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Yay – I got the month right from the off! For some strange reason my brain seems to be stuck in November, which is why I’ve cocked-up two recent December blogs and backdated them until kind readers have pointed it out. I suppose I could always try the Captain Mainwaring defense from ‘Dad’s Army’ and pretend I wondered who’d spot it first. Truth is – it wasn’t me!

There’s not going to be a long blog tonight, mainly because this hasn’t been the most exciting of days. The Calder Valley’s spent most of the day bathed in fog and I’ve been stuck at home sorting out paperwork, old slides and the occasional Xmas present. I did get out for a wander late in the day in order to get some shopping and get my daily exercise, so a wander in to Sowerby Bridge was in order. We may be in the run-up to Christmas, but the town seemed quite subdued for a Saturday at this time of the year. I suspect the reality of the new Covid strain’s starting to concentrate a few minds even though Calderdale has (for now) seen Covid cases decreasing.

Whilst we’ve been lucky I couldn’t help suck my teeth at today’s news that the anti-vaxxers and Covid conspiracy nuts decided to hold a rally in London. If there’s one place where Omicron is going through the roof it’s London. Still, a cynic might argue this is social Darwinism in action and if this means the shallow end of the gene pool gets deeper this is no bad thing. Will they be missed? Nope…

Once back at home I indulged in some cooking therapy and knocked up a veggie casserole which was an ideal accompaniment to the miserable weather. I love any recipe that contains Cumin, Garlic and Smoked Paprika and this one certainly did.

To pass the time I’ve been scanning and storing lots of old travel slides. They won’t see the light of day just yet as they’re in reserve to give me something to do over Christmas during those quiet ‘down time’ moments when everyone’s stuffed to the gills with Xmas fayre and falling asleep in front of the TV. But here’s a snippet. I’ve finished scanning the Bali pictures from 1994-95 and moved on to UK images from the latter year. So here’s one of the last Bali pictures. I’ve always loved the sculptured landscape of Bali and the way farmers have managed to carve out paddy fields from the most extreme of slopes. Here’s an example.

These fields are near some fascinating old Buddhist temples at Tampaksiring in the islands hinterland. Spot the nursery field where young rice plants are grown before being pricked out by hand across the other terraces….

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