I wouldn’t call this winter harsh, but it has been cold, at least by local standards. Yes, I’m sure those of you who live in places like Montana or Trondheim would laugh at our definition of real winter, but hey, that’s a maritime, Gulf Stream climate for you.
And the creature? Well, a face perhaps. It’s certainly got two eyes, and a pendulous, possibly melting face.
The establishment in question is located somewhere round here but that sign isn’t pointing to it. Instead it just presides over a mostly empty car park, where there should be signs of visitors, shoppers, people just hanging out in the town centre on a Saturday.
One of the lies we’ve been sold over the last year centres around the notion of ‘essentia’ and ‘non-essential’ retail. Amazon can compel their drones to go work in warehouses that are centres of virus transmission, but I am not allowed to patronise a local bookshop, nor to buy a pair of shoes. This has been an unparalleled opportunity to shaft small businesses, one the Tories (backed up by Labour, who are even worse) have taken with glee, while puttng on their concerned face, and telling us it’s all for our own good. Not if you are a business owner, I imagine. But that’s OK, we can just blame them for ‘not adapting’, like not inventing a way to get nails done online. Sorry to break out into this again, but there’ll be weeks more of this crap yet.
So exciting was yesterday that it slipped my mind that it was the day on which this record was confirmed — this is now the longest run of English-only pictures on this blog. As of today it is 144 days since day 3,312, when Scotland (in the form of Loch Skeen) featured for the day. That, and the one from about 100 yards into Wales on 24/6/20, are all that I have taken outside England in over a year. This is not the life I was leading up to that point; make your own judgments as to whether it’s a better or worse thing for all concerned, but it at least illustrates the impact of all the present crap. (And it is crap. This is not a political point.)
Also, in West Yorkshire anyway, it’s still snowing.
I did leave Hebden Bridge today, as Clare became the first person under 70 years of age that I know has been vaccinated (it wasn’t against mumps, if you take my meaning). But the pictures taken during my half hour wait in the car park at the hospital in Halifax were not very exciting. Nor is the one above, of course, but it at least continues the recent snowy theme. Vaccinations notwithstanding it seems like there will be weeks more of this yet. Some lights are still on, here and there.
It’s Joe, and his generation, that I feel sorriest for right now. He turns 18 in a few weeks yet is spending this time locked in a room with, or rather without, everyone else. At least he’s still prepared to get out into the landscape now and again: here, on Brown Wardle Hill, above Whitworth in Lancashire.
The white stuff hasn’t featured properly in my life since I was last in Tromsø in April 2018, and there is presently none of it in Hebden Bridge. But it took only a short walk up into the hills to be faced by scenes like this. Contacts in Tromsø also suggest that at the moment, they have none at all, while Spain and Portugal suffer under the worst winter in living memory. This is one of those shots that honestly is not monochrome, though you wouldn’t know it.
Amongst its other functions, this blog serves to record the weather patterns, and neither of the last two winters (2018/19, 19/20) have seen any real snow. The last truly white period, at least where I have been, was in March 2018. Today wasn’t a frozen apocalypse, but it did mean that 2021 has already seen more snow in Hebden Bridge — or, here, Mytholmroyd, just down the road — than the last two calendar years combined. I’m not objecting. It does provide good photography material.
A slight dusting of snow in the morning, nothing serious but in Britain it’s the kind of thing that leads to everything getting cancelled, meaning I couldn’t attend my planned football match this evening and thus get 11 different places in 11 days. There are still things to see at home, however. Which, looking back on 2020, is just as well, isn’t it?