Category Archives: Portrait

Bernard joins us for a drink

Friday 20th November 2020, 5.30pm (day 3,375)

Ginge by the river, 20/11/20

To stop the walls closing in any more than they already are I’ve been making a point of sitting out in a spot by the river in the early evenings, when the weather allows. Just to take some air, watch the ducks (my post of a few days ago was taken from this same point), have a couple of beers. Feel human. Clare joined me for this one and so, for 15 minutes or so, did fellow ex-Railway habitué Bernard, who happened to be passing with a bottle of his own. We talked. As much as anything, we just enjoyed the fact we could see someone else’s face, for real.

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Kitchen duties

Monday 16th November 2020, 8.50pm (day 3,371)

Clare, Joe, kitchen, 16/11/20

3,371 days into this blog (nine years, two months and 22 days) and I am buggered if I am going to let this profoundly boring and pointless period see it peter out through sheer lack of interest. But it’s not very interesting, is it. This is the true impact of this bloody virus. It’s made the world so goddamn boring, suddenly. (With no offence meant to my family members, pictured here, who are about the only things that are keeping me sane.)

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On the bridge

Monday 9th November 2020, 4.15pm (day 3,364)

On the old bridge, 10/11/20

The family that texts together, survives house arrest together. One of the few signs of human life in Hebden Bridge this afternoon.

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Me and my shadow (or, selfie with ponytail)

Monday 2nd November 2020, 2.45pm (day 3,357)

Me and ponytail shadow, 2/11/20

Working at home today … but then again, aren’t we all. The ‘lockdown hair’ continues to grow.

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Clare in the Entwood

Sunday 1st November 2020, 2.10pm (day 3,356)

Clare in Entwood, 1/11/20

Nothing about the politics today, no grouching, I promise. Let us just celebrate the peak of autumn. I have pictured this wood before (by now, I’ve pictured most places near my house before), and have always called it the Entwood because here more than anywhere else round here the trees feel like they have feet, that their residence in the ground is temporary.

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Joe the filmmaker

Monday 26th October 2020, 1.55pm (day 3,350)

Joe filming me, 26/10/20

Time is on our hands. I can’t easily get into Manchester this week as the train line is having one of its bouts of ‘maintenance’. Joe is on his half-term break. I needed a film making for teaching purposes and it gave us both something to do, and him something to put on his portfolio for later life.

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Turning their backs

Sunday 25th October 2020, 2.20pm (day 3,349)

Not watching, 25/10/20

I can see no reason at all for this rather odd sight of spectators at today’s football match turning their back on Newcastle United women’s no. 21, Maisie Cole. Except that there was a game on the other pitch below. Mind you, as the game between Newcastle and Brighouse was 0-0, they didn’t miss much.

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Joe’s tour of inspection

Saturday 17th October 2020, 10.55am (day 3,341)

Joe inspects Staffs Uni, 17/10/20

Astonishing as this may seem, our Joe is now at the stage where he is putting together applications for university in 2021-22. Staffordshire University, in Stoke-on-Trent, is on the list, but all any of them can offer at the moment are ‘virtual open days’ which provide info, sure, but not a feeling for the place. And that’s essential if you’re going to spend three years anywhere. So we arranged for our own little tour of inspection today, both of the campus and the city. And despite it being dead, like the set of a post-apocalypse movie dead — the campus tour did not seem to be offputting. Perhaps then we will be seeing more of this place in the future.

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End of the evening

Thursday 24th September 2020, 9.35pm (day 3,318)

Despair, 24/9/20

The notion of ‘an evening out’ largely died with the dawning of The Great Fear.  This is the latest shot in any day since February 19th.  We tried today, but it is cold out there, and trying to enjoy oneself is now something to be looked at askance, it makes one suspect, subversive almost.  I cannot say there is much to look forward to in life right now.  This chap may or may not agree with me — and so may you.  But for me it’s the way it is.

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In a room, with people!

Tuesday 22nd September 2020, 4.40pm (day 3,316)

MGS event, 22/9/20

As Our Glorious Leader mumbles, fumbles and bumbles, people with lives to live get on with their jobs.  For the first time since 8th March, I got to be in a room with other people, and taught. As it happens, I was teaching other teachers, the good folk of Manchester Grammar School, a venerable establishment that has been around in some form or other since 1515. In the grim year 2020, this felt like an explosion of humanity.

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