My usual policy is not to offer commercial endorsements on this blog, not that anyone’s ever asked. However, I am wide open to making an exception for this business. The magnificent optimism. The “Human Hair, 1/2 Price” sign (and what it implies about Brazilians). The sheer organisation of it. The generous 5% discount for students. People of Luton — indeed all of Bedfordshire — go there now. Don’t do it for me, do it for this guy.
Back in the long hot days of June 2018 I spent a whole working week in London, most of it here, in McGlynn’s pub on Whidborne Street (see this photo for instance). Finally it is open again, albeit for outside drinking only, so I and the other customers stoically ignore the fact that it is about to rain. Tonight’s real significance was that this was the first night I have spent away from home in 2021. Life, of a sort, returns: but not yet in full.
This is the 99th London shot to feature on here, by the way.
Is the title of this post self-referential? Perhaps. This advertising truck might well have been gainfully employed over most of the last 14 months and tonight was just having a break — but somehow I doubt it. The bird doesn’t care either way. A somewhat gloomy photo, but that epitomised the day: we have lost the sunshine that we’d been enjoying for much of April.
Since advertising — at least of anything interesting, like gigs, movies, etc. — became just one among many casualties of The Great Fear, this billboard under the railway arch on Princess Street has displayed a variety of messages, several quite subversive (e.g., anti-Brexit) and some only being up for a day or two. This one has been there for a while, though. And raises a valid point. The Joshua Brooks pub/club next door remains shuttered and dead.
A day working at home gained interest through getting a masterclass in roofing from these guys working on the house over the road. At the beginning of the day that roof looked like the one of no. 31 next door. Roofing’s one of those specialist talents that very few people have, but which we all need, isn’t it? And I’d take some persuading to spend a whole day on that scaffold (constructed by another professional group that we need to just trust).
Perhaps it is a little unfair to return to this theme again, because coming back through Manchester city centre in the afternoon, it was busier than I have seen it in a very long time — probably since Christmas 2019. The British populace is supporting the hospitality industry in its time of need, put it that way. But the teaching spaces at uni remain unused. However, I have some one-to-one meetings to organise and this gazebo looks a good place to check out. Like everyone else, I hope the sunshine continues for several weeks.
Into Manchester for the first time in 16 days. The city centre has busied itself, at least in the afternoon. Campus is still a wasteland, however. The government and administrators in their wisdom have decreed that they will only consider letting students actually meet their professors and each other after it’s far too late to make a difference this year. Optimistically the finishing touches get made to the new Engineering building but whether this white mammoth will ever be used to its full potential remains to be seen.
Should I have retouched the ‘exclamation mark’ at the top? I did consider it. Maybe it’s symbolic.
Although I quite like the image of this guy’s golden sunglasses, the significance is more carried by what is visible behind his head; that table sits, as did we, in the beer garden of the White Swan in Hebden Bridge. Yes folks, the pubs are open again — if you want to wrap up and go al fresco, anyway. Hurrah for that at least.
The world — well, Hebden Bridge anyway — is getting back to it, and in these developments I can see nothing but good. We should be able to give our money to a few more retailers that have been unlucky (or unpolitically active) enough to be classed as ‘inessential’, but more important is that people are just coming out anyway.
Hey, it’s day 3,500 of the blog. It doesn’t take a lot of mental arithmetic to see that I’m approaching the ten-year mark. At my own sweet pace. (As a multiple-of-50 day, the stats have had their latest update.)
Is the picture a representation of how I feel today? …..Yes, actually. It’s a government thing, a Covid thing, as so much has been lately.