Morning and trains

For somebody who they don’t normally apply to, mornings have been quite noteworthy this week.

Splatted greenhouse

One of the more disappointing ways to start a day was by clearing up the sad remains of my 2 month old heritage beans and the rest of the contents of my plastic greenhouse after it blew over in the wind. Apparently the usual 4 bricks in the bottom were insufficient to keep it pointing This Way Home. Ho well. Still, of all the problems I’ve run into this week, this one’s readily solved, all I’ve really lost is my headstart on the growing season and the fun of growing varieties that the Authorities officially frown upon. So it’s really an excuse to visit a local manor house turned nursery.

Apart from discovering that it was daylight at 6am on a Saturday (who on earth thought 9am on a Saturday was a good time for a database server conference to start!), this morning’s been quite fun. There’s a certain feeling of anticipation when buying travel tickets even if it’s only for a cheap day return to Manchester and not, say, a return from Geneva Airport to Grimentz. I wouldn’t say it’s wander or travel lust exactly, more being keen to go see something different.

Travelling by train gives quite a different view over our country than you get whizzing down the motorway, for a start, the opportunity to gawp at your surroundings instead of the road ahead. I normally prefer the freedom and ability to be utterly disorganised the car gives, but city centres are definately public transport territory. Although it could be argued that the parts of cities near mainline railway stations aren’t exactly prime destinations (who would want to spend a night or two near Kings Cross..).

That being said, the views from the transpennine through the overcast light are far from inspiring. The valleys of West Yorkshire are full of rows of stone-built terraces with derilict Mills standing over them are a historic reminder of Prosperity Past. If the sun caught them, the overlooking crags might be inspiring but now they just look grey and grim.

Then you’re through a tunnel and over an invisible border, Mills are being converted into apartments, brand new estates built out of identical bricks glare in contrast to the weathered stone buildings and industrial compounds abound.

New Estate rushing past at 60mph

By random chance, the return leg took me along the southern transpennine route to complete the picture. It wasn’t so early in the morning, so the train was jammed solid and there was no chance of getting a camera out, but again it was interesting to see a few places in person. Dewsbury might not be somewhere I wanted to visit, but as Oz & James proved, its station bar is good, judging by the crowds with pints of ale thronging by it.