Tuesday 23 June 2020

Here's hoping

Will travel be possible again soon?

Well, I have my "iconic blue" British passport in which Her Britannic Majesty requests everyone to let me through their borders without hindrance. I am not convinced I shall be hindered less than I was with my European Union passport, but this is the new reality and it no use pretending otherwise. I had to renew my passport because the trip to Italy which was to have happened in April was cancelled (well before the pandemic, nothing to do with that) and moved to the autumn, by which time less than six months was left on my old passport: given that we have left the Union and are well on our way to ending the transition year with no real agreement about borders I dare not risk it being so tight. So, I have a passport photo with my lockdown hair style ... or lack of hairstyle.

The real question, of course, is whether it will be of any use. With most of Eurostar's train sets in storage and staff on furlough, and with dire notices from rail companies in the UK only to use their services if absolutely necessary, am I going to be going to Italy anyway, or to anywhere else? Not just my passport, but my Senior Railcard (used just once since its renewal and well short of covering its cost) and my concessionary bus pass are also useless, as well as the hefty balance on my Oyster card. I have my car, of course, and parking is free in many places at present, but with holidays in the UK being encouraged and public transport being discouraged I dread the idea of driving to anywhere worth going this summer. The highways will be jammed, the car parks inadequate. We need to get back on the trains smartish or the nation will choke.

Meanwhile, I am taking the time not only to build the model railways I've been writing about, but also to sort out photographs from many years ago when I took them on film but was far too busy with a young family to sort of decent slide sequences - hopefully I'll publish the less personal ones here and/or on Flickr and YouTube before too long.

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