Reconnecting with the family

Saturday 21st January 2017, 3.40pm (day 1,976)

Clare & Joe, Railway, 21/1/17

It’s nice to travel, but it’s also nice to come home. So the family can feature on the blog for the first time for a while (as a duo, anyway). Not much is going to happen in the next few days, and it doesn’t look like we can expect the sun out, so I foresee more of this kind of thing.

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View from my room — last morning in Moscow

Friday 20th January 2017, 9.25am (day 1,975)

Moscow skyline, 20/1/17

Last morning in Moscow on this trip. Will there be another one? Perhaps… It is about time I got to see some more of this vast country in fact. It may happen, it may not. Anyway I imagine that this is many people’s stereotypical view of what Moscow looks like, and there is some truth to it, particularly outside the city centre (here we are about five miles from Red Square). Liked the way the brief burst of morning sun was spilling over from the right-hand side of the picture. Do svedanya, until next time.

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Fence at night, RANEPA

Thursday 19th January 2017, 6.55pm (day 1,974)

RANEPA fence, 19/1/17

I’m still here on the campus of the Russian Academy of National Economy and Political Administration (hence, RANEPA). It was much colder today — thanks to a biting wind; the last few days had been still and not unpleasant, but today was bitter.

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On the Arbat

Wednesday 18th January 2017, 3.45pm (day 1,973)

Arbat chipmunk, 18/1/17

Afternoon off, so I headed for the Arbat, probably the most laid back of the streets in Moscow city centre, and venue for one of the very first Moscow pictures featured on this blog on 24th October 2011. The kids seem very happy to see the guy in the chipmunk suit, what they probably don’t realise is that he’s almost certainly handing out leaflets for some tattoo parlor or e-cigarette vendor. Note the Christmas decorations still up — Russian Orthodoxy does all that stuff two weeks later than we do, so it’s not yet past Twelfth Night here.

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Extinguishers’ Union meeting

Tuesday 17th January 2017, 3.35pm (day 1,972)

Extinghuishers' Union, 17/1/17

“Brothers and sisters! Here we stand against the tyranny of our human masters. They hang us up on walls and expect us to be on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to guard against their own negligence. I say enough! We demand Sundays off at least!”

“And warmer foam. It’s cold enough here as it is.”


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Moscow campus, January

Monday 16th January 2017, 12.20pm (day 1,971)

Moscow School, snow, 16/1/17

How nice it is that I have a job that frequently permits me the chance to get out of cold, damp, dark Britain in the depths of January. Many people would here make a point of going somewhere warm and sunny, like Australia, or the Mediterranean. I am a contrary bugger though, so I’ve come to Moscow.

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Gate 49, 5.20am

Sunday 15th January 2017, 5.20am (day 1,970)

Gate 49, 15/1/17

I do like this picture, or I wouldn’t have chosen it — I always like the juxtaposition of so many random people in airports, and wonder where the yogi is off to (beyond just the answer ‘Amsterdam’, which is where the 05:55 KLM flight goes to, always the first flight to leave Manchester on any given day). The aquatic mural behind them is an added bonus.

But the main reason I chose it today is that finally, after five years and four and a half months of doing this blog, it means I’ve plugged the last gap in the hour-by-hour coverage of the day: this is the first photo to get in between 5:00 – 5:59 am. A bloody early morning in other words, I was up at 3am. Where was I heading? Well, if you don’t already know, you can find out tomorrow.

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Deepdale, Preston

Saturday 14th January 2017, 2.45pm (day 1,969)

Deepdale, 14/1/17

I’ve given up trying to get any truly decent action shots at football matches, I can never do it. With this one I was trying for symmetry and to capture that mother-of-pearl sky. Decent day out today — except for the result. Well, I guess our unbeaten run had to come to an end at some point.

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Ghost bus, Portland Street

Friday 13th January 2017, 3.30pm (day 1,968)

Ghost bus, 13/1/17

Sometimes the light is right as I am walking to the office in the morning. Sometimes, like today, it’s better in the evening. So it goes. Why a ‘ghost’ bus? Well, there are no passengers on it; and the route indicator says something weird, like ‘Logistics’ which definitely isn’t a district of Manchester.

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Not as helpful as it first appears

Thursday 12th January 2017, 8.25am (day 1,967)

Unhelpful door, 12/1/17

The second door in two days. This one not as helpful as it first appears. The irony is obvious if you read the sign. Dedicated to my friend Doug, who collects this kind of thing.

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