Category Archives: Transport

The Hand of Stoke

Saturday 18th August 2018, 12.15pm (day 2,550)

Hand of Stoke, 18/8/18

Finding myself on Stoke-on-Trent railway station for half an hour today, and time therefore to ponder this sculpture: not so much why is it there at all (for there should be more public art if you ask me), but why tuck it down the very far end of platform 2 where hardly anyone ever goes?

The blue post may seem an intrusion but I like it. The photo becomes a study of the various lines going both across and down.

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Can I stop going to work yet?

Tuesday 31st July 2018, 9.55am (day 2,532)

Asleep on train, 31/7/18

My summer holiday has been a long time coming this year and there’s the rest of this week to get through yet. Despite the later start to the day, I still feel like this guy.

This will probably turn out to be the last shot taken by my Canon Power Shot SX710 camera which since its debut on 27th June 2015 has put in sterling service every day since, including getting up to the top of Kilimanjaro and back. But the lens cover has been requiring the intervention of fingers to retract successfully for some time now and it’s been randomly freezing up, to be recovered only by removing the battery. I took the plunge and invested in another model this morning. Farewell then to the old one, it still does work so I’ll keep it as a backup.

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Ullswater

Saturday 21st July 2018, 10.45am (day 2,522)

Ullswater, 21/7/18

While the very warm and sunny weather seems to have come to an end, it was still a fine day for messing around in the Lake District.

I assume, incidentally, that one of the two boats is at least thinking of heading to the island to retrieve the people seen thereon. If not, it was quite a swim to the shore from there.

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Keeping an eye on things

Wednesday 11th July 2018, 7.45am (day 2,512)

Motorbike surveillance, 11/7/18

I assume that the camera (for some reason to do with techno-capitalist surveillance economies, etc. etc.) is keeping an eye on the fire exit, but the owner of this bike sure wants it looking after, as well….

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Blue Pig race — the contestants gather

Sunday 17th June 2018, 3.55pm (day 2,488)

Blue Pig racers, 17/6/18

The annual Blue Pig Father’s Day race at the Blue Pig pub. Build a vessel of some kind that travels on water, make it look like a blue pig, chuck it off the bridge into the river and the first one over the weir wins. Thanks to a disastrous start (I feel I had better voluntarily resign as starter of our boat next year) we finished a comfortable last. The one with the kid’s face taped on the front was the winner. What this says, I have no idea.

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6.30am trains

Thursday 31st May 2018, 6.30am (day 2,471)

6.30 am trains, 31/5/18

Most of the local train service remains a scandal of national proportions (some 2,000 trains cancelled across Northern’s domain since the new timetable was launched, blunderingly, on 20th May) but I must admit I have been a small locus of punctuality all week. But no one should have to suffer a 6.30am train too often. Or, two of them.

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Northern Fail (Rochdale station, unexpectedly)

Wednesday 23rd May 2018, 7.40am (day 2,463)

Rochdale station, 23/5/18

There is nothing to complain about regarding the weather, at the moment. It has been glorious, for about three weeks now, certainly since the weekend in Scotland, May 5-7.

There is everything to complain about regarding the state of our local Northern Rail service, a metaphorical view of which could see the recent timetable change as a pint of week-old milk poured into some already dodgy sauce and, consequently, it curdling alarmingly. Was turfed off my original train at Rochdale, hence here you see almost the entire population of said train trying to get on the next one, which will itself already be busy. I waited a little longer, got in 20 minutes late, and the sad thing is, this is now the new normal. Never have I encountered a large company offering such shoddy service before, close to collapse, and we might even have it better on this line than many others.

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Zagreb central station (James Bond reference)

Wednesday 16th May 2018, 1.40pm (day 2,456)

Zagreb station, 16/5/18

The conference ended today but I am in Zagreb until Friday, and transited to a different hotel in the early afternoon. My walk there took me past the main railway station, a symbolic spot for those who have seen and enjoyed From Russia With Love — the best Bond movie (yes, it is) — as it’s here that 007 meets the evil Grant –the best Bond villain (don’t argue now) — posing as a fellow British agent.

Actually, those scenes weren’t filmed here, but in Turkey: and in the book, Grant and Bond meet not in Zagreb, but Trieste. But this is just detail….

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Forth road bridge

Sunday 6th May 2018, 4.55pm (day 2,446)

Forth Bridge, 6/5/18

We didn’t just visit Scotland for a melancholy afternoon at Raith Rovers. On the second day of three, we drove both ways across this fine transportation architecture. The new Forth Bridge was built after the old one started pinging apart a few years ago. Like the other two monumental bridges — now, one rail, two road, and one from each of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries — it is an elegant structure, worth crossing just for the hell of it.

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Docklands Light Railway

Thursday 5th April 2018, 2.00pm (day 2,415)

DLR, 5/4/18

Despite the frequency of my recent visits to London I had only been on the Docklands Light Railway once before, and that had been in the dark. On the first properly warm-with-blue-skies day of the year it was nice to take advantage of the driverless operation of these trains and sit right up front with a view that normally only drivers get. Reminded me of the El in Chicago in the end. Fun, and a reminder there are still many things to discover in London.

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