Welcome back to Dundee. The last time it was pictured, on day 1,401 (26/6/15), I was crossing the Tay via the rail bridge, but this is the road bridge that heads for Fife. Plus the impressive V & A Design Museum Dundee, and a seagull enjoying the very fine weather. It looks like we wil be seeing more of this place, at least if all works out — Joe has applied to come to university here, which is why we are checking it out.
It really is a rabbit; at least, from the front. So, in some ways, this is the first rabbit to appear on the blog. She reclines in one corner of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which has been displaying bits and pieces of art in its gardens at Bretton Hall for the last fifty years.
This is the exterior of the Alliance Manchester Business School, built for a vast amount of money and now going completely to waste, along with the rest of the campus; monuments to a time past, now standing in a city of the dead. If you think I’m being over-dramatic, have you been to Manchester lately? Nothing has happened there since October. A sense of rot is setting in, and if you (like the publicly cheery city council) think that ‘recovery’ is all just a matter of a wave of the legislative wand, I say that’s optimistic, at best.
I am still obliged to go into Manchester now and again. It’s good for the step count and the general variety but it’s not an edifying experience. Since March, it’s been a city of the nearly dead. Buses come past plastered in adverts that — in essence — shout “Live In Fear” and “It’s All Your Fault, You Know”. I pointed my camera upwards. This shot is taken from Cross Street; I like the red chimneys, and the corrugations of the tower block peering through the mists behind.
Still going into Manchester for now, because I need to. The times these shots emerge is a factor of the train I catch — compare this with last Friday’s, taken, well, 10 minutes earlier in the walk. I just like the abstraction of this one. You can’t photograph buildings like that from ground level without losing the parallels somewhere or other, but this looks reasonable.
A scene I have passed frequently over the last nine and a bit years but never really noticed before; still, that’s one point of the blog, isn’t it. I thought at first there was a real live human in it (something not prevalent in Manchester city centre right now) but in fact its one of the mannequins, or the start of an android takeover, seeing as we’ve made such a mess of it. A nice ‘rule of thirds’ illustration although I didn’t want to lose the red door at the bottom, and yes, the foliage does get in a way just a little bit. This is the earliest post in a day since 21st September.
Our Christmas tiered tour (it’s a Bojo the Clown thing) of central and eastern England continued, and ended, at Southwell in Nottinghamshire. A place to break the homeward journey, thanks to it being a very small town with a very large church, the Minster. These carvings rest on the wall of the bishop’s palace, facing the churchyard. Purely decorative? Or perhaps a warning, the petrified remnants of excommunicated souls? There are only these two. Going monochrome fits their age but also disguises the distracting bright green flash of moss to bottom centre.
Seven new places in seven days — a blog record. (Easton-on-the-Hill, Cromer, Norwich, Beeston Regis, Wells-next-the-Sea, Horsey and Southwell.)
The vast MECD, or Manchester Engineering Campus Development, is pretty much finished. In embryonic form it was first depicted way back in early January 2018. It now dwarfs the old Oddfellows Hall, which it has part-swallowed, yet what you see rising here is only a small part of the whole.
Thing is — and I am very sure that, having spent hundreds of millions of pounds on this new plaything, the senior management of UoM are keenly aware of this point — is this now the whitest and most mammoth of white elephants? And what of all the blocks of new student accommodation, and hotels, and office blocks, and all the other city-centre property developments that global capital has been poured into over the last decade or so? If you think the economy’s taken a Covid hit thus far, wait for the whole global commercial property market to go tits-up. This piece of economic elastic does not have infinite tolerance. I predict we’ll be coaxed back out into our offices soon enough: if not, they’ll hear the crash on Pluto.
Well, it’s not a house in the sense that anyone lives here — at least, not yet (wait a couple of years and this might be the only thing round here that many people can afford). Spotted on one of my random walks around the local area that are the only meaningful activity available to us right at the moment.