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After last nights failure to deliver a Pacer I got home around 3am this morning which meant today was initially a slow one whilst I caught up on some sleep. The plan was was to potter around at home anyway, so the indifferent weather forecast didn’t make any difference. It’s not as if I had to go out and get any exercise as I’d walked the 7.5 miles back from Huddersfield so I was quids in on that front!

Instead the days been taken up with a mixture of gardening and household chores to try and catch up with stuff that I’ve been promising to do for ages. The rain held off long enough for me to get several hours in the garden without getting drenched which allowed me to dispose of a lot of the remains of a Russian Vine that had been invading us from a patch of no-man’s land above the house. God, I hate that stuff! We haven’t been able to kill at its source (yet) but we’ve hacked it back so much that it’s not going to bother us again for a while. By the time the rain arrived I’d moved indoors to catch up on some internal DIY and cleaning, so the day’s not been a complete waste of time. Now, in the evening I’m trying to catch up on some work and old slide scanning as I’ve exhausted the backlog of pictures awaiting editing so I need to get some more in the bank. I added over 100 old travel images from my solo trip through Asia in 1992 to this gallery on Saturday. There’s a large selection of stuff from Sumatra to enjoy and one of them is the picture of the day….

I took this shot in the market at Bukittinggi in West Sumatra on the 3rd June 1992. I love Asian markets as they’re fascinating places to explore and to indulge in people watching. There’s always something to new to discover, whether that’s a variety of fruit or veg I’ve never soon before, bizarre kitchen utensils, or ornamental ironwork for homes and gardens. The market here had the lot! In this case what caught my eye was some of the market porters who made their living moving goods round the market for a few rupiah a barrow-load.

Apart from the battered leather jacket and traditional hat, notice the man’s barefoot? If you look through the other shots in this series you’ll see him pushing his barrow through floodwater at the market after a heavy storm. This is no easy gig. In the background are ‘Dokars’ – horse-drawn taxis who’re waiting for trade, hoping to take shoppers and their purchases home. I made a couple of visits to the market whilst I was staying in the town before heading off to lake Maninjau. It remains one of my favourite towns ion the island but then I rather fell in love with West Sumatra. It has some of the most fantastic scenery, the people are a delight and the local food is superb. ‘Padang food’ as it’s known is famous throughout Indonesia, just look for ‘Masakan Padang’….

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