Category Archives: Stranger

Drum Machine

Sunday 25th September 2022, 12.20pm (day 4,049)

Drum Machine, 25/9/22

Welcome back to the Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade, which graced this blog on an annual basis before being cancelled in 2020 and 2021: one might say, ‘understandably’, at least for 2020, although I would disagree. But let’s move on from that and enjoy the present incarnation: shifted to September, seemingly smaller, but still with plenty of percussion. I like the way this shot captures the drummers concentrating both on their instruments and on the ‘conductor’ walking in front of them — as any good orchestra should. ‘Drum Machine’ is the name of this troupe, by the way.

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Pink pair

Saturday 27th August 2022, 5.50pm (day 4,020)

Pink pair, 27/8/22

No particular point being made with this one, I just think it is a nice portrait. Sometimes C and I try to stop ourselves going out in co-ordinated gear but with these two you get the feeling the choices are carefully made.

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The rail replacement bus, Dutch style

Sunday 21st August 2022, 4.45pm (day 4,014)

My first picture from the European mainland since I was in Bucharest on 2nd February 2020. To get to this point required me to negotiate a 55-minute queue at St. Pancras station, then three trains, then this bus, proving that other countries can do ‘Rail Replacement Buses’ just as enthusiastically as we can in the UK. And there was still another bus to come after this one. I now feel like the guy sat opposite me here — time for an early night.

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Apprentice Boys’ parade

Saturday 13th August 2022, 9.55am (day 4,006)

Apprentice Boys' parade, 13/8/22

In 1689 there was civil war across Britain and Ireland as the Catholic King James II and the Protestant William of Orange vied for the throne. Derry was besieged for months before the forces of William finally prevailed, there and in the later Battle of the Boyne. And that victory has basically defined British politics ever since, and certainly Northern Irish politics.

The annual commemoration of the siege of Derry, the Apprentice Boys’ parade, is not as politically charged as once it was — in 1969 this event effectively set off the whole Troubles — but one might as well still see it as a political demonstration, conducted by a large number of middle-aged white men affecting a military style of dress. It made for good photo opportunities, but I document without sympathising.

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Trying to relax

Tuesday 9th August 2022, 1.55pm (day 4,002)

Cafe by the Ouse, 9/8/22

Despite the various depredations of different kinds of Authority I am trying to affect a state of relaxation, and this gentleman, by the River Ouse in York, seems to be someone I can aspire to right now. I assume he’s not eaing the ‘ice cream for dogs’ though (see sign).

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The goalie at Bacup Borough

Saturday 30th July 2022, 3.30pm (day 3,992)

Bacup goalie, 30/7/22

Bacup Borough FC’s ground, the Brian Boys West View Stadium, is located at about 280m/920 feet above sea level. Which, OK, is not very high by the standards of some countries but for Britain it’s elevated: in fact this is one of the highest football grounds in the country. So even at the end of July it wasn’t exactly tropical. The goalie ponders play while the moorland ponders dumping some more rain on all participants and spectators.

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Postal worker convention

Saturday 23rd July 2022, 2.00pm (day 3,985)

Postal workers, 23/7/22

After several days of inanimate objects it was time to put some people back on the blog and the choice today was between two groups of roughly similar size, dressed in red, celebrating something. I could have gone with the footballers of Campion FC who were witnessed winning the ‘Yorkshire Trophy’, a pre-season warm-up tournament but they put in the effort. However, let’s instead go with this one of these postal workers, clearly celebrating the end of their working week in the Rose & Crown pub opposite the main sorting office in Cleckheaton. And they put in the effort too, all the time in fact.

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The Naked Rambler of Stokenchurch (rear view)

Sunday 17th July 2022, 11.20am (day 3,979)

Naked rambler, 17/7/22

Like this gentleman, I felt that a ramble in the Chiltern hills was a fine way of spending a warm, sunny Sunday morning (and I got another County Top out of my efforts, if you want to read more). Unlike this gentleman, however, I did it in clothing: this bloke really was stark bollock naked other thank his pack and shoes. This shot is a rear view only but I can assure you he was letting it all hang out. I hope he had sunscreen. He looked rather grumpy about it, all things considered.

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Morning train, Rochdale

Thursday 14th July 2022, 7.35am (day 3,976)

Passengers at Rochdale, 14/7/22

Passengers in various states of thought and repose, as the train pulled into Rochdale on the way into work. Or, I suspect for the guy immediately opposite me, home after a rather heavy night.

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Smoke break (early)

Wednesday 8th June 2022, 7.40am (day 3,940)

Smoke break, 8/6/22

At the moment it’s a case of — do I sit at home all day working, or trug into Manchester and sit in my office all day? Well, at least going into Manchester gets me a bit more exercise. There always seems to be at least one person smoking outside this building on Booth Street in the city centre, no matter how early I pass by.

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