Category Archives: Daily Post

The best place in Stalybridge

Tuesday 21st January 2020, 6.20pm (day 3,071)

Stalybridge station buffet, 21/1/20

Stalybridge railway station’s buffet bar is perfectly preserved in its early 20th-century state, with no sense of tweeness or fakery: it is also provides the best beer for miles around. As a result of both these things it is locally, and perhaps even nationally, famous. You will not find a better pub at a railway station anywhere else that I know of.

Which means you can experience the best of Stalybridge without ever leaving platform 4 of its station, because it’s not really a place one wants to get to know better. Trust me.

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Abingdon Street, reopened

Monday 20th January 2020, 10.00am (day 3,070)

Abingdon Street, reopened, 20/1/20

Abingdon Street is one of the keys to making my walk between Victoria station and my office as peaceful and traffic-free as is possible. In summer 2018 it was closed off, to allow for the building of the latest boutique hotel that Manchester city centre doesn’t need. This annoyed me so much that I specifically moaned about it, twice, in the manuscript of the book I wrote on sabbatical last year (due out in March, apparently). However, last week it looked as if preparations were being made for its reopening and today I got to walk the length of it again for the first time in 18 months. Thankfully, despite the concrete carbuncle now stood at one end, it remains as peaceful and traffic-free as before. Welcome back. These are the little things that matter, sometimes.

Not that I’ll be using it again for a couple of weeks — I’m not back in Manchester for work for a fortnight.

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By Bordesley station, Sunday morning

Sunday 19th January 2020, 9.05am (day 3,069)

Bedford Road, Birmingham, 19/1/20

Another very beautiful (but frosty) winter’s morning, part of which we spent walking from our hotel back to New Street station through a near-deserted Birmingham city centre. I don’t know this place well; it seems a strange mix of time periods, blocks of urban desolation suddenly becoming US-style skyscraper downtown and then a bit further on, leafy suburbia. Anyway, this shot relies on two things: the narrow slot between two small road signs and the flare effect having behaved itself well.

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Football in the golden hour

Saturday 18th January 2020, 4.25pm (day 3,068)

Sunset, Boldmere St. Michaels, 18/1/20

The suburban acres of Sutton Coldfield, north of Birmingham, make a not-unimpressive debut on the blog thanks to a) the efforts of Boldmere St. Michaels FC (in white) and their opponents Newark Flowserve, in today’s encounter with the depths of English non-league football; and b) a rather decent sunset, the sort that makes you feel we have been temporarily translated onto Mars, or the fervid atmosphere of one of the outer gas giants.

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Abort, abort!

Friday 17th January 2020, 1.45pm (day 3,067)

Aborted landing, 17/1/20

If this fake owl sitting at the top of a building on Bridge Gate ever did deter the local pigeon troops from settling there, it’s long since stopped working. In fact, this photo was supposed to be of a whole bunch of them sat around and on it. But a second before I clicked the shutter, one of those intangible signals went through them all and off they flew, leaving me just with these last two in take-off mode. But I like it, as it makes it appear as if they have in fact decided to abort a landing — maybe, just maybe, because of the ‘owl’.

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Exploring

Thursday 16th January 2020, 11.05am (day 3,066)

Baby slug, 16/1/20

The extreme close-up may make this slug look bigger than it was — it was only about half the length of my little finger. A mere baby. I wonder what a slug’s family life is like; probably not very extensive. They get to explore the world in their solitary way from a very early age.

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Turing Building entrance

Thursday 16th January 2020, 9.40am (day 3,065)

Turing building entrance, 15/1/20

Two Manchester morning shots in a row. I must be working. There’s still not many people on campus, so let’s keep pointing the camera at buildings. I quite like the Turing building, in fact. A decent bit of architecture.

Lately whenever I have tagged anything as university-related on this blog, the posts have been ‘liked’ by accounts that are obviously providing contract cheating ‘services’ to students — “easyessayonline” for example. Hi, guys. Let me point out that detection of this kind of thing is becoming easier as we redesign our assessment processes to focus on the student, not their words. Put extra stages into the process, like the submission of drafts and preparatory notes, and milled essays stand out like sore thumbs — and are failed. We don’t bother going through tiresome disciplinary procedures. We just fail them for blatantly having not done the work. I wonder if you advise your clients of this likelihood, and return their money in such cases. I doubt it.

You might argue that it is a free market and you have the right to exploit processes of deliberate fraud in order to make your profits. Whatever. But in the meantime, kindly don’t exploit my blog for advertising purposes, and fuck off.

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Outside Victoria station, early

Tuesday 14th January 2019, 7.35am (day 3,064)

Tree by NFM, 14/1/20

Well, early enough. Discounting the special case of the shot taken at the airport on arriving home from Indonesia, the earliest morning shot, in Manchester or anywhere else, since the end of October. I do wish the mornings would hurry up and get lighter, which they never do until well after the evenings have lengthened. I know it’s the same every year, but we should put in a complaint to the Universe, or something. The Solar System Organising Commitee (Axial Tilt Division), at least.

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The barometer falls

Monday 13th January 2019, 3.50pm (day 3,063)

Barometer falling, 13/1/20

Now that’s a substantial drop in the air pressure. These days the Met Office give names to all the UK’s various stormy moments, which makes it all very media-friendly. But hey, here’s me doing my own media thing so let’s pay tribute to the incoming Storm Brendan and hope it doesn’t screw up my next couple of days too much.

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Marley

Sunday 12th January 2020, 5.20pm (day 3,062)

Marley, 12/1/20

Marley is the latest candidate for ‘honorary pub dog’ at the Railway, and here takes a brief rest while eyeing up the humans, making his strategic decisions as to which might be amenable to the offering of treats and affection.

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