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It’s an early picture of the day today as we’re off to a wedding this afternoon which makes blogging this evening look very unlikely – for obvious reasons! It’s been an interesting and varied week that’s highlighted the fact the world is slowly returning to normal after the chaos caused by Covid. Sadly for our friends who’re getting married today, the one thing they’ve absolutely no control over (the weather) hasn’t played ball. Here in the Calder Valley the hilltops are submerged underneath thunderous looking low cloud and misted by rain. The wedding’s in Denby Dale/Huddersfield but I doubt the conditions will be any different. Even so, we hope Hazel and Paul have a fabulous day and their spirits aren’t dampened. We’ll certainly be doing our best to make it enjoyable for them.

The wedding will be the climax of a very sociable week – another indicator we’re recovering from the pandemic. We’ve felt a bit like hermits over the past 18 months. Now the vaccination programme’s reached such a level and Covid cases appear to be manageable the idea of socialising with friends (and strangers) seems a lot less intimidating. That doesn’t mean Dawn and I have thrown caution to the wind – far from it. We both still wear masks when out shopping, on public transport or when we feel the situation merits them but we’re allowing ourselves some optimism and certainly more freedom. Judging by the number of people I’ve experienced returning to the railways we’re not alone in those feelings. What we both want now is to be able to have a holiday, preferably somewhere sunny, but right now, we’re still being cautious on international travel.

Sadly, that means I’m not likely to be seeing sights like today’s picture until 2022. This is one of the latest batch of old slides that I’ve been scanning and it comes from the 18 month long round the world trip Lynn and I took in 1997-99. I took this picture in Hampi, Karnataka, India in December 1997…

Ever seen an elephant stables before? No, neither had I until we visited the ruins of Hampi, which is a UNESCO world heritage site and former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. It’s a remarkable and rather surreal place which has laid abandoned since it was destroyed by sultanate armies in 1565. Don’t expect to explore it all in a day, the ruins cover over 16 sq miles!

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