“Chimpanzee safe after 2 orbits”

Sunday 4th November 2018, 12.55pm (day 2,628)

Carol's space archive, 4/11/18

From the late 1950s when the Sputnik was launched my mother-in-law Carol kept scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings related to the space race. These are fabulous archives, frankly. Many things are interesting — firstly the equal amount of column inches given to Soviet achievements as much as US ones — and the sometimes outrageous sexism (Valentina Tereshkova is described as ‘the first girl in space’ and the male astronauts and cosmonauts do not escape being treated as brainless sex objects either). Why did I choose this shot? Well, I guess I just like the relaxed pose of the chimpanzee. Let’s face it, he did more orbits of the planet than the rest of us have ever managed.

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Slyne with Hest FC

Saturday 3rd November 2018, 3.20pm (day 2,627)

Slyne with Hest FC, 3/11/18

Football, and landscape…. a mix that does for me at the moment, though I hope you’re not getting too tired of it. I liked the wavy hedge and the bijou executive accommodation (well, maybe it’s not that) behind one corner at Slyne with Hest FC of the West Lancashire League. Excellent game too (4-3 to the hosts).

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Self-portrait on Wansfell

Friday 2nd November 2018, 1.00pm (day 2,626)

Selfie on Wansfell, 2/11/18

I’m on a three-day weekend (Thursday, Friday, Saturday). I can think of worse places to spend it. In the background: Red Screes, Caudale Moor, Thornthwaite Crag.

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Etihad Hawk

Thursday 1st November 2018, 7.55pm (day 2,625)

Etihad hawk, 1/11/18

This picture needs some explanation. For the second time in a few weeks I visited the Etihad stadium, home of Manchester City, for a football match (there were reasons). While watching City do what they usually do, that is, barely break sweat but win easily, it was easy to be distracted in the first half by the activities of what appeared to be a hawk, or kestrel, that had taken up residence in the roof and kept flying between two of the stands. At one point it clearly dropped something that it was holding in its claws yet still managed to swoop down and catch the prey before it hit the ground (and or landed on someone in row F). I just about managed to capture it here in flight, even if it is not very definable. It may not be all that good a photo but it is still more interesting than the night’s football.

Postscript: As my Facebook friend Margaret pointed out after I posted this, the bird may well have been on professional duty; birds of prey are a good way of keeping the pigeon and other pest population down in a stadium like this.

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Singing at the station

Wednesday 31st October 2018, 9.00am (day 2,624)

Happy robin, 31/10/18

9am and I’m at the station on the way to work. Whatever this robin’s plans were for the day, he seemed happy enough about it, his song being the soundtrack to the wait for the 09:06. A shame he wasn’t perched in the sunshine but never mind.

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Vista down Whitworth Street

Tuesday 30th October 2018, 3.55pm (day 2,623)

Whitworth Street, 30/10/18

I don’t make a point of mentioning it on here but my surname is Whitworth and Whitworth Street in Manchester is a significant thoroughfare that I am obliged to cross each time I walk to and from work. It’s about time I tried for a decent photo of it. Taken while crossing the road — I do try always to cross this street carefully, it would just be too embarrassing to be run over on an eponym.

3.55pm and there’s a sunset cast to the sky…. It’s getting later earlier. If you see what I mean.

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Mysterious mist

Monday 29th October 2018, 8.50am (day 2,622)

Mysterious mist, 29/10/18

Sometimes, despite all the bvious faults in a photo (here, rampant lens flare), it’s still worth going with just because it’s different. The ‘mist’ is actually steam from a heating vent being pumped out by the old mill on the way to Hebden Bridge station. A beautiful morning today, but very cold, with a sharp frost.

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Autumn ablaze

Sunday 28th October 2018, 2.20pm (day 2,621)

Autumn ablaze, 28/10/18

The clocks went back last night, and winter draws closer. But no one has told this tree yet and it’s determined to go out in a blaze of glory.

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The only one watching

Saturday 27th October 2018, 2.40pm (day 2,620)

Fitzwilliam v Bealonians, 27/10/18

I realised today that my obscure football match habit has become extreme when I turned up at this game in London [*] and was literally the only spectator present. But hey, it was a good game, 3-3, and the background mix of buildings, for photography purposes, very pleasing. So why shouldn’t I have done that on a Saturday afternoon in central London? No one else experienced this but me.

[*] if you really want to know, Fitzwilliam Old Boys v Bealonians in the Amateur Football Combination, Division 1.

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Clare being 42

Friday 26th October 2018, 4.20pm (day 2,619)

Clare at 42, 26/10/18

I started this blog on 26th August 2011, my 42nd birthday — hence its name. We can now demonstrate that I am 2,619 days old than Clare, who reached that same milestone today. It is right and proper therefore that for this one day she can be both the subject of, and co-contributor, to the blog: as she is, today, “Being 42”.

As subject — above, Clare on the phone to Joe, who has been whisked off to Berlin for the weekend with 25 other 15- and 16-year olds on a school trip (no, I don’t really want to think about it either). We took advantage of this opportunity to bugger off down to London for a couple of days, but this shot is taken in Manchester’s Piccadilly Tavern before we got on the train. And no, it wasn’t deliberately taken at 4.20pm either. Honestly.

And as special guest contributor to the blog — we decided that as I was always going to offer one of her today, she would offer one of me. Here’s me descending to Euston tube station in London, later in the journey… being 42 years + 2,619 days old.

Clare's guest shot of me, 26/10/18

Happy 42nd birthday darling xxx…

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