Category Archives: Stranger

Well, he’s happy

Monday 21st December 2020, 1.50pm (day 3,406)

Swinging gnome, 21/12/20

Having taken up the habitat of occasionally walking up and down the valley of the Hebden Water, simply to keep my spirits and step count up, on several occasions recently I have passed this little guy in one of the allotments along the riverside and taken a shot. Today he can make the blog. This is the kind of carefree attitude it would be nice to affect at the present time. What does he know of ministerial incompetence, lockdown loving and general paranoia. Even on midwinter’s day.

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Christmas family gathering

Sunday 20th December 2020, 1.45pm (day 3,405)

Towneley Park gathering, 20/12/20

This is how Christmas works this year. We saw my side of the immediate family today — these people are not them, but we gathered in the same place, Towneley Park in Burnley. We didn’t bring our own seating either, but it worked out anyway. It was good to see them — but it shouldn’t have to be this way.

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Watching the game

Tuesday 15th December 2020, 7.05pm (day 3,400)

Watching Steeton, 15/12/20

Bojo the Clown has decreed that it’s OK to get some local entertainment at football grounds that expand beyond just being a pitch in a park somewhere. This gentleman, like the other 85 or so in attendance at Steeton v Brighouse on this Tuesday evening, ponders why the provision of tea, snacks, hell, even maybe a pint of beer or two, would have exposed us all to mass infection in a way that keeping the snack bar closed did not (we assume). Answers on a postcard to 10 Downing Street.

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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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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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