Category Archives: Stranger

Hamilton Academicals get ready

Saturday 9th December 2017, 3.00pm (day 2,298)

Hamilton players, 9/12/17

Another stop for Joe and I in our efforts to see lots of different football competitions in one season — today was our 13th, the Scottish Premier League. Hamilton Academical have a great name and I like their red-and-white hoops. I can identify the player on the left as their captain Xavier Tomas; not sure about the other two however, but let me off — we were not even supposed to be here today, having headed for a different game entirely which was postponed as we arrived in Glasgow, hence this emergency replacement, which made all my prior research irrelevant. Accies should have won, but their failure to put the ball in the net when given clear chances to do so meant they lost 1-0 to visiting St Johnstone.

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In University Place

Tuesday 28th November 2017, 9.30am (day 2,287)

University Place, 28/11/17

She’s about to stand up, so this was my one chance to get this picture — hence, it’s fiercely cropped and could be a lot sharper. But…. I still kinda like it. You can’t really go wrong with rimlight like that.

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Full-on CTS (Cattle Truck Status)

Monday 20th November 2017, 7.20am (day 2,279)

Cattle truck, 20/11/17

Monday morning, and it’s raining, and you’ve just bought a weekly ticket for the first time in ages (meaning you’re going into Manchester every day this week) and the 06:59 turns up as a two-carriage piece of obsolete shit as it always does, only today the previous service through was cancelled so by Littleborough it’s already achieved full CTS (Cattle Truck Status) and we haven’t even had the Rochdale passengers on yet. Happy Mondays.

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IT helpdesk

Tuesday 7th November 2017, 1.55pm (day 2,266)

IT helpdesk, 7/11/17

How many IT helpdesks round the world look like this, I wonder? Still, they did help. On an iatrogenic problem, though.

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Workshop, ECIL 2017

Tuesday 19th September 2017, 6.00pm (day 2,217)

ECIL 2017 workshop, 19/9/17

All the travel hassle did eventually get me to the destination, namely the 2017 European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL). In the past this has been responsible for the appearance of Dubrovnik, Tallinn and Prague on the blog; this year we are in St. Malo, France, a beautiful town, of which a picture will appear at some point I am sure. But for now, some work. I am the keynote speaker this year so I’d better show willing.

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Jazzmen

Saturday 26th August 2017, 4.10pm (day 2,193)

Jazzmen, 26/8/17

Happy birthday to me — fortysomething again. I’m sure if you have been following this blog long enough you know the exact figure. With me being on my own in Urbana this week it was never going to be the most sociable anniversary but I did my best back at the Sweetcorn Festival’s second day. The New Orleans jazz band were the best feature. Another talent I wish I had — I seem to recall some forty years ago playing the clarinet in the school orchestra and so maybe I should reword that, ‘another talent I regret losing’. Still, perhaps I’ve picked up others along the way. Onward, onward with my 49th year on the planet. Whoops, there you go — I gave it away.

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The owner of the ‘Iron Post’

Friday 25th August 2017, 10.20pm (day 2,192)

Iron Post, 25/8/17

The Iron Post is a pub in Urbana. Many years ago — well, twelve anyway (in 2005) — this place saved our bacon on the 4th July when it was the only pub in the city that was open for food and drink. I also remember being here in 2006 and talking to this guy — he had a beard then — on the day that the state of Illinois passed the ordinance which forbade smoking inside any public building. It’s safe to say he wasn’t happy. He won’t remember me, but when I returned this evening for a beer and saw him sat in the far corner of the bar doing his books, or whatever it is, I recognised him.

And so ends the sixth full year of this blog. I set out to do one — I’ve done six. I may as well keep going, there are still things in the world worth depicting. Are you sticking with me? Good, let’s do some more.

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Rolling up

Friday 18th August 2017, 9.15am (day 2,185)

Cigarette break, 18/8/17

Well, I assume he’s rolling a cigarette, but perhaps he might just be playing a tune on the world’s smallest harmonica.

Last day in Manchester for a fortnight, anyway. If things work out — I have, let’s say, a logistically complex next 72 hours, but the payoff will be good if it does…

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Before the match

Tuesday 15th August 2017, 7.20pm (day 2,182)

At the Three Pigeons, 15/8/17

“Come to the football, son,” he said. “All the glamour and excitement of FC Halifax Town v Dover Athletic, playing out before your eyes. That’ll be better than a night on those silly video games, won’t it?”

I hope they both stayed until the end, anyway. 0-0 after 86 minutes: final score 2-1 to Dover. Enjoyable in the end but perhaps not for Halifax Town fans.

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Out for a drink

Monday 7th August 2017, 3.30pm (day 2,174)

Mother and baby, 7/8/17

Returned to work today — albeit at home. Too long a day to spend entirely in the house sorting out a pile of email and draft student work however, so popped out for a drink in the afternoon, which is when I saw these two, doing the same thing and seemingly happy about it. (Was tough to get the camera focused on her face as opposed to the drinking straw, mind you.)

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