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This year the interregnum between Xmas and the New year is certainly an odd one – not that Christmas was exactly normal itself! I’m sure I remember a certain Prime Minister claiming back in September that life would could be back to normal by now but then he wouldn’t be the first person to claim that “It’ll all be over by Christmas”. You’d have thought people would have learned by now. New Year won’t be normal either. Forget the festivities as most of us will be in one form of lockdown or another. Hogmanay? Humbug!

Even so, I’m determined to make the most of this time. I can’t go to the pub or see friends? Never mind. There’s plenty of other things to do that I’ve never found the time for, so I might as well make the most of it – and that’s my pragmatic attitude to the situation we find ourselves in.

Mind you, the weather here in the Pennines hasn’t been tempting me to venture far anyway. Storm Bella passed without any major impact but the area’s certainly damp – but without any flooding, which is a bonus. So I’ve been hunkered down in the office to continue the slide scanning marathon whilst trying to catch up on on few household chores. Oh, the humdrum lockdown life!

My intention with the new week and what remains of the year is to clear the decks ready for 2021 which is going to prove to be another ‘interesting’ year – although it’s one I’m remaining resolutely positive about. The Covid vaccines are going to be rolled out and the world will start to re-open – well, the bits we haven’t cut ourselves off from with Brexit, anyway! – so I’m really looking forward to making up for lost travel-time and getting out and about in next year. This has been one of the great frustrations of 2020. I’ve spent so much time scanning pictures of beautiful parts of the world I’ve visited in the past whilst knowing I can’t get anywhere near them right now! One of today’s old slide scans is the – picture of the day…

I took this shot in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia on the 12th January 1999. Ballarat was a town made rich from Gold mining and some of its civic buildings reflected that status, including this one, which is the railway station dating from 1862 – and yes – that clocktower is part of the station!

The old semaphore signals you see in the picture had just been taken out of commission, but the railway gates survive today, as does the signalbox – which has become a coffee shop!

I’ve a favour to ask…
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