aren’t exactly pictures you could just nip out the next week to recreate. Thanks to the wonders of Photoshop these scratches can now be removed, but it takes time. Now I realise why I’d never put them on my website before, but they’re such a historical archive I’m glad I kept them as everything captured has vanished – and we’ll never see the like again.

My engagement with the past hasn’t been restricted to old pictures. During the trip they’re from I kept a daily diary (well, almost daily) which I haven’t read for decades but now it’s a useful resource to date some of the pictures. Re-reading it sure as hell takes me back to a very different time. Young, single and free…That said, looking back on my feelings, experiences and aspirations 30 years later is really interesting. If only I knew then…

But, to be fair, the day’s not been about unbridled nostalgia. It’s Friday so it was time for the ‘Big 6’ online quiz via Zoom which was lovely as there was actual interaction, jokes and banter despite the (social) distance. In some ways the quiz was just an excuse to interact with friends and the amount of times we all digressed was lovely – even if we did finally answer all the questions!

OK, enough of me rambling and trying to get my thoughts in a semblance of order, here’s the picture of the day which is from my latest slide scans. I took this shot in Jaipur steam locomotive depot on the 30th October 1991. It was shift change and a group of workers were washing at a hydrant inside the shed. Hardly private and not exactly the best environment, but that’s how it was in those days – and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have seen it.

I’ve a favour to ask…
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