Sunday 18th November 2018, 12.45pm (day 2,642)
Sometimes I have to work on Sundays, though always at home. Today, a sudden desire for soft-boiled eggs was one unexpected consequence.
Fridays are my teaching days at the moment, not every week (hence my ability to bugger off to the Lakes last Friday) but most of them. And it’s an all day thing. So visual variety is not a characteristic of my average Friday, my apologies. Things kick of at 10: the pre-lecture cup of tea from the cafe in the Bridgeford Street building is an essential preliminary.
The town of Burnley has nearly 75,000 people in it and lies less than a dozen miles from my house, so one might have expected it to have appeared on the blog more than three times in the last seven years — and all three of them (6/4/12, 1/19/12 and 22/11/15) were taken at Turf Moor, the home of Burnley FC. Is there much other reason to go to Burnley? Not if the evidence of my life is anything to go by, but I did find cause to visit today for non-footballing reasons. The garage was nothing to do with it, but I do like the scene, even if there’s not quite the desired symmetry to the shot.
From the late 1950s when the Sputnik was launched my mother-in-law Carol kept scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings related to the space race. These are fabulous archives, frankly. Many things are interesting — firstly the equal amount of column inches given to Soviet achievements as much as US ones — and the sometimes outrageous sexism (Valentina Tereshkova is described as ‘the first girl in space’ and the male astronauts and cosmonauts do not escape being treated as brainless sex objects either). Why did I choose this shot? Well, I guess I just like the relaxed pose of the chimpanzee. Let’s face it, he did more orbits of the planet than the rest of us have ever managed.
Having eulogised the plums and blackberries already this year — and for good reason — let us also add the glorious amount, and richness, of 2018’s apples as well — not to mention a second good crop of rhubarb. In this aspect, no one can complain about the year.
In the time I have been doing this blog, I have made two previous trips to this place, but it has not been documented here for some reason or another. Strange, actually, considering what The Forbidden Corner actually is, a gloriously imaginative folly, a labyrinth where (the first time I visited, at least) I had genuinely no idea what might be around the next corner (forbidden or not). The third trip today was made with my students from Manchester as I had decided that the FC would be a good place to start developing some team-building skills. Better than leaving them up on a moor somewhere, particularly on a rather dull and rainy day like today. Better than being stuck in an office on a Friday, too.
A morning meeting with a colleague, held in the pleasant surroundings of the Christie Bistro. I had my usual builder’s brew but she went for the mint tea option and I was taken by the appearance of the leaves suspended in the water. As you see here. (I mean, that’s what this blog is, isn’t it? I show you what I see each day…)
Also, a minor milestone — I make this the blog’s 500th Manchester shot.
This is one of those junk shops that has grandiose self-image and calls itself an “Antiques Centre” but we’ll let it off. I believe this object is an old typesetting tray, the kind of thing useful when typefaces came as hundreds of small carved pieces of metal. What practical use to anyone it is nowadays, I cannot imagine, but on the other hand it is a pretty cool lump of wood if you ask me. Not that I decided to lug it home or anything.
The idea for this shot came to me as I was listening to the last keynote speaker at the conference, and for me the last event of it, as I headed for Oulu airport straight after it had finished. It was a bugger to get all things in focus though, and when I managed it, he wasn’t quite doing the interesting things with his hands that he was on other shots: so they look a bit like a big lump here. Still, this is basically the shot that I was trying to capture.