Category Archives: Daily Post

In the quarries

Monday 13th May 2019, 11.35am (day 2,818)

Spoil heap, 13/5/19

I had to put together a plan for finishing off my book. There is no reason why this had to happen sitting around at home — not on a day like today.

I had two strong candidate pictures for today’s shot, following my walk around Honister Pass and Buttermere, in the Lake District. The other one was flowers, this one industry. I think this shot shows that the latter can be attractive too. The spoil heap looks at first like a stark, grey mountain in the distance, but it appears on no map.

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Sunday morning footie

Sunday 12th May 2019, 11.15am (day 2,817)

Old Earth footie landscape, 12/5/19

The football season comes to an end. At the very top, everything is won by those with the most money; at the lower levels, not necessarily. The Waiters Arms team in yellow shock their previously undefeated opponents, FC Panda, 2-1 to win the Mel Owens Invitational Cup on this sunny Sunday morning. You might not care, but 100 people turned up to see this.

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May storm

Saturday 11th May 2019, 2.10pm (day 2,816)

May storm, 11/5/19

Back in Hebden Bridge. In the afternoon, a sudden storm, but with enough sunlight around to make the drops glisten and shine: beautiful, but not if you were out in it. This is taken from the shelter of home.

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The IG Farben Building

Friday 10th May 2019, 5.55pm (day 2,815)

IG Farben building, 10/5/19

At one point during the conference I was attending at the Goethe University in Frankfurt today, there were vague references to ‘our famous building’ that drifted through my Friday consciousness but didn’t take hold. Then, on my way back into the city centre afterwards, I saw the building.

The IG-Farbenhaus has had a chequered history to say the least. HQ to the eponymous company, when built in the 1920s it was the biggest office building in Europe and remained so for thirty years. IG Farben manufactured the world’s first antibiotic — and also the gas that was used in the Nazi concentration camps. After the war the USA used it as a military base — the ‘Pentagon of Europe’; following German reunification ownership passed to the state of Hesse who renovated it and then helped the Goethe-Institut build a new campus around it from 2001 onwards. And all set in parkland (kept free of development by the Americans for security reasons) right in the city centre.

I’m sure this photo doesn’t do the architecture full justice, but what the hell, the sun looks good too.

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Frankfurt

Thursday 9th May 2019, 7.30pm (day 2,814)

Frankfurt, 9/5/19

Left Zagreb, with regret when it comes to the people and the general pleasantness of the place, but with no regret when it comes to the weather which was dreadful today. Further chewed up my CO2 allowance and hopped back to Frankfurt, which is one of the worst airports I’ve ever been to but at least you get a good view of the city on the way in. I’m here for just over 24 hours. This is about as intimate with the place as I’ll probably get.

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Zagreb street

Wednesday 8th May 2019, 7.15pm (day 2,813)

Zagreb street, 8/5/19

When I was younger, propaganda convinced me that everywhere behind the old Iron Curtain was grey, drab and polluted. This is of course not the case, was never the case. Eastern European cities (see also Prague, Tallinn, more) seem to have this effortless sophistication, a handsome civility that should shame all who voted for the idiocy that is Brexit. Britons have much to learn from such places, the trouble is that 17 million of them said, we don’t want to. (The Croatians have also learned from us though — at least, they have acquired an understanding of ‘the pub’.)

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The Grič Tunnel

Tuesday 7th May 2019, 2.05pm (day 2,812)

Gric tunnel, 7/5/19

One of those photos that looks like I’ve converted it to monochrome, but I haven’t. Zagreb’s Grič tunnel was built in 1944 as an air-raid shelter and, indicating changing times, has since been a flop for the homeless, a site for techno raves and now, a tourist attraction. Am I just to the right of where I should be to get the final arches dead centre — or is it not quite straight? Everything else looks symmetrical enough to me, so I’m claiming the latter.

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Unbroken relationships?

Monday 6th May 2019, 1.15pm (day 2,811)

Zagreb padlocks, 6/5/19

It was Zagreb, Croatia, to where I was travelling yesterday. When I was here just under a year ago I said it was quite possible I would return, and so it has turned out.

Amongst its other charms Zagreb is home to the quite brilliant Museum of Broken Relationships, where are exhibited objects, and associated stories, that represent break-ups of one kind or another whether through desertion, death, infidelity, geographical separation or whatever. The poignancy of that place — and it can truly be said that of all the museums I have ever been to, this was the first one in which I genuinely inspected every single one of the exhibits on display, and with emotional contact too — was highlighted by then coming back to the Lower Town via one of those panoramic viewpoints of the city (one of its churches in the background) where young lovers choose to set a padlock, to represent their undying commitment. It seems so permanent, yet in the end has taken just a few moments in time. I wonder how many of these can still be said to be meaningful. I’m not trying to be cynical. I genuinely hope most of them still are.

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Departure lounge, Sunday morning

Sunday 5th May 2019, 8.20am (day 2,810)

MAN T1, 5/5/19

The departure lounge is a kind of limbo state. You’ve sort of left the country, the real world, behind, but you’re not yet at your final destination or even properly travelling yet. Time stops behaving as it does out there. A beer at 8.20 on a Sunday morning is quite tolerated. But there’s nothing really to do: the system may as well suck some more money out of you while you wait. I would like to see libraries, cinemas and gyms in departure lounges. But I doubt it’ll ever happen.

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Self-portrait with Terminator eye

Saturday 4th May 2019, 3.55pm (day 2,809)

Terminator eye, 4/5/19

Apologies for introducing you to today’s defining event, the sub-conjunctival haemorrhage which actually feels fine from inside but all day made me look somewhat like The Terminator.

This is one of the few photos on the blog not taken with my regular camera; this is a selfie with the much inferior lens on my phone. But lacking the same ‘flip screen’ function as the phone means it was impossible to get the same shot with the camera. You may be regretting this.

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