While on one of my random perambulations around northern England, I found myself walking past this establishment, which is one of two factories in the country making Fox’s Biscuits. It’s in Wesham, between Preston and Blackpool. The best thing about this came a minute or so after I took this shot, when I turned a corner and was suddenly downwind of it. I had to stop walking for a while and just breathe in the delicious smell of it. How they live with that all the time in Wesham I have no idea, they must be hungry all the time, feeling like Charlie Bucket.
Penmaenmawr, on the coast of North Wales, must have been a notable holiday resort in the past. Apparently the Victorian Prime Minister, Gladstone, liked it so much he came for a stay year after year. Hard to imagine him (or Rishi Sunak) doing that now, however. The A55 trunk road came ploughing through in the 1980s, ripping apart town and beach, and based on my visit there today, Penmaenmawr has yet to recover, and probably will never do so.
Still, credit for a little initiative — these beach huts are embedded right into the wall that supports the road above, which must therefore have been built that way. So you could argue that they tried. It didn’t work, though. As a result, most likely this will be Penmaenmawr’s only ever appearance on this blog, but at least it is a colourful and sunny one.
There was a bit of the sunglow thing going on in the sky this morning but this shot is more the result of me playing around with some filters which my new camera seems to have built-in. Some of them are ridiculous, to be honest. But this one produces a reasonable effect, even if it is me just messing with gimmicks as I get used to the thing.
Over my three days in Cambridge I seem to have avoided capturing anything about the sociability of the conference I’ve been attending. So be it. The Sidgwick site is the utilitarian side of the University, none of this medieval architecture stuff: faculty rather than college buildings. But it was a decent place to spend half a week. Clare thinks this sculpture looks like ‘Minecraft Man’, by the way.
I suppose I am reasonably well-travelled but this is still only my third-ever trip to Spain, the most recent being in about 2007 for a conference (hence before the start of this blog), and the first being in 1991 when I went inter-railing round Europe and went to Madrid and a couple of the cities in the south. But I never visited Barcelona, and Clare hadn’t done so either, and so when we were thinking about a destination for an Easter break, this was suggested and so here we are.
When in this place, everyone comes to see this building, don’t they? But I’m not sure I actually like it. It’s fantastic, unique, for sure, but it’s also somewhat mad, excessive, lacking in grace and beauty (something not true of St Basil’s, which could also be accused of excess). The other Gaudi buildings in the city are more attractive. It’s just a personal opinion based on a quick first impression, so don’t listen to me though. I suppose that one indication of the impression is that the cranes poking out of the top look at first like they may be a deliberate part of the design. It has been under construction for 140 years now, and still isn’t finished. Heaven knows what might still be to come.
Almost every time I am on campus I pass by the front of this building — the Holy Name Church on Oxford Road. Today saw a rare excursion around the back, and thus a chance to inspect its adornment of razor wire, a deterrent you’d think a consecrated place could do without. But clearly divine intervention is not something that puts off the lead thieves (which I assume is the point of all this).
Philately is one of the few concerns that has ever made St Helena any money. If you want your hard-to-get first day covers of the local stamps, this is the place to get them. The rock walls above, 500 feet tall, are ubiquitous in all views from Jamestown, crammed as it is between them.
There still doesn’t seem to be a great deal going on in Manchester, but at least the light was good today. Lancaster House stands on the intersection of Princess and Whitworth Streets, and is a good example of the Victorian tendency to stick these grandiose flourishes at the top of any given commercial building. Does it assert some kind of dominance, or did they just have a lot of stone left over? Either way, I like it.
The first of the drives (mentioned yesterday) is completed. This was a somewhat gloomy day with occasional bursts of light, as the shot suggests. The tower sits on the edge of the moor, above Lancaster. One of those constructions built purely for the hell of it: it contains nothing, provides no service except the rooftop platform from which one can see the good view. So it counts as a folly, I suppose: I’m not even sure whose ‘jubilee’ it celebrates.