Friday 30th November 2018, 6.10am (day 2,654)
The last morning of November, and I pull duty again on the 6:32 service to Manchester. The castle battlements at the bottom of Keighley Road look suitably dramatic in the moonlight (and streetlight).
It’s becoming harder to crank myself up in the mornings to get the 06:32 — best train it might be, when I need to pull an early start at work, but it’s now still dark even when it deposits me in Manchester city centre, a state of affairs which will last until into February. Some places have the lights on at that time, but by no means all. This should be the last of a run of a couple of months spent only in England, but I’m off somewhere else for a few days tomorrow.
Pulled duty on the 6:32 train to Manchester for the first time in a while, making this the earliest true morning shot since January 2017. Maybe I wasn’t the first one up in the whole town but there weren’t many of us. A long week of work comes to an end. Is it Christmas yet?
Second Monday morning in a row where I have to haul myself up before dawn and onto the 06:59 train. Not my favoured way to start the week. I certainly felt like the first person up in town this morning; though I guess this suggests that either the proprietor of ‘Brocante’ beat me to it, or they just left the lights on all night.
A sign of how my commuting habits have changed, basically since I had my sabbatical in Australia — this is the earliest Manchester shot in nearly three years (since 17/12/12 to be precise). God, I’m such a statto.
I like the way this bird (which apparently is a jackdaw, not a rook as I originally identified it) looks aspirational, as if it’s seen something up there and (unlike poor grounded humanity) knows that within a couple of seconds it can reach it. I also like the focus and the lines of the slates below it. All not bad going for 6.45am, the first time I’ve done a shot remotely at this time since November.
It is actually easy to get this shot, if one is up before dawn and walking along Commercial Street in HB. However, it is chosen today to epitomise the fact that I do still have early mornings now and again. The sabbatical largely cured me of this affliction, but not entirely. This is the earliest shot since Abu Dhabi airport on 27th May, and the sixth-earliest ever on the blog.
I took precisely no (n=0) good photos today, but this one makes it to encapsulate the fact that I am in a sort of limbo week, still getting up before dawn to trug in to Manchester on the early morning cattle truck, waiting for my sabbatical to get going. Wintry morning with freezing fog today, but not much longer to suffer this.
Bloody hell, roll on the solstice – all the way into Manchester on the early morning cattle truck and it doesn’t even have the decency to be starting to get light by the time I arrive. Today was probably my most daylight-free day of the winter so far. The one consolation – I will have no more Monday mornings like this for months now.