Ainsdale Beach is a voluminous expanse of golden sand: so voluminous, in fact, that like many other places on the same coast, north of Liverpool (see our trip to Crosby last November), the nearby land is gradually being taken over. The buildings you see here are derelict, not (this time) because of the Great Fear, but because of the encroachment of these dunes. This is an attractive place, but a melancholy one.
The baby chard happily grows, waiting inside until things warm up — which going by the weather in the last few days, might be a while yet. I, on the other hand, just wait inside, not feeling like I grew much today, in any sense.
It was about 12ºC today, compared with -2ºC on Saturday. The sun shone for a couple of hours in the afternoon and, just for a moment, there were intimations of spring. This lady appears to be enjoying it, albeit from behind glass.
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.
I wouldn’t usually put up a shot that was so out of focus but it certainly sums up the weather, and it made me smile that I had captured this duck shaking off the rain that fell constantly today. A smile was needed — life is run, at the moment, according to the whim of the weather and this was the most depressing of ‘weekend’ days thanks to the rain. A shame I couldn’t call this page ‘drake shake’ though.
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.