Pendle Hill, from above Mereclough

Thursday 31st July 2014, 7.35pm (day 1,071)

Pendle Hill, 31/7/14

Had my evening meal with my parents over the border in Lancashire and captured this on the way back. Pendle Hill is 1,827 feet high, but to be honest, looks higher, particularly when one is closer to it (this image is taken from many miles away). Its name is actually the same word repeated three times; Pen from Celtic languages, ‘dyl’ from ‘hill’ in Old English, and then ‘Hill’ from Modern English. So its name basically means ‘HillHill Hill’. It is most famous for its association with the Pendle Witches, one of England’s more notorious witch-hunts.

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Cat portrait

Wednesday 30th July 2014, 9.05am (day 1,070)

Cat close up, 30/7/14

Wandered out this morning on some inconsequential errand or other and took a shot of some random vista with a cat in the middle distance. Said cat then came straight over to me and virtually demanded that I did its close-ups. Well, who am I to refuse.

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Outside the tourist information centre, Hebden Bridge

Tuesday 29th July 2014, 5.10pm (day 1,069)

Tourist info centre, 29/7/14

A day at home, no work, no responsibilities, no worries. I have no idea how to caption this photograph — so I’m not going to worry about that, either.

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Blast from the past

Monday 28th July 2014, 11.00am (day 1,068)

Cockpit entrance, 28/714

Located under the arches of one of Leeds station’s approach roads, the Cockpit is surely a familiar place to anyone who has been a student at Leeds University in the last 25 years or so. I had my 30th birthday party in this club — quite some time ago.

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The Last Pizza?

Sunday 27th July 2014, 12.05pm (day 1,067)

Last pizza, 27/7/14

She’s certainly going for it as if it might be. Like us, this lady was in the departure lounge of Fiumicino airport, but, I suspect, leaving her home country rather than returning to it.

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The Forum

Saturday 26th July 2014, 11.35am (day 1,066)

The Forum, 26/7/14

Last full day in Rome. The Forum was the heart of the ancient city and this picture is meant to epitomise some kind of glorious decay, the ruins of the Eternal City left to moulder pleasantly away, returning to nature or whatever. Of course it’s nothing like this. Really it’s just a big park with thousands of tourists swarming over it daily. But it does have a certain grandeur. It’s been a good trip here, a fine city, I recommend it should you ever get the chance.

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Inside the Vatican

Friday 25th July 2014, 1.10pm (day 1,065)

Vatican, 25/7/14

I said a few days ago that this blog would soon feature its 20th country, so here you go — the world’s smallest independent state, the Vatican City. Also the state with, almost certainly, the highest proportion of tourists to residents. And probably the world’s largest art gallery. This is one of the ‘Raphael rooms’, decorated by said artist in the 16th century, slightly before Michelangelo painted the more famous (and even more crowded) Sistine Chapel.

And is the Vatican worth a visit? Well, it’s certainly the most sumptuous interior decoration in the world. But it does depend how much you like looking at a) excessive displays of wealth and status and b) other people.

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The Tiber at night

Thursday 24th July 2014, 9.25pm (day 1,064)

Tiber Island, 24/7/14

Lots seen today. Visited Ostia Antica, the port of ancient Rome, an extremely extensive site which once again emphasises the sheer scale of the old city. But though I had a couple of candidate photos from there, this one wins; we went to the Trastevere district for an excellent meal and I took this on the way back. What you see here is the island in the centre of the Tiber that is one reason Rome is here, as it makes for an easier crossing point on the river, that then flows through Ostia on its way to the Mediterranean and the rest of the world.

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The Trevi Fountain (under repair by Mr. Happy)

Wednesday 23rd July 2014, 1.10pm (day 1,063)

Trevi fountain, 23/7/14

If you know Rome, you know the Trevi fountain I am sure, at least by reputation. Over-the-top baroque wedding cake of a water feature, throw a coin in you will come back to Rome, Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita etc. Well, at the moment it’s surrounded by scaffolding and being repaired, at least in part by this jolly chap, which I’m sure will give all you Romanophiles pause for thought.

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Shelter from the storm

Tuesday 22nd July 2014, 11.20am (day 1,062)

Shelter, Palatine Hill, 22/7/14

First full day in Rome. It would be easy here to slip into just doing a series of photos of the tourist sights. Today we saw the Colosseum (impressive, but as expected, heaving with people), the Baths of Caracalla (stupendously impressive, and with a notable absence of coach parties) and the Palatine Hill.

The latter was worth visiting but notable for being the place where we were caught in a severe thunderstorm for an hour or so, which is when I took this shot, of these two Chinese women in their waterproof ponchos (being touted at €5 each while it was raining), in the first of the two spots in which we tried to avoid the rain. I like the strange positioning of the hand of the one in green, and yes, her friend is standing on one leg at this point.

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