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After my travels of the past few days I’ve been very much ‘valley bound’ today – despite the temptation to stray as the weather’s been absolutely glorious with wall to wall sunshine! However, I’ve had far too much to do with editing the several hundred pictures that I’ve taken so far this week as well as preparing the ground for the articles I’ll be writing as a follow-on. This has meant I’ve been stuck in the office staring at a screen for hours at a time. I did manage to escape for a couple of hours this afternoon for my daily constitutional and wandered down into Sowerby Bridge to pick up some shopping, then strolled back along the canal before walking back through the woods. It was a complete contrast to the hustle and bustle of London. That said, I did really enjoy being back in my former home of 25 years. Despite my love of the countryside and the Calder Valley, I’m a city boy at heart! It’s why I can feel at home in some of the worlds great conurbations like Bangkok, or Delhi…

Having spent so much time in the company of others one of the first things I did when I got back was take a lateral flow test to ensure I wasn’t bringing home anything unexpected. The new rise of Covid is a concern. I’m praying that we don’t f*ck it up again, but the way many people behave (as if it’s all over – just because restrictions have been relaxed) worries me. I want to get travelling again in the new year but I’m worried that the UK is going to be seen on the world stage as ‘plague Island’ – as if being a laughing stock because of Brexit and our useless government isn’t enough!

Anyway, from a personal perspective it’s not been a bad day. As I’ve been penning these words the last batch of pictures from my travels has been uploading to my Zenfolio website (yep, I’m still working at 21:50) you can find the railway and travel ones by following this link to my ‘recent’ section which will show you what galleries the pictures have been added to. But, if you’re interested in the ones from my visit to the HS2 construction sites at Euston, you can find those here. I’ve several other visits to different HS2 sites lined up over the next few months, so expect a lot more blogs and articles about that. You won’t be reading much about the HS2rebellion protests as they’ve literally run into the ground!

So, on to the picture of the day. What to choose? There’s hundreds of new pictures taken over the past few days and dozens of old slide scans that I’ve not had chance to finish editing just yet. Hmm, OK, how about this? It’s a picture from the HS2 construction site and a perspective that very few people get to see…

Doesn’t look like much, does it? Just a hole in the ground. Except that in several years time this hole will be the site of the 10 HS2 platforms at Euston. A few years ago, this was the site of one of the biggest archeological digs in the UK as this was St James’s Gardens – which was previously a graveyard that contained around 50,000 burials, including Captain Matthew Flinders, the first person to circumnavigate Australia. This works changed the skyline of Camden and also London. See that building sticking up just to the left of the trees? That’s ‘the shard’ which you’d never have seen from here before.

Oh, and this isn’t the end of things. The site is to be excavated at least another 10 metres from the level you see here as there’s service passages and rooms to be built below the actual levels of the HS2 platforms. It’s a massive, massive job on a site that covers 60 acres of central London. I’ll be writing about it in detail for some magazines, so this is all you’re getting for now. Personally, I find it fascinating on so many levels (if you’ll pardon the pun).

Right, that’s enough for now. Enjoy your Friday folks…

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