Princess Street

Tuesday 18th February 2020, 10.15am (day 3,099)

Princess Street, 18/2/20

A familiar scene on the walk to work. This just about now passes the ‘no building sites’ rule as the block to the left, under construction for what seems like about a decade, is mostly finished. The speed camera doesn’t seem to have a great deal to do on this Tuesday morning.

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End of the storm

Monday 17th February 2020, 5.10pm (day 3,098)

Lee Mill Road storm, 17/2/20

The underdwellings beneath Lee Mill Road rise above our allotment. We were there this afternoon, doing a filthy job in filthy weather, caught in the tag end of this revolting hail storm that blew over as the sun went down. I hope this is the end of the storm in a broader sense too — it’s been another weekend of severe weather, not so much round here this time as further south. A grim period all round.

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Joe at the football

Sunday 16th February 2020, 3.10pm (day 3,097)

Joe at football, 16/2/20

In recent months Joe’s average rate of appearance on the blog has dropped, this being the first since 10th November, and that was just his back — 6th October as a proper portrait. The blog reflects life however, and maybe we just aren’t hanging out together as much as we used to. But this Sunday we did, getting a football fix after a blank day yesterday: mind you, it was cold. Anyway, one can use this as a check on his growth since he turned up the very first time in September 2011, more than half his life, and 3,088 days, ago.

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Meta-chronicling

Saturday 15th February 2020, 10.45am (day 3,096)

Old diaries, 15/2/20

Dull photo, but it was a dull day as everyone waited for Storm Dennis to see whether it felt like adding to the misery. But it did not.

This blog is really just an outgrowth of the personal diary I have kept every day since the start of 1984. I raided the archive today, and here are a bunch of the thirty or so volumes of my other auto-chronicle. Is there a word for this urge to record things? Whatever the name of the condition, I have it.

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Detritus

Friday 14th February 2020, 6.45pm (day 3,095)

Flood waste, 14/2/20

The flood came, and it went away again, and what it left behind are these piles of debris that were not carried there by the water directly, but removed from properties and left by the sides of roads and streets, just as in 2015. It’ll happen again, at some point, because the government does not care about the chronic water management problems of this place and the known reasons behind them.

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Thanks, Ciara

Thursday 13th February 2020, 1.55pm (day 3,094)

Capsized shed, 13/2/20

The storm last Sunday took our allotment shed and flipped it neatly upside-down, while nestling it comfortably beside our neighbour’s greenhouse (which only partly survived the experience). We could move it, but I believe Ciara’s sibling Dennis is on the way in this coming weekend to entertain us further, so let’s leave it there for now, it’s probably safer where it is.

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The Chiltern summit

Wednesday 12th February 2020, 1.10pm (day 3,093)

Chiltern summit, 12/2/20

In my project to bag the county tops of Britain it has already become obvious that many of them are not prominent, airy summits lifted far above the surrounding countryside. Haddington Hill, at 875 ft (267m) above sea level, is not only the highest point of Buckinghamshire, but of the whole Chiltern Hills range which stretches through three other counties as well. But you wouldn’t know it, were this monument not located at some otherwise indefinable point, skulking under trees and definitely trying to not draw attention to itself. Still, that’s another one bagged. Eight down — 83 to go…

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Down the touchline — Bedford Town FC

Tuesday 11th February 2020, 7.35pm (day 3,092)

Bedford Town, 11/2/20

Bedford is one of the largest towns in the UK not to have a professional football team. But who needs all that big-time professional crap. Their town’s footie ground entertained me amply well without it. Albeit coldly.

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L. S. Banksy

Monday 10th February 2020, 7.55am (day 3,091)

L. S. Banksy, 10/2/20

Another early morning in Manchester. The difference in the light, bearing in mind the 45 minute gap from the time of Friday’s shot, shows the current clocking on time for the sun. I love the details on this shot, the graffiti and the print.

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Ciara comes

Sunday 9th February 2020, 10.20am (day 3,090)

Storm Ciara, 9/2/20

I know this is a lousy picture. I’m sorry. It’s a lousy picture to have been in a position to take, too. All previous eulogies to the good weather of 2020 were decisively blown away overnight and this morning by Storm Ciara, a vicious little wannabe hurricane that blasted in, savagely dumped its load on Hebden Bridge and left the town, for the fourth time in the last eight years, under a layer of water [*]. I could have gone outside and taken pictures of the flooding but if you’ll forgive me, the prospect was too depressing. If I abrogate my duty as some kind of social commentator by doing so, my apologies — the vultures in their TV vans will doubtless be supplying the world with pictures of it all soon enough; while evading the real issues and reasons behind flooding, which are (around here anyway) to do with inequalities of power and status. And yet people vote Conservative, over and over again.

[*] The three previous occasions in the lifetime of this blog were 22/6/129/7/12 — and 26/12/15.

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