Wednesday 5th February 2020, 9.45am (day 3,086)
Was obliged to visit a place I had not set foot in since 20th January, namely campus. This mural is a relatively new addition to the landscape along the way. Very Manchester, old and new.
The world turns, the sun shifts a little in the sky each day, and so slowly, light comes back into the mornings. It is only at this time of year that it starts to rise enough above the hill to the east that we start to see it again at the front of the house. Though for now, only the doorstep, and then only for five minutes in the morning; it’ll be a couple more weeks before it deigns to start shining inside.
London approaches its century of appearances on the blog: this is number 91, and going on my usual frequency of visits here, it’ll hit the milestone before 2020 is out. Tonight I’m just passing through, but it has made for a more leisurely journey than if I’d started from home tomorrow. And yes — the various signs and stickers on that fire exit over there do annoy me.
A brief interlude at home in Hebden, between trips. It still refuses to get particularly wintry. I have always liked this garden, passed on the way to the shops from our house: it is past due an appearance here. Today it can have its moment.
One of those days that was spent sat at home, marking. On such days, photographically, I’m glad my house has a view. It’s been a mild winter thus far, which doubtless some will attribute to climate change but frankly I think Britain always does have these, every few years: the last really mild one was 2013-14. But then again maybe some east wind will cover us in snow in March, as happened in 2018….
Abingdon Street is one of the keys to making my walk between Victoria station and my office as peaceful and traffic-free as is possible. In summer 2018 it was closed off, to allow for the building of the latest boutique hotel that Manchester city centre doesn’t need. This annoyed me so much that I specifically moaned about it, twice, in the manuscript of the book I wrote on sabbatical last year (due out in March, apparently). However, last week it looked as if preparations were being made for its reopening and today I got to walk the length of it again for the first time in 18 months. Thankfully, despite the concrete carbuncle now stood at one end, it remains as peaceful and traffic-free as before. Welcome back. These are the little things that matter, sometimes.
Not that I’ll be using it again for a couple of weeks — I’m not back in Manchester for work for a fortnight.
Another very beautiful (but frosty) winter’s morning, part of which we spent walking from our hotel back to New Street station through a near-deserted Birmingham city centre. I don’t know this place well; it seems a strange mix of time periods, blocks of urban desolation suddenly becoming US-style skyscraper downtown and then a bit further on, leafy suburbia. Anyway, this shot relies on two things: the narrow slot between two small road signs and the flare effect having behaved itself well.
Early January, time to take down the Christmas decorations. Or, in this case, the Christmas ice-based themed dispenser of alcohol. Let’s time how long it is before the next similar installation thing goes up outside the Corn Exchange; when’s Chinese New Year, a month?
A Manchester shot for the first time since December 19th. I must be showing my face on campus again. I like it when there’s nobody there. I only went in, basically, to up my step count.
There is a nice optical illusion on fhis shot. Look at the three pieces of guttering to the right and note how we seem here to have one of those ‘can this shape exist?’ dimensional paradoxes. I know how it’s happened, but it’s not immediately obvious on the picture itself.