Category Archives: Stranger

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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Pavement café culture (Yorkshire style)

Sunday 23rd August 2020, 4.15pm (day 3,286)

Pavement café, 23/8/20
I have been thinking about this, and have decided to declare this the one and only positive outcome of lockdown –‘this’ being the emergence of a UK pavement café culture.  We don’t necessarily have the weather for it, but hey, pubs and restaurants can invest in some umbrellas, as they do elsewhere. On sunny afternoons like this one, it doesn’t matter, and we can give it a shot.

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The ironworks guide, Blists Hill

Wednesday 19th August 2020, 3.50pm (day 3,282)

Blists Hill ironworks, 19/8/20

Once a derelict patch of post-industrial ruin, the area of Blists Hill in Telford has become a ‘Victorian town’ — a home for retired residential, commercial and industrial buildings, rebuilt or replicated in the valley of the Ironbridge Gorge.  It’s a tourist attraction, sure, but a pretty interesting one.  This chap shows off some machinery in the old ironworks that is clearly his pride and joy.

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Smoke break outside Aya Sophia

Sunday 19th July 2020, 5.05pm (day 3,251)

Smoke break, Aya Sophia, 19/7/20

Gosh, a human face.  I think there’s only been one of those on the blog in the last month — flesh and blood anyway (as opposed to on book covers, or screens).  It would be a nicer picture if the awning of Calans’ pub wasn’t intruding to bottom left, but the very fact that I could be in that pub on this decently sunny Sunday was celebration enough.

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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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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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A beer in the sunshine

Friday 24th April 2020, 2.30pm (day 3,165)

Taking the sun, 24/4/20

Except for the guys on the screen last Sunday, people have been absent from the blog for many days now, so let’s rectify that today to make us remember that humanity has not yet quite given up the ghost. Would this have been better, or worse, had the weather been poor? I suspect worse. At least this guy’s approach to boosting his vitamin D levels — the chair, the can of Carlsberg — is still available to us.

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