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I don’t know where to start – really…

There’s been so much going on these past few days whilst we’ve been trying to prepare for a tiered Xmas I really haven’t had time to blog – despite a spleen that’s become so engorged on political stupidity that it really needs venting before it ruptures. Hopefully next week will allow time for some catharsis.

Fortunately, we took the view that Christmas was likely to be yet another shambles way back in November so we’d cancelled our plans to head down to Surrey and stay in West Yorkshire. That said, I can’t help feeling sorry for those people who believed in this farce of a Government and banked on being able to travel to have family gatherings in the five-day window before (yet again) Johnson did a U-turn. That window never made any sense as it seemed like an open invitation to spread Covid. I can’t help feeling that this Government has completely lost control of the pandemic now. Well, what little control it seemed to have anyway. Personally, I’m resigned to the fact we’ll have stricter lockdown conditions imposed in January after the festive fiasco where Covid is spread by people who’ve lost all faith in official advice and headed back to their families anyway. The fact this is going to screw many peoples businesses for the foreseeable seems to matter not. I’m fortunate in that I’m in a better position than many to weather the shitstorm on the horizon, but I do feel for those caught up in what’s coming. And, as if Covid wasn’t bad enough, on the 1st January the UK declares economic sanctions on itself with Brexit. After 4 years of lies about ‘taking back control’ and ‘they need us more than they we need them’ we’re now just 11 days away from the the shit hitting the fan without the faintest idea if there will be a deal or not – never mind what that deal will look like. Talk about a clownshow! How on earth did we end up like this?

So, Christmas is going to be an interesting one to say the least – and New Year even more so…Forget the pubs, Xmas parties and other social events, for many people it’s going to be an isolated or introspective Christmas with little to look forward to in the New Year – unless you’re on of those brainless Brexiters who’ll be letting off fireworks at midnight on December 31st to celebrate their new ‘freedom’.

Hmm, looking back at what I’ve just written it seems my spleens already leaked! OK, so here’s todays picture of the day as a bit of light relief. I’ve been busy scanning more foreign rail pictures and the latest batch were taken in Southern India back in January 1998. To say things have changed since then would be an understatement. I’m going to write a separate blog once I’ve got them all scanned as there’s a story to tell, but here’s the first one. I took this at Pondicherry, the former French enclave on the East coast of India on the 27th January 1998.

A metre gauge YDM4 class loco waits to leave the sleepy, single platform station with a train for Villapuram Junction on the main line to Madras (now known as Chennai). This scene has totally disappeared. The line’s now been converted to Broad Gauge and Pondy station has four modern platforms. It’s a reflection of how India has rebuilt much of its rail infrastructure over the past few decades.

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