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Busy, busy busy – with lots of different things. Although the old canard is that men can’t multitask that’s certainly what I spent most of the morning doing! I had a batch of slides all mounted, ready for scanning so whilst I went through that mechanical process I was tuned into the the National Rail Recovery Conference listening to a series of excellent presentations from speakers about the future of the railways – from how to recover passenger numbers post Covid to how the railway can decarbonise and also how the network can cope with climate change. All three are complex subjects but the speakers really helped to nail the issues. You can find a copy of today’s agenda and details of the speakers here. I could dedicate to whole blog to the conference but time’s short and there’s one more day to go. What I will say is that the conference dispelled many of the myths around how working from home (WFH) is supposedly cutting pollution and the need to travel. In some cities pollution’s increased as people have abandoned public transport and taken to the car – even if they’re working from home. As usual, the simple soundbites you hear from people like those opposed to HS2 simply don’t stand up to the facts. The conference also confirmed my opinion about just how out of touch with the realities surrounding transport and climate change much of the UKs ‘green’ movement really is. So much so that they’re actually hindering, not helping, us tackle the real issues.

The third part of my multi-tasking was (finally) producing my new blog on progress with building High Speed 2, which I finally finished and published this afternoon. All in all – a productive day. I even managed to get out for a walk and get my quota of exercise but managed to time it badly so received a soaking on the way home! Maybe I’ll have better luck tomorrow…

Ok, on to the picture of the day. I’ve now amassed a whole heap of scanned slides that are in the queue to be checked in Photoshop. Due to their age (taken in 1993) and the fact the harsh desert conditions of Western India were never easy on film or film cameras – many slides need retouching to remove surface scratches or blemishes. The worst examples will have to be filed away until I have time to put in the hours to make them presentable. Others only need a few marks, blemishes or shallow scratches removed or contrast and colour balances adjusted. Here’s one such example. I took this shot in November 1993 from atop the magnificent Merangarh Fort that dominates the town of Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India.

Sitting on the battlements of the fort gazing down on the town some 400ft below is quite an experience due to the fact the sounds of the town can be heard really clearly due to the atmospheric conditions that allow them to carry upwards. The blue of the houses? I’m told that’s to show the homes belong to high-caste Hindus (Brahmins) although I’ve seen other reasons given. Whatever the truth is, they make for a colourful sight.

When all the pictures are scanned you’ll be able to find them here.

I’ve a favour to ask…
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Thank you!