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Another week and another day spent chained to a desk, but hardly in a bad way. The weather forecast was threatening rain and even the possibility of thunderstorms so it seemed like a good day to be at home. Neither rain nor thunder materialised, all we had was a few desultory spits of rain which didn’t even wet the pavement.

Away from the weather my time was spent productively. I’ve a lot more of next weeks around Britain trip and now have an idea of where I’ll be ending the week as I’m not going to try and return home on the day, it would cramp my style too much and mean too much retracing of steps. I’ve not finalised everything as I’m waiting for a few temporary timetables to either be confirmed or cancellations be announced. I may have to be flexible on the Saturday as a result. Even so, it’s going to be quite a trip!

Another project that’s taken up a lot of my day has been preparing another batch of old railway slides and sundry memorabilia for sale on eBay. I’m hoping to have many of the articles added tomorrow and released for sale in the evening. There’s a mixture of UK pictures going back to the mid 1990s plus a selection of Sri Lankan railway images dating from 2003 which feature some old British built locomotives.

One unexpected diversion today was the return of an unexpected visitor. On Friday a racing/homing pigeon put in an unexpected appearance. The poor thing was suffering from exhaustion due to the heat and crash-landed at the back of the house where I found it voraciously chugging water out of an old flowerpot. I managed to save it from the local cats and put it in our outhouse with a supply of food and fresh water for the night then released it successfully the next day and watched it fly away. Well, it seems it enjoyed its holiday a little too much. This afternoon I was looking out of the office window and noticed it perched on the wall opposite, almost as if it was watching me! This time it was a much closer call with the cats who were already stalking it – but now it’s back in the outhouse. This time we checked the rings on its legs and found a phone number – which is local! I’ve rung the chap and he’s going to collect our feathered friend tomorrow. Let’s hope this time it decides it’s given me enough stress! Besides, I don’t want to fall out with the cats…

OK, time for today’s picture. This one’s from my recent jaunt to Manchester and features the Edwardian baroque magnificence of the Midland Hotel. The hotel was designed by Charles Trubshaw and constructed between 1898 and 1903 for the Midland Railway Company at a cost of more than £1 million. It’s coated in a variety of terracotta and granite and it looks stunning!

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