Category Archives: Portrait

Man photographing (man photographing) puddle

Wednesday 1st July 2020, 4.25pm (day 3,233)

Photographing puddle, 1/7/20

We are all starting to lose it. Why is he photographing this puddle? More to the point, why am I photographing him photographing this puddle? Which one of us is losing it more?

The sign is the added touch that will roughly date this scene for ever more.

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Pondering the future

Tuesday 30th June 2020, 11.20am (day 3,232)

Pondering, 30/6/20

First trip to campus since March 8th, which as it was a Sunday, already had a desolate, end-of-the-world feel about it that the subsequent closure has cemented in place. On the few days over lockdown that I have visited, all of the city of Manchester has seemed like a coma patient. There is a certain amount of internal activity, things moving around from place to place, but there’s no real life or consciousness to it. This guy looks very much like he’s pondering his future and so should we all. Plants are doing well, though.

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Different country, same stuff

Wednesday 24th June 2020, 11.10am (day 3,226)

Welsh social distancing, 24/6/20

Doing this blog for nearly nine years has started to affect my behaviour. Today I decided that my record streak of English-only pictures had gone on quite long enough — specifically, 142 days. The nearest point from my house that lies in any other country is where the Welsh border crosses Bumpers Lane beside the Deva Stadium, Chester, which lies approximately 53 miles from my house as the crow flies. With nothing but reading and thinking to otherwise do today, I set out for it — and here is, more or less, the first scene that I saw after crossing into Wales at said point.

Looks a lot like England really, doesn’t it. I mean, social distancing an’ all. Hwyl anyway to my nearest unEnglish neighbours. And their dogs.

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Unexpected stash

Sunday 21st June 2020, 2.55pm (day 3,223)

Whisky samples, 21/6/20

A long-awaited visit to my family, unseen since lockdown began. A welcome interruption that highlighted how pointless all this is becoming. Why my sister Vicki was dishing out the whisky samples in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, well, that’s a story hidden beneath the surface of this picture. Particularly as I don’t even like the stuff. (I know whisky is a noble drink with much character and history: I just can’t stand it.)

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Joe heads for the hedge

Thursday 28th May 2020, 4.15pm (day 3,199)

Hedge strimmer, 28/5/20

What are we losing at the moment? There is no sport that is meaningful (meaning, played in front of spectators). I’m assuming that very little music is being performed or created; if it is, it’s not happening round me. Maybe some great novels are being born in all this crap but we won’t be seeing them for a while. There is only this endless banality, and if my blog is itself banal under lockdown, that’s the way of it. But the hedge on the allotment still needed strimming, and that’s Joe’s job.

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Climbing Roughton Gill

Monday 25th May 2020, 11.05am (day 3,196)

Roughton Gill, 25/5/20

A beautiful late May day. A public holiday in the UK. A need to stop having a head like Munch’s The Scream, a need to say no to fear and paranoia. And all these things for Joe, too. The first shot taken outside Yorkshire since 21st March.

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White hat, passing by

Thursday 21st May 2020, 1.15pm (day 3,192)

White hat, 21/5/20

One of those shots where if I’d had any longer to think about it, it probably wouldn’t have turned out as interesting. But this hat — attached to a person of course, but they’re not the subject of the photo — was spotted passing below my house today, and I just got the shot before they walked on into the shadows.

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Road resurfacing

Tuesday 19th May 2020, 5.20pm (day 3,190)

Resurfacing the road, 19/5/20

OK, this picture isn’t high art but at least it’s something different, as the council decide to take advantage of the lack of traffic and resurface the road outside our house. I’m glad there is still a semblance of working life out there but I’d quite like to go to work myself, on occasional days (did I really say that? It’s true though). This is only the fourth picture to feature people who are not family members since the end of March.

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Self-portrait number 42 (or, Man In Need Of Haircut)

Monday 11th May 2020, 7.10pm (day 3,182)

Selfie 42, 11/5/20

Under conditions of day-to-day repetition it’s nice to have reasons to select shots. This mirror selfie makes it because I realised it has become the 42nd self-portrait to feature on here — and the number 42 has been highlighted whenever and wherever it appears. So you can now see that I am in sore need of a haircut, like many other people. There are worse consequences of the present farce, of course.

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Joe under lockdown

Sunday 26th April 2020, 7.30pm (day 3,167)

Joe watching Star Trek, 26/4/20

Evening shots have virtually disappeared from the blog since lockdown: this is only the second post-7pm shot since February. But every evening now begins and ends in the same place, doesn’t it?

It’s Joe, and his peers, for whom I feel sorry the most. He’s 17, he shouldn’t be inside day after day, under house arrest in all but name. What will this do to the psychology of his generation, not to mention their prospects? It could be worse for us of course — he’s not a belligerent kid, there have been no tantrums nor lapses into week-long bouts of near-catatonia. Not yet anyway. But like the rest of the country, and the planet — how much longer can he go on like this?

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