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Saturday’s been another quiet day here in the Calder Valley, mainly because the weather’s not been up to much and Dawn’s been out with a friend, so I’ve been left to my own (electronic) devices for the day. I’d toyed with the idea of going for a long walk but the fact I’d have been soaked in the process put a damper on that idea. Instead I found myself passing time scanning yet more old slides, editing pictures and carrying out household chores, which kept me occupied until the rain decided to give us all a break, allowing me to venture out to enjoy a walk down into Sowerby Bridge, potter along the Rochdale canal, then climb the hill to home. Normally Sowerby Bridge would be busy with day-trippers and other tourists this time of year but the town was surprisingly quiet. Covid’s still having an impact as sensible people are being cautious at the moment. That said, I walked past our local narrowboat hire company (Shire Cruisers) only to find their basin completely empty as all their boats are out on hire. After the awful time they must have had in 2020 this was a sight for sore eyes. I must admit to a flash of jealousy. A group of friends and I hired one of their boats back in 2006 and had a fabulous time cruising from Sowerby Bridge up to the Leeds and Liverpool canal and across the Pennines towards Blackburn. I’ve always harbored an ambition to own a narrowboat and seriously considered buying one a few years ago, but plans got put on hold because of ‘events’ on the UK political scene. Maybe one day…

Having avoided the temptation to stop for a pint in Sowerby I dodged the rain on the way home and called in at a local hostelry just down the road called the Wainhouse Tavern. It was never my local pub, that was a place called The Big 6, but the 6 has been sold and legal bureaucracy over the transfer of ownership has meant it’s remained closed despite the lifting of lockdown, so the Wainhouse has become a sort of surrogate where I know I may be able to see a few familiar faces and have a chat and a joke. After months and months of lockdowns and as a freelance who can lead a fairly solitary and nomadic existence that’s lovely to be able to do now and again.

I didn’t linger longer than a couple of pints and now I’m back home at Bigland Towers sorting out a few more bits whilst Dawn (who’s returned from Holmfirth) cooks her amazing Spanish Prawns dish, so there’s just enough time left for me to post the picture of the day, which ia another old slide from my latest batch of pictures from the USA.

I took this picture in San Francisco, California on the 26th October 1990 as one of the iconic cable cars was being rotated on a turntable at the end of the line. I must admit to loving the old San Fran cable cars, they’re such a great way to travel and the folks who staffed them were brilliant as they were such wise-crackers and naturals with people, locals and tourists alike.

I rather fell in love with the city when I was there, although, bizarrely I’ve never been back since – despite having visited the USA many times afterwards. I’ve always promised myself – ‘one day’. Mind you, with the way Covid’s clipped my wings I’d settle for travelling anywhere outside this Sceptic Isle right now! I can’t wait for the world to start opening up again…

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