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Rain staged a comeback today. It’s persistent nature made short work of the snow we’d enjoyed over the past few days which was a shame in some ways but a relief in others. Snow’s lovely when it’s pristine. When it hangs around in sub-zero conditions, turning roads and pavements into ice-rinks it’s a pain in the arse – so the rain’s done us all a favour in that respect – although I’ll miss the chance to get some more snow pictures.

We benefitted for another reason too. Today we had to drive over to Huddersfield to drop off shopping for Dawn’s parents. The clear surfaces meant there was no danger of pranging the car on steep hills or icy country lanes which was a relief as Dawn only changed it for a more modern model yesterday! We also stopped off at Huddersfield railway station so that Dee could pop into work for a few minutes. Whilst she was rummaging through paperwork I did a quick circuit of the town centre – which was deserted. OK, the fact there’s sod all open makes a difference, but even so – it was good to see that most people (including the young) were heeding the ‘stay at home’ advice. I wonder when normality might return and the town centre will be buzzing with people the way it used to on a Saturday? Personally, I can’t see that happening this side of Easter at the earliest. It’s been so long I’ve forgotten what it’s like to walk into a busy pub or restaurant. That might take some getting used to again. Odd to think that this was my first trip of the year outside the Calder Valley. We’re half way through the month and the furthest I’ve travelled is 8 miles!

Back at Bigland Towers we’ve settled in for the night which is why you’re getting today’s picture earlier than normal. I’ve been a busy bee finishing off yet another old album of travel slides which will be added to my website tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s a taster. I took this shot on the 19th November 1998 on the island of Java, Indonesia.

It looks beautiful, doesn’t it? Lush paddy fields full of rice, banana plants and coconut palms. And peaceful too, with an ancient volcano as backdrop. Only, that volcano is Mount Merapi -and it’s anything but peaceful…

Indonesia is famous for its volcanos and Merapi is the most active of them all. It’s erupted in spectacular fashion several times in the past few years. In 1994 it killed 27 when a pyroclastic flow caused havoc around the nearby town of Muntilan. In fact, since I took this picture, it’s lost 38 metres in height due to a major eruption in October-November 2010. Since then it’s erupted in 2013, 2020 and as recently as last Thursday!

And to think I’ve complained about a bit of snow…

I’ve a favour to ask…
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