Monday 6th July 2015, 3.50pm (day 1,411)
Looks like the sale’s been working, but they’re sure dragging it out. Going purely on this blog, there’s no proof this jeweller ever doesn’t have a sale, in fact.
Normally our journey home from London wouldn’t take us through York but we ended up there because of a blockage on the line at Wakefield. It didn’t really extend our journey time much, to be fair. I took this shot while sat on our Hebden Bridge train waiting for it to leave, and like it because until I uploaded it onto the laptop this evening I didn’t realise how I’d captured this mother and son a couple of platforms away. I wasn’t particularly taking a photo of them, just of this group of people sat over there, and it’s nice sometimes when you get something unexpected.
The weekend in London continues. Visited the Victoria and Albert museum partly to see an exhibition and partly because I had never previously been there in my 46 years. The museum was opened in 1857 and has the largest collection of art and design objects in the world, the scale of which — 6.5 million objects — becomes apparent when you wander around the fairly large building and realise that even then only a tiny proportion of the collection is on display. This artist was one of a group sketching a sculpture which had made it out to public view.
Manchester yesterday was the exception — I’m back in London. This is Senate House, which contains the administrative offices and the main library of London’s university colleges. It was finished in 1937 and was one of the tallest buildings in the city at that time. In WW2 it was occupied by the Ministry of Information, and George Orwell’s wife Eileen worked there in the censorship department, thus inspiring the physical description of the Ministry of Truth in Nineteen Eighty-Four. It was also a key location in John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids.
Hot and sunny in London yesterday it may have been, but in Manchester this afternoon it was neither of these things, particularly not when I had to walk all the way along Oxford Road getting soaked. At least this girl had an umbrella, even if, like me, she was otherwise dressed for rather nicer conditions.
For me there’s something kind of suburban or small-town about ice cream vans, so it’s nice to find one in the centre of one of the biggest cities in Europe. Good idea today though, it was very hot and humid in London, and indeed elsewhere today.
This is pretty much the centre of the archaic, monolithic and largely closed institution that is the British state. Horse Guards Parade is virtually next door to 10 Downing Street, and Buckingham Palace is just a few hundred yards away. On this gravel the Queen Troops the Colour (whatever the hell that means) to celebrate her own “official birthday”. Until 1997 it was used as a car park, unbelievably, and the beach volleyball was played here in the 2012 Olympics.
Down in London again, and this is just the first of a double visit this week. Four nights to be spent in the acre of hotels to the south of King’s Cross. A tiny hotel room, but a decent view, of tiny little Midhope Street, and the weather is glorious — you will see more of it tomorrow I’m sure.
The title has a double meaning. Yes, it’s a new era for Victoria station, which after a long period of renovation is now just about finished and looks infinitely better for it. It’s also a new era photographically. Half an hour after taking yesterday’s shot my old Fujifilm Finepix camera conked out, I’ve had it some three years now and used it (obviously) every day so I suppose it was due to happen at some point. Went into Manchester partly to buy another one. I can’t afford to upgrade however so we are now working with a Canon Sureshot compact. You can work out, through following this blog, whether I get on with it as well as its late predecessor.